2020 Laos Mission Trip

Trip Overview

Dates: January 6-19, 2020

Location: Laos (we will be traveling to locations in both northern and southern Laos, including Vientiane and Luang Prabang. See detailed itinerary below)

Trip Leaders: Pastor Lisa Isensee (ASAP Development Director) and family; Byron and Carol Reynolds (ASAP board members and former missionaries)

Number of Participants: 30 (The team will be divided into two groups of approximately 15 people each after arriving in Laos. See detailed itinerary below for more information)

Cost: $1,400 USD mission trip fee, plus airfare, background check, and tourist visa (see below for complete breakdown of costs)

Purpose:

  • To uplift Jesus among the poor, persecuted, and unreached people of Laos. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).
  • To minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the Lao people through the construction of hand washing stations and drinking fountains, the offering of basic health screenings and children's programming, and encouraging and strengthening local believers through fellowship, prayer, and practical friendship.
  • To experience ASAP projects firsthand, while working side-by-side with our ethnic missionaries
  • To help all mission trip participants grow spiritually and gain experience in cross-cultural outreach.

Itinerary*

Monday, January 6: Fly to Vientiane, Laos, arriving by Wednesday, January 8 

Tuesday, January 7: In transit (flights crossing the International Date Line lose a day)

Wednesday, January 8: Arrive in Vientiane by afternoon. Rest and relax, team-building worship, and (optional) night market in the evening

Thursday, January 9: Morning worship and cultural orientation with local mission leaders from Lao Attached Region

  • After lunch, the team will divide into two groups and travel to their respective ministry project sites
    • Group 1 will fly to northern Laos, departing at 2:40 PM
    • Group 2 will fly to southern Laos, departing at 4:00 PM

​​Friday, January 10:

  • Group 1 (Northern Laos)
    • Morning - Visit the Plain of Jars
    • Afternoon - Go to the market and make lunch with local church members; visit church members’ homes as time permits 
    • Evening vespers
  • Group 2 (Southern Laos)
    • Morning - Waterfall visit
    • Afternoon - Go to the market and cook with local church members in the afternoon 
    • Evening vespers

Saturday, January 11: Both groups will worship at local churches and lead a program for the children, then visit families in the afternoon

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, January 12-14: Work at respective project sites

  • Construct a handwashing station and drinking fountain at an English language center or local school
  • Potentially teach English and character or nature nuggets at an English language center or local school
  • Potentially offer basic health screenings
  • Lead children's programs at local churches
  • Encourage and strengthen local believers

Wednesday, January 15: Both teams travel to Luang Prabang; eat dinner and begin debriefing together in the evening

Thursday & Friday, January 16-17: Sightseeing in Luang Prabang, including Kuang Si waterfall and elephant sanctuary; Friday evening vespers

Saturday, January 18: Meet ASAP workers at church in the morning and visit their villages and homes in the afternoon; tour the Luang Prabang night market after sunset

Sunday January 19: Fly home from Luang Prabang (LPQ)

*Please keep in mind that this mission trip is taking place in a communist country. While Laos is not as restrictive as other communist countries, there is still a need to be wise and careful in everything we do. In many cases we will not be able to overtly talk about Christianity, without compromising the future work of our brothers and sisters in Laos. Also, prior to commencing any type of activity, we must secure permission from the local authorities. Although we have received the necessary approval, being in a communist country means that anything can change at any time without notice or cause. As such, we ask for a spirit of flexibility as we operate with many unknowns, trusting that God will help things go smoothly and in His will. We have seen Him work mightily on past mission trips to Laos. In fact, one gentleman who was asking questions and learning more about Biblical truths from mission trip participants in 2017 has since been baptized and is now an ASAP Church Planter!

 

Cost Breakdown

The $1,400 USD Mission Trip Fee includes the following:

  • All in-country flights and transportation
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Fees for sights visited
  • Project costs (e.g., for children's programming and construction hand washing stations, drinking fountains, etc.)
  • Travel insurance through Adventist Risk Management

Additional Expenses (Responsibility of the Mission Trip Participant):

  • Airfare from country of origin to Vientiane, Laos (VTE) and return flight from Luang Prabang (LPQ) to country of origin (see below for more information)
  • Tourist visa (purchased for less than $40 upon arrival in Laos)
  • Background check (approximately $40, unless your church or school is willing to provide the results of a recent background check)
  • Additional spending money for momentos, gifts, emergencies, and incidental expenses

 

Ready to Go? Here's What to Do Next!

