Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Team Member Manual


Every team member will be asked to sign a “Purpose, Values and Mission Policy Agreement” form agreeing to the following:

Purpose – The purpose of Oklahoma Volunteers In Mission is to share the love of Christ in ways that make a Christian difference.

Values – Our values are:

* We seek to glorify God in all that we do by acting our belief that the commitment to Christ and service are inextricably bound together.

* We will be an extension ministry of the United Methodist Church in Oklahoma, responding to the specific requests of Methodist-related churches and agencies, both locally and around the world, and will partner with them in mission.

* We will equip our leaders and team members for effective ministry and seek, through our tasks and sharing of our time, talents and lives, to build relationships that enhance ministry and fulfill our purpose.

* We will value and respect other cultures and ways of life and will conduct ourselves accordingly.

*We will fulfill our commitment to every mission by returning home and sharing the story of Christian difference making.

Task— Our task is to share our abilities in partnership with our team members and those who host our team. As servants we participate in accomplishing particular goals set by and in cooperation with our hosts – in their time and in their way.

Primary Nature of the Mission – It is most important that we be consistently mindful of the primary nature of our purpose. The task is important but it is always to be secondary to

realizing our true mission as Christians together…to share Christ’s love. When we are faithful in our purpose, the difference that Christ intends will be made.

Mission Policy Agreement – You will be asked to acknowledge that you realize that the following commitment is crucial to the effectiveness, quality, and positive expression of our mission together. As a participating member of the VIM team, you will be asked to agree to:

1. Lift up Jesus Christ with your thoughts, words, and actions.

2. Develop and maintain a servant attitude toward the people our team serves as well as toward each team member.

3. Pray for and support your team leader and support his/her decisions.

4. Respect the host’s view of religious faith, realizing that different people have different expressions of faith.

5. Accept the ministry that is going on in the area where you are serving as well as the local approach to the mission, though it may differ from your own.

6. Abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, inappropriate clothing, and profanity during the mission.

7. Refrain from negativism and complaining. Travel and ministry outside your church may present unexpected and even undesired circumstances. However, your support and creativity will enhance the moment.

8. Refrain from gossip. If it not true, good, and positive, do not say it.

9. Remember that you are a servant of Jesus Christ called to be in ministry with the host team. Serve as best you can so that both the spiritual purpose and the task of the mission will be accomplished.


Here are some things you need to do before the trip.

1.) Have a Valid Passport

Your passport expiration date must be more than 6 months from the date of the mission. It must also have two facing pages with no marks or stamps on them. Otherwise, you must order a renewal passport prior to the mission. To get or renew a US passport, go to

 Give a copy of the first two pages of your passport to Team Leader.
 Leave a copy of your passport with someone at home.
 Make a copy of your passport that you will carry with you to Kenya.

2.) Get Necessary Shots

If you don’t already have the necessary shots to travel to Kenya, you need to get them soon.
At a minimum, it is recommended that you

 have a current inoculation for Yellow Fever ($75.00; good for 10 years)
 get a Tetanus/Diphtheria booster shot
 get (from your doctor) and take anti-malaria medication

Some immunizations are only available through the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. Call 425-4362 and ask for the “Travel Immunizations Department” to make an appointment.

Meflaquine or Larium is recommended to prevent malaria. You should begin taking malaria medication 1-2 weeks before leaving on the trip, continue during the trip and conclude 2 weeks after you return home. Please be aware that even if you are taking the medication you can still get malaria. Malaria can be easily cured. Bring insect repellent, avoid being outside late at night, use your mosquito net and you should have no problems.

Also recommended are shots for Hepatitis A and B,, adult polio booster, Meningococcal, and Typhoid. There is no effective vaccination for cholera.

3.) Arrange for Prayer Partners Before and During the Mission Trip

Encourage friends and members of your church to pray for you and for the entire mission team as you prepare to depart and while you are in Kenya.

4.) Complete the Required VIM Forms

The Team Leader will provide you with VIM forms you must complete.

Once they are signed and (where appropriate) notarized, give them to the Team Leader.

Make two copies for yourself – one to leave at home and one to carry with you.

The forms you must complete are:

~ Purpose, Values, Tasks and Mission Policy Agreement
~ Medical Release
~ Medical Information & Emergency Contacts
~ Notification of Death
~ Liability Release
~ Mission Team Insurance
~ To My Physician (optional)
~ Parental Consent (if applicable)

5.) Pay the VIM Mission Trip Fees

The cost to participate on this mission is $3,000 per person which covers airfare, transportation, lodging, secondary insurance, and most meals.

