Where are we headed?
Soweto, a mega-township just outside Johannesburg, South Africa, is a place overrun with serious problems, like HIV and extreme poverty. There’s also serious dancing, singing and joy. We guarantee you’ve never been anywhere like it.
Why are we going?
Because when a lot of us GO, God shows up…and we want to see what happens when we allow God to lead us. Crossroads is developing partnerships in South Africa to bring about transformative change, and we want to throw some fuel on that fire. There is no better way than sending people to work alongside these partners and give them a boost in their efforts to help those who are hurting.
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?
$3,200. This covers your flight, hotel, meals, work supplies and activities. Stuff not covered are things like souvenirs, snacks at the airport, passport fees (if you need a new one) and shots (if you decide to get them).
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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 a GO Trip with us didn’t have the funds sitting in their bank account or stuffed in a mattress, but 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 financial stuff and help you generate ideas for how to raise funds. We also have an awesome website that helps with this process, and a little faith goes a long way. Have some and see what happens.
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 roomate, 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 deposit is 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 I be doing?
We’re not totally sure, but that’s the fun that comes with being a part of something bigger than yourself. Our partners on the ground primarily will be directing the work on these trips. It may include construction, planting food, working with kids, painting and just spending time with people in need. Whatever you do, we promise it will be meaningful. We’ll talk more about this in our pre-trip meetings.
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?
Seriously? What more do you need? We may go on a safari, go to the Apartheid Museum, attend worship services, stay a night in people’s homes (big trip only) and generally have a seriously awesome adventure. Let’s just GO.
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 opportunities to grow.
What is the travel like?
You will fly on a commercial airline, most likely Delta or South African Airways. It takes about 24 hours to get there. It’s a great time to catch up on sleep, talk to people you are traveling with, read, watch movies on your 21st century in-seat entertainment system, listen to every song on your iPod twice, or just do nothing…which you probably haven’t done in a long time.
Can I use miles, fly in business class, or make my own travel plans?
Nope. We are taking this trip as one group with one mission. And that means we work together, eat together and travel in the back of the plane together. Because of the complexities of getting groups of people to the other side of the world, all of our travel plans are centrally booked (Thank God for travel agents). You may however, earn thousands of miles for your flights. So that’s kinda cool.
Where are we staying?
Where you stay is trip specific and you will get more info in the pre-trip meetings. You’ll have access to the basic, familiar stuff—showers, beds, food, strangely compelling Afro-Euro TV programming, etc. We will eat breakfast and dinner together.
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.
Is it safe in South Africa?
Traveling abroad is different in the U.S. Certain risks and hazards exist. Traveling and staying in groups is the best protection. We will always travel in groups, and we will always have people who speak the many languages (English is common). You’ll probably need to get some standard shots (that’s up to you and your doctor), and we’ll have plenty of purified water available.
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 South Africa, learn more about what we are doing, meet others who are going and just have a good time. We also have a website full of trip resources. 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 South Africa, 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.