  1. Submit the Mission Trip Application Form online. Please do not book airline tickets until you receive confirmation that your application has been approved.
     
  2. Prepare to share! One of the most beautiful things about a mission trip is the time spent together each morning and evening in worship and prayer. For this trip, especially, we are seeking to hear many stories of (and even from) our workers and members in Laos. However, we also ask that all of our participants (yes, even children) think about something God might want you to share for worship. Perhaps you could share a story or testimony from your life or a meaningful Scripture that He has used to strengthen you. God is working, and we want to hear and share His stories!

    Another thing we encourage you to do right away is to start recruiting your church family, neighbors, and community to be part of your team by asking them to donate practical items (e.g., toothbrushes and toothpaste, school supplies, children’s books in English, gently used modest clothing, and shoes) to distribute to the people in the areas where we will be serving.
     

  3. Verify that your passport is current and send a copy to ASAP. Your passport must have an expiration date no earlier than six months after your arrival date in Laos (in this case, July 8, 2020). A digital scan of your passport may be e-mailed to ASAP Field Special Projects Coordinator, Angy Plata, at angy.plata@asapministries.org.
     
  4. Book airline tickets: You may book your own tickets, but please consider purchasing them through Butler Travel. Nathanael Martin will assist in coordinating flights so that, whenever possible, trip participants can travel together on the same airline. You may contact Nathanael via phone at 503-879-5005 or by e-mail at nathan@butlertravel.com.

    NOTE: For U.S. citizens, it is possible to receive a tax break on your airfare. If interested, please call the ASAP office with your credit card information. After you have selected your flights, Nathanael will coordinate purchase of the tickets with ASAP Ministries. Then, ASAP Ministries will charge your credit card for the purchase price of the tickets, and this will appear as a tax-deductible donation to the “Mission Trip Fund” on your receipt.

    As you are reserving your flights, please attempt to find airline carriers with a baggage allotment of two 50 lb. checked bags so you can have room to bring supplies (Vacation Bible School-type items, gloves and work shoes, books needed in Laos, etc.) and practical gifts (clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, crayons, pencils and pens, etc.) to share with the people in the areas where we’ll be serving.

    Since mission trip team members will be flying into Vientiane and departing from Luang Prabang, it may be least expensive to purchase round-trip tickets from your country of origin to Bangkok, Thailand and separate one-way tickets from Bangkok to Vientiane and from Luang Prabang to Bangkok. However, if you choose this option, please note that many airlines that fly between Laos and Bangkok (e.g., Lao Airlines, Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways) only allow 20 kgs of checked baggage. So, although it is often possible to carry two 50 lb. bags on the flight to Bangkok, it may be difficult to transport them from Bangkok to Laos.
     

  5. Visit the CDC website and get recommended vaccines.
     
  6. Pay your $1,400 mission trip fee by the deadline (you will be notified of the deadline upon approval of your application). You may pay by check or by credit card, either online or by calling the ASAP office at 269-471-3026.
  • If paying online, go to the Give Now page on the ASAP Ministries website; under “Have My Gift Go Towards” select “Split Gift.” Then, enter $1,400 under “Other” and enter “2020 ASAP Laos Mission Trip” under “Description.”
  • If mailing a check, send the mission trip fee to the following address: ASAP Ministries, PO Box 84, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

 

Dress Code

We want to dress in such a way that the people of Laos can see Jesus through us and not be distracted in any way by what we wear.

  • Men: Long pants and short- or long-sleeve plain shirts with collars
  • Women: Loose skirts or dresses at least two inches below the knee and short- or long-sleeve modest, loose-fitting simple shirts (unless working on a construction site). Capris or dress pants may be worn on days off.
  • Weather: January is typically a cooler month in Laos, but just like in the U.S. the weather varies from one place to another. It is humid and warm most of the year in most places. However, there are some locations, particularly in the mountains, where freezing temperatures are possible during the winter months. So, pack clothing for both cool/cold and warm weather! 

 

Questions?

Please contact Angy Plata, Field Special Projects Coordinator, with all mission-trip related questions at angy.plata@asapministries.org