Do you want to share the Gospel? Would you like to meet some of our friends and be part of sharing the Gospel here in Taichung? Read on and we’ll share how you can join us.
There are a couple of options for coming to Taiwan and helping with our ministry. Joining a short term team or coming as an intern. The guide below was written as a brief primer for our short term volunteers. We have quite a bit of experience with short term teams and this is just a quick intro, we’ll help you from start to finish with everything from training, to budget planning to getting from the airport to your accommodations. You will be equipped and prepared as best we can for your mission to share the Gospel and work with us here in Taichung. If you are interested in coming as an intern, we have a formal application process. An internship is different than a short term team, so please contact us personally if you are interested in this program.
I’ve written this brief intro guide to help you with the details. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether you are a seasoned international traveler, or this is your first trip, you are in good hands. Over the years, we’ve helped over 250 friends and multiple churches come to Taiwan and have lots of experience with this particular kind of trip.
What will you do while you are in Taichung? Here are some of the things our teams regularly do while helping us in Taichung:
- Work with college students on college campuses
- Go into college classrooms and provide ESL type activities to further our relationships and be a blessing to our friends here
- Prayer Walk
- Participate in English Activities / English Camps where the purpose is to build relationships, share the Gospel and create friendships that we can continue to follow up with.
- Spend time with students in organized and casual activities that allow you to share personally about Jesus as well as learn about their culture, family and religious background.
- Most importantly – you will Share the Gospel!
How do you go about planning a trip to Taichung?
First, Pray. Ask God to begin preparing your heart and mind for what He has already planned. Also, begin praying for the people He is going to put in your path while you are here. There is no doubt that when we prepare ourselves, God does His part to bring people to hear the Gospel. Jesus said that the field was ready for harvest, this couldn’t be more true in Taiwan.
Second, do you have your passport? If not, you should immediately begin the process of applying for a passport. CLICK HERE. If you don’t have at least 4 weeks left before the trip date, it is probably too late.
Third, you need a plane ticket. How much? Generally, the earlier you buy, the better, so it’s time to get cracking. If you are coming with a group of people, it would be good to work together to purchase tickets. If alone, then start pricing tickets with a travel agent or using some online tools. I prefer kayak.com as well as looking at the individual airline sites. Just a note – the more direct the flight, the higher the price. I know that seems crazy, but it’s true. People are willing to pay more to spend less time getting to their destination, so the direct flights tend to be more expensive. If you can tolerate a few stops along the way, you may end up with a cheaper ticket. Also, using a travel agent can also reap some rewards. For anyone coming from the middle of the country (i.e. Texas), I highly recommend a stop in California or Washington State and then catch the direct flight to Taipei. It is a much easier trip. I also encourage you to buy a refundable ticket. It’s usually just an additional $30-50 – and well worth it if you have something happen at the last minute.
Your travel destination is TPE, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. For more about flights, please see the end of the article.
Fourth – you’ll need to plan for your expenses while you are here. You can expect to spend about $50 dollars per day for your lodging, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. So take the number of days you are in the country and multiply it times $50 and there is your additional cost. (Groups larger than 10 will sometimes need to charter a bus – this is an additional expense – we will help you with this information if needed)
The other options are:
A business type hotel at around $30USD per night depending on how many people per room.
A backpacker type hotel is going to be $600 – 800 TWD per night.
There are also some private B&B type places which are actually quite nice and near our center city district. These average around $10-$15 per person per night.
Fifth – Ask for help! Allow your family, friends, co-workers to get involved. You want to ask people to pray for you, and give people an opportunity to participate spiritually and financially. I know for many people, this feels a little weird or strange, but I’m telling you after years of working with people, this is one of the best parts of going on mission trips. Share with people a clear vision of what you are going to be doing and give them an opportunity to support you. I’ve learned that most people are pretty smart with their money, and they are looking for good places to spend / invest it. If they don’t want to, they won’t. Just don’t get your feelings hurt if they don’t. Pray first, trust God to provide your needs – it’s all His – then ask confidently, be willing to put your own resources on the line and go for it. The part that is really important is to keep people informed. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Get the e-mail address of every person and send out regular updates while you are on the trip with stories! People want to know stories, they don’t want endless pictures of food and tourist sites. They want to know that their prayer and money made a difference in someone’s life.
Sixth – get your church involved. Talk to your pastor / mission pastor / youth pastor and ask for their prayer and encouragement. Ask for your church to be praying for you.
Once we know you are coming, we will provide you with the resources you need to prepare for your time here.
In addition, we will make sure you have a chance to see some part of the amazing Taiwan culture. There are many options, so we’ll give you some choices so you can help us plan something that will be interesting to you and we’ll include the friends that you make over the week to join us.
And you will get to experience our church, Taichung Baptist and Taichung International Fellowship, the English ministry of our church!
Travel Agents we recommend:
Sabrina Freeland – my college classmate and personal friend. She will make sure you get the best deal and work with you until you are satisfied – and not only that, she will monitor your trip and make sure that your connections are okay in real time, providing help as needed if something doesn’t go right.
Additional Flight Information
There are many ways to come to Taiwan. Most of the time using a search engine, your route will go through one of three major cities, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Seoul. It is possible to end up with another route. Here is what you need to watch out for when booking an overseas flight yourself. Long layovers – check your total travel time. From most anywhere in the United States, you should be able to get to Taiwan in around 24 hours or less, total travel time. There are some places where it will be a great deal less if you can get a direct flight. (New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago).
Most airlines allow you to purchase an upgraded economy plus seat. If you are a little older or have trouble with long legs, I highly recommend this option. For about $150 extra each way, it can make a big difference in your travel experience.
Don’t be afraid to use a travel agent. With a little work, you can put together a great route. For many, a shorter overseas flight is important. So a stopover in San Francisco or another West Coast city is important. An agent can help you sort out these details.
And of course, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ve made the trip multiple times on multiple airlines. We don’t know everything or all the tricks, but we know who to ask.