Requirements for Immersion

Who goes on our trips?

  • Front line parish and diocesan front line ministers and leaders who want to bring a global solidarity perspective to their own spirituality, ministry and programs.

  • Those interested in exploring further opportunities for international mission experiences, including short term mission opportunities.

  • Maryknoll Affiliates. Maryknoll friends and sponsors.

Requirements for a successful experience on a short term immersion mission trip

  • For the foreseeable future, proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination will be required to participate

  • Doing the visits to the different ministries and enjoying tourist sites requires ability to walk unassisted and the ability to remain standing for up to 30 minutes. Most of the sites do not have the same accommodations for persons with mobility issues that would found in the U.S., such as ramps, etc.

  • Ability to climb up and down stairs - getting in and out of transportation, accommodation sites, and from airplanes without walkways.

  • Ability to carry your own luggage. Suggestion: pack light!

  • Depending on trip and location, ability to acclimate well to altitude - 2,560 meters or 8,396 feet above sea level at some locations, such as Cochabamba, Bolivia If on prescription medicine, please consult your health care provider about the impact altitude may have on your health.

  • Ability to not be severely impacted by higher levels of air pollution, dust and noise associated with developing countries.

  • Good listening skills and a sense of adventure. Our trips focus on relationship building and the first step in the encounter with others is being able to actively listen to their stories.

  • Capacity to be humble and accept hospitality. At times it can be challenging to accept the generosity of those who live with much less than we are used to having.

  • Enjoy table-fellowship and have the ability to eat a variety of foods and generally be open to the Gospel value of "eat what is offered you." Luke 10:8. Generally vegetarian diets can be accommodated. And, no, you won't have to eat anything too weird or strange, but generally meals are served "family style" with limited individual choices.

  • Flexibility when it comes to accommodations. Most of the places we stay are wonderful, clean and safe, and have individual bathrooms, but occasionally bathrooms are shared. However, if you need 5 star accommodations, our trips are probably not for you.

  • A sense of humor and adaptability to the schedule. We try our best to create balanced itineraries but in many places where we visit we will need to be sensitive to the calendars of our hosts and their sense of timing and flexible to ongoing adjustments to our plans.

  • Be comfortable traveling as a community. Generally our immersion trips consists of groups of 6 to 12 people. Bonds of friendship and comradery develop early. But we travel more like a pack of dogs, than individual cats, meaning that you must be open to what's best for the group and at times let go of what you'd want to do if you were on your own and yield to the group dynamic.

  • Willingness to be different and stand out in another culture, due to physical traits such as skin complexion, language, clothing and other individual characteristics, and accept that we are the guests. Sometimes this means realizing that what works in our home culture does not work in another culture.

  • Each country has different requirements for visas, but participants generally must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of the first day of the trip.

  • Each country has its own specific requirements for immunization. We suggest that you contact CDC or your own physician and/or a travel doctor to check the required immunizations and other trip precautions and preparations.

  • Openness to letting God do what God does in these situations. During our immersion trips we discover God through numerous encounters. With that comes the exciting potential to be stretched and grow in our understanding of God, others, ourselves and creation. Often through reflection and discernment we find that God may be inviting us to something new.

Nairobi Small Christian Community