during the COVID-19 Pandemic
It is no surprise that COVID-19 has affected short-term missions across the globe. In early 2020, many churches and organizations canceled overseas trips due to the pandemic. Since then, many countries have seen waves of the virus and created their own procedures and responses. As the virus has come under control in some parts of the world, counties are reopening their boarders. As countries reopen, the short-term missions program of The Navigators is acting in faith, trusting God to send us to select countries during the pandemic.
In preparation for the 2021 short-term trips season, we are identifying select locations to send our teams. Each location will be selected based on four determining factors:
- Entry Requirements – Is the location allowing U.S. Citizens to enter under tourist, missionary, or other common visas? If the common visa is allowed, are additional requirements necessary, such as a negative COVID-19 test or a multiple-day quarantine?
- Prayer and Petition – Navigators World Missions leadership and our overseas partners will seek God’s guidance for peace before selecting a location.
- Current Infrastructure – Each location will be vetted by our in-country contacts and World Missions leadership to understand, if there can be a proper response if a team member is infected with the coronavirus. Should a U.S. Citizen get infected, does that person’s presence create undue harm through use of limited medical staff or supplies?
- Organizational Approval – Each location will require the approval of Navigator international leadership, U.S. leadership, and leadership from our headquarters before a team is formed.
After the locations are selected, Navigators World Missions will provide additional training and guidance in preparation and response for traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our training will include written procedures for in-country contacts, team leaders, and team members. Additionally, The Navigators will actively monitor each location prior to departure, completing a review of each location in February (before fundraising begins), 6-8 weeks prior to departure (before airfare is purchased), and a final review 1-2 weeks before departure.
Should Navigators World Missions cancel a trip after fundraising begins, funds will be held for two years and can be used by the participant to take part in future short-term trips, summer training programs, EDGE, iEDGE, or other programs of The Navigators. After two years, funds will be used by The Navigators to support the efforts of our short-term program. In all instances, funds raised by the participant will remain with The Navigators in alignment with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Internal Revenue Service.
As we enter this unique season of sending short-term trips overseas, we covet your prayers and support. As the Short-Term program of Navigators World Missions, we seek to advance the Kingdom of Christ through partnerships in communities and ministries around the globe. We crave to continue this ministry even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.