Mission Trips

Nicaragua 2016

First Church team in Nicaragua, 2016

“God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship [and] to be servants in the service of the whole human family…” –From the UCC Statement of Faith

Grounded in the tradition of the United Church of Christ as expressed in our Statement of Faith, our church’s youth and adults are encouraged to participate in a variety of mission and service opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally. Each year the mission trip planning team explores opportunities for participation in service to others as well as environmental, cultural, and spiritual learning through the mission trip program. Together, we make a difference in the lives of others while learning about ourselves and our faith. In the past, First Church mission trip participants have made a difference through work and education projects in Maine; South Carolina; Washington, DC; Pine Ridge, South Dakota; the Dominican Republic; the Heifer International Learning Center at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts; Nicaragua; and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Mission Trip Planning Team guides each trip by identifying support organizations at the location, assessing the values and goals of the mission, coordinating travel, identifying adult leadership, and guiding fund-raising for the trip. Check this website throughout the year for information on upcoming trips.

Spring Mission Trip to Jinotega, Nicaragua

April 21 – 28, 2018

Join our group of First Church youth and adults as we travel to Nicaragua for a week of mission work and fellowship. Working together with the leaders of Outreach360, we will play an important role in teaching English and Spanish Literacy to elementary school children living in the poorest neighborhoods of Jinotega. By teaching children burdened by the limitations of poverty, we empower them to transform their own lives. Our core purpose is to “Release the Hero Within.” As we work together to “Release the Hero Within” each child, we are simultaneously “Releasing the Hero” within ourselves.

By immersing ourselves in the culture, learning, and play of these vibrant youngsters, we also learn and grow. The mission trip is more than the power of education and the wonder of experiencing first hand life in a developing nation. It is about transforming lives, not only the lives of the children we serve, but our own lives as well.

Come join us on this life changing adventure. You do not need to speak Spanish or have experience as a teacher. You just need to care about others and want to discover how humble living can enrich your life.

Application Form:  Download, print, and return the completed form to Rev. Ken McGarry at the church office (1 Concord Street, Nashua, NH  03064) along with your initial payment (see below) by Sunday, February 4.

Registration with Outreach360:  Each team member will need to sign up with Outreach360:

  • Log on to https://outreach360.org/registration/
  • Select “Join a Pre-Registered Team/Family”
  • Select “First Church Nashua” as your team
  • If you do not yet have a passport, include your name as it will appear on your passport

Cost and Payments:  The total trip cost is $500 per participant.  This is about a third of the actual trip cost, but due to fundraising efforts and donations, we are able to provide the trip at this reduced amount.  Trip participants are expected to participate in all upcoming group fundraisers.  An initial payment of $150 is now due.  The balance of $350 is due on April 1.  Checks should be made payable to First Church of Nashua and delivered to Rev. Ken McGarry at the church office.  Contact Ken if financial assistance is required.

Passport:  You must have a valid passport to travel from the United States to Nicaragua and back.  If you do not yet have a passport, you should apply for one immediately as receiving one typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks from the time of application; expedited service of 2 to 3 weeks is available for an extra fee.  Info about U.S. passport applications is here:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/how-to-apply.html

Vaccination and Health Concerns:  There are no special vaccinations required to travel to Nicaragua unless you are also planning on traveling to certain African and/or Central or South American countries in the weeks prior to our trip.  If you will be returning from a trip to any African or Central or South American countries after April 9, you may need to get a Yellow Fever vaccination sometime between April 10 and 20.  Check here to see if you will need to obtain this vaccination.  If so, see the vaccination requirements for entry into Nicaragua here.

Health Concerns and Insurance:  Health and travel insurance is provided for all group members through Outreach360.  Please see insurance and health information here.

Safety Concerns:  While the US State Department currently does not recommend against traveling to Nicaragua, it is recommended that those who do so take certain precautions.  See the travel advisory and related information here.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • Sunday, February 25, 11:30 a.m. – Mission Trip Team Meeting in Room 15
  • Saturday, March 10 – Talent Show Fundraiser
  • Sunday, April 1 – $350 final payment due
  • Saturday, April 21 – Group departs
  • Saturday, April 28 – Group returns
  • Other meeting and activity dates will be added to this list

Coming Soon:  Packing list, item donation request, detailed itinerary, emergency contact information


Summer Mission Trip to Houston

June 23 – 30, 2018

A team of youth and adults from First Church will be traveling to Texas from June 23-30 to help families recover from damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.  If you and/or a member of your family are interested in learning more about this mission trip, please join us for an informational meeting in the chapel at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 18.  Non-members are welcome to join us as well, so please feel free to invite any friends to participate in the trip and informational meeting.  There is no need to sign up for the meeting, but contact Rev. Ken if you have any questions or would like to know more about the trip but are unable to attend the informational meeting.

 


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