 A deposit of $150 holds your place on the mission team until September 15.

 $1,425 is due on September 15. This money is partially non-refundable.

 Final $1,425 is due November 22, 2005.

Your payments can be made through your church or directly to VIM (i.e., payable to “Oklahoma Volunteers in Mission”). Checks should be marked “For Kenya-9026-002.” Mail to Shannon Lemmons, OK VIM, 1501 NW 24th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

6.) If Possible, Attend Team Orientation Meetings

Your Team Leader will schedule several orientation meetings before you depart to help team members get better acquainted, learn about Kenya and get answers to questions.

7.) Volunteer to Take A Team Member Job Assignment

Mission members will be asked to take on various team responsibilities. Assignments include:

Devotion Leader (Cliff Hanoch) – Organize brief morning and evening devotions

Financial Secretary (Kathy Hanoch) – Help track spending, receipts, etc.

Work Crew Leader (Marshall Lauan) – Monitor work and explain how to use the tools

Journal Keeper (__________________) – Record key facts, names, etc

Photographer (Brian Morrell) – Take photos of groups, hosts, and special moments

Baggage Monitors (Phil Davis & ________) – Watch and count luggage when we are traveling

Van Leaders (Gay Abarr, ______ & _______) – Be sure your van members aren’t left behind

Music Leader (Drew LaMunyon) – Bring lyrics and music for when the team sings

Team Medic (Drew LaMunyon) – Maintain the team’s medical kit

Blogger (Katie McLain) – Periodically get access to Internet and post to our weblog

Drinks/Snacks (Becky LaMunyon & Rachael Hanoch) – Monitor snacks/water supplies

Dinner Liaison (__________________) – Work on dinner menus with hotel staff

8.) Schedule a Sending Forth Ceremony At Your Church

Encourage your minister to hold a special sending forth ceremony during worship service on the Sunday before you depart for Kenya. VIM can provide a brief commissioning service.

9.) Help Raise Funds to Build the Children’s Library

Help raise funds for the 30 foot by 60 foot one-story children’s library building we are constructing. We have raised all but $3,000 of the $18,000 needed to purchase building materials, pay for permits, and cover labor costs. If we raise more than $18,000, we might be able to add plumbing and/or electricity. (It is our hope that another VIM team will travel to Meru, Kenya in the near future to complete this building project. )


As a general rule, airlines allow two checked bags as well as one bag and one personal item to be carried on the plane.

We ask that only one of your two checked bag be used to transport your personal belongings. Your second checked suitcase will be used to carry team items such as tools, supplies, gifts, etc.

No sharp instruments may be carried in your carry-on luggage. Boxes are considered non-luggage and, in the event of an over-full plane, will be left behind first. In order to expedite the customs process, bring a list of items that are in each of the bags for which you are responsible.

Your carry-on items should be limited to a combined total of 25 lbs. Your checked luggage is limited to 50 lbs. per bag before the airline will begin assessing overweight fees.

Pack one medium sized bag with wheels for your personal items and clothes. You will have to handle this bag – along with your carryon items – by yourself, so bring bag of a manageable size. Space for luggage on the vans and in your room is limited. You will want to store your suitcases under your bed, so avoid thick luggage. For your second suitcase (filled with team supplies), try to use an old suitcase that you won’t mind leaving behind.

Although Meru is almost directly on the equator, it is at 5,600 ft elevation so is usually cool. At night, it will be in the 50's and 60's. Daytime temperatures depend on the month; the coolest months are May, June, July, November, and December. The rainy seasons are mid-October through mid-December and mid-March through May. It is usually in the 80 - 85 F. Layer your clothes so as it warms up you can shed items. However, remember the sun is intense so try to always wear sunscreen and a hat.

Here are some suggestions to help you when packing:

Carry-On Items (Things you don’t want to lose; to get you through Sat, Jan 14)

Money pouch to carry passport and money
Money (see discussion on currency below)
Airline ticket (provided at OKC airport)
Photo identification (driver’s license or other)
Passport (plus a copy in one suitcase)
Yellow international immunization booklet
VIM forms (medical information, notification of death, liability release, medical release)
Medications (in their original containers)
Copies of prescriptions for medicines you take
Camera, accessories, extra battery and charger
Twice the film you think you will use
Sweater or light jacket
Travel pillow, eye mask, earplugs, slippers
Small binoculars (mostly for on safari)
Wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Lip balm, hand lotion
Wash cloth and a small, light weight towel
“No water” bacterial hand sanitizer
Battery driven alarm clock and extra batteries
Journal and lots of pens or pencils
Devotional and/or other reading material
Small flashlight and extra batteries
Personal toiletries
Small calculator for currency exchange
Credit cards (for use at Lodge, Nairobi stores)
Snacks and a small water bottle
Insect repellant containing DEET
Nightgown/pajamas for first night in Nairobi
One change of clothes

