Where are we headed?
The Big Easy, the birthplace of jazz music, the center of Creole country, a.k.a. New Orleans.
Why are we going?
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated a community that was already struggling. At that time, Crossroads sent $150,000 and a truckload of donated supplies to the Gulf Region. In August 2008, Crossroads sent 300 people to build homes and friendships and to hang out with kids at Vacation Bible Camp. Saying the experience was incredible is like saying Graeter’s mint chip is just okay. Even now, years later, so much work remains for us to do. So we’re going back. God calls us to help those in need, so we will do everything we can to be a blessing.
Who can go?
This trip is for anyone—Crossroads people, non-Crossroads people, friends and family from out of town, people from all over the faith spectrum—with a heart for serving. The only requirement is that you are 18 years old, or 13 years old with a parent or guardian. And groups of two or more, like families or small groups, can sign up together.
How much does it cost?
$1,200. This covers the hotel, most meals, some activities, the bus ride there and back, plus donations to our partners in New Orleans - Habitat, Hands On, and Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. You'll be on your own for five meals, so you'll need to plan to pay for those, as well as if you want to buy beads, a King Cake, or a po' boy.
What if I don’t have that much money?
Join the club. We have a handshake. Close to 90% of people who have been on GO Trips did not have the funds sitting in their bank account when they decided to go. And nearly everyone raised the funds. Don’t let money stop you. Raising money is actually a very cool part of this experience. We’ll talk a lot more about the finance stuff later—and help you generate support raising ideas. We have an awesome web system that helps with this process, and a little faith goes a long way. Have some and see what happens.
Get ideas for support raising
Is there a deposit?
A non-refundable deposit is required as part of your application for this trip and must be paid via credit card or ACH. Cash, checks and money orders are not accepted.
How do I sign up?
Go to crossroads.net/GO and fill out an application no later than the posted deadline. We’ll ask you all kinds of questions like if you’re part of a group, who you’d like as your roommate, if you smell and so on. To complete your application, you will need to pay your non-refundable deposit. Applications are not complete until the depositis received. All applicants will be contacted once the application is received to confirm their trip participation.
What happens if more than enough people sign up? How do you decide who gets to go?
Sign ups will occur on a first come first served basis. Once the trip has reached its maximum number, sign-ups will automatically close and applications will no longer be accepted for that trip. There will be no lottery.
What work will we be doing?
You'll be working with our partners - Habitat, Hands On, and Franklin Avenue Baptist Church (FABC). Habitat provides the infrastructure, leaders, material coordination and logistics. You don't have to be a DIY expert to add value. Tasks range from simple things like hammering nails and painting to more complicated jobs like using a floor-print to assemble walls. Similarly, with Hands On, you can be plugged into a variety of projects that can include clearing blighted lots, painting, or light construction. In either case, you'll work for seven or eight hours a day in the New Orleans heat, so be prepared and capable. At FABC, we WILL NOT BE DOING VBC THIS YEAR. Our plan is to help elderly people in their community with home repairs. Our plan is to start back with the VBC program in 2020, but that will not be an option this year.
What if I can’t do the work?
While we hope to have jobs for all skill sets, ages and 5k times, please know that the trip can be exhausting. We will be on our feet a lot, getting up early, climbing in and out of big buses, and the 18 or so hours in a plane is an obstacle we can’t change. If you have concerns about your physical situation, please talk to us. We want everyone to GO, but if you ignore your physical limitations up front, you could end up being miserable.
What else will we do?
You’re a planner, aren’t you? On Sunday, fresh from our 17-hour bus ride, we’ll attend a service at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. During the rest of the week, we’ll build relationships with folks in New Orleans and have some time to experience some of the city’s culture, like its renowned jazz music. There will be other stuff, too. But we have to leave a few surprises….
Will I have to preach or pray in front of people?
Not unless you want to. This trip is for everyone, regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey. But you will be challenged and have a ton of opportunity to grow.
What is the travel like?
We’ll travel on several commercial jets, each with the latest in movies and music, comfy sleep socks,…oh, wait—that was GO South Africa. For us, it’s about a 17-hour bus trip, with an occasional stop along the way to chow down on gas station Cheetos and to use a real restroom. These are nice buses. Really. And they can play movies. But it’s a long drive. So please take a shower and refrain from Skyline immediately prior to boarding.
Can I fly down instead of taking the bus?
Nope. Sorry. This is a group experience—and part of that experience is 17 hours on the bus. Think of it as a great time to meet new friends, watch people sleep and rest before a week of hard labor.
Where are we staying?
At the Embassy Suites New Orleans. You’ll have access to the things you’d expect: showers, beds, hairdryers, bad TV, Internet access…even a pool.
What about roommates?
Everybody on the trip gets a roommate. Married co-ed couples may room together, otherwise you and your significant other get split up for the trip (no shacking up on Crossroads time). If you have questions, come talk to us.
What will we do to prepare for the trip?
We will have a series of meetings leading up to the trip, where you will learn more about NOLA, learn more about what we are doing, meet others who are going and just have a good time. Out-of-town people will have a GO Group Leader assigned to keep them in the loop via email so they don’t have to keep coming to the ‘Nati.
Anything else you really want to tell me?
If you want to take a vacation to NOLA, then we encourage you to do so. It’s beautiful. That being said, this is not that trip. Deciding to go with us means you want to be a part of a mission to change the world. In pursuit of that group goal, however, you may not get to do everything you want to do in the way you like to do things. It’s a part of submitting to something bigger than yourself. But if you GO, we promise an incredible experience! We can do more together than we can as individuals.