Clothes for the Work Site (Work clothes can be left behind and donated)

Comfortable cotton slacks or blue jeans
Cotton shirts, T-shirts or hospital scrubs
Lace up shoes with thick soles or work boots
Several pairs of work socks
Light jacket, sweat shirt or shawl for cool evenings
Your favorite work gloves (the team leader is bringing 24 pairs of cotton work gloves)
Avoid tight fitting clothing; it’s inappropriate. Also, no shorts, no tank tops, no sleeveless tops!

Clothes for Attending Worship Service on two Sundays

Dress is casual but nice. Many Kenyan women wear bright patterned dresses and long skirts. Do not wear sleeveless blouses or tank tops. Ladies might wear a jumper, a skirt, a casual dress or a pant suit. Men might wear khaki’s or nice casual pants with a nice shirt. Consider one pair of sandals or comfortable walking shoes.

Clothes for the Safari

We will safari in Northern Kenya which is further north and at a lower elevation than Meru. Expect cool mornings and hot, dry afternoons.
Light jacket, sweat shirt or shawl for 6 am tour
It is quite dusty so khaki colors work well and don’t draw the attention of animals. However, blue jeans are fine and, on safari, shorts are okay, too.
Shoes with thick soles as the ground can be very rocky.
A swimsuit (There is a lovely pool at the Lodge)
A wide-brimmed hat, insect repellent, sun screen, sun glasses, a camera, binoculars

Other Items You Might Also Consider Bringing

An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
Lots of batteries (including hearing aid batteries if appropriate)
A small backpack or satchel to carry items to and from the work site (bottled water, journal, insect repellant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, camera, extra batteries and film, sunglasses, etc.)
Travel converter and the appropriate plug for Africa (if bringing battery charger, etc)
Snack food (your own personal treats)
Many-pocketed travel vest and/or safari pants are very practical

You might bring an MP3/IPod or portable CD player but leave home your portable radio unless it is a very powerful shortwave radio as most programs are broadcast in Swahili or Kimeru.


Only those persons who have paid their FULL mission fee AND provided a photocopy of the first two pages of their passport will be ticketed.

Tickets are not refundable for any reason including illness and death in the ticket holder’s immediate family. They can only be changed – and all changes must be made prior to the original departure date. Otherwise the ticket will be null and void. There is a fee assessed for any changes made.

All air miles earned accrue to the Oklahoma VIM Office.


To assure that every member of an OK VIM mission is covered in the event of an accident at any location in the world, during all periods and phases of the mission, participation in the low cost OK VIM insurance program is required of each missioner. The cost of this insurance is included in your team mission fees.

Mission team members are covered for injury for the duration of the mission. The plan covers medical payments up to a limit of $10,000 per person and $3 million per occurrence. This insurance does NOT cover illness not caused by injury.

With this coverage, team members also have the same coverage as provided under the Oklahoma Workers Compensation law which includes full medical benefits, benefits for disability, loss of limb or eyes, referral to medical specialists, medical monitoring when hospitalized, emergency medical evacuation to an adequate facility, medically necessary repatriation, as well as return of mortal remains. This is a worldwide executive assistance plan.

You may also sign up for short-term supplemental traveler’s insurance if you so desire.


Kaaga School for the Deaf – Team members will begin construction on a small children’s library at the Kaaga School for the Deaf. The 30’x60’ foundation has already been poured.
If time permits, team members will also paint several of the school’s classrooms.

Kaaga Methodist Church – On one Saturday, team members will paint simple murals (or, at least, the outlines for murals) on the walls of the three new classrooms at the church. We will also have a chance to visit with the Sunday school teachers about rotation classes. We may also be asked to take part in church worship services on both Sundays that we are in Meru.

Other Area Programs and Projects – The team will tour several other Methodist church-sponsored projects in the Meru area including the School for the Mentally Handicapped, the Children’s Development Center which serves over 300 children each Saturday at Kaaga Methodist Church, Kaaga Children’s Home and Maua Methodist Hospital. We will bring greetings from Methodists in Oklahoma, visit briefly with administrators and children, and present a gift to the director of each program or institution.


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