Damaris and I have been blessed to have safely hosted over 1000 missionaries in Guatemala over the past 9 years, serving thousands of children and their families living in extreme poverty in Guatemala, Praise Be to God. I have also led two missions to India, and we have attended a mission in Haiti. For years, our mission crew members have asked us if we would teach others how to do what we do, so they could lead their own mission someday.
The reason we do missions is because we feel called to:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself." - Mark 12:30-31
We know that we have not been loving God with our ALL. We know we could love many others, if we could use our knowledges and experience to teach others how to lead safe, and successful missions to developing countries. But how?
How can we pass on what we have learned so others can avoid our pitfalls, and benefit from our successes? We have pondered...
What would be the most effective way to train others how to host their own mission?
- Write a book?
- Record a series of Audio Podcasts and Videos?
- Offer online resources of tools, templates, and training?
- Create a live event with keynote speakers?
- Host hands-on training and debriefing in a developing country?
- Offer one-on-one training and consulting on setting up a specific program?
We felt one without the other would be incomplete, and might possibly set our friends, and mission students up for failure. So, we have decided to do all of the above.
This summer, Damaris and I are offering a brand new program during our 4th week of missions. This is something we have been talking and praying about for years, and we have finally decided...Now is the time. We are calling it:
Mission Bootcamp: How to Organize and Lead Your Own Mission to a Developing Country - July 13-20, 2014
Mission Bootcamp will be designed to prepare students to lead their own future mission in Guatemala, or another developing country, using proven, battle-tested planning techniques, tools, and resources that we have learned to use and trust over the last nine years of leading mission teams to Guatemala.
During this special Mission Bootcamp each participant will receive:
- Over a dozen keynote talks from expert speakers on missions from the U.S. and Guatemala
- Practical step-by-step training by Shawn and Damaris sharing their 9 yrs of experience serving thousands living in extreme poverty, and leading over 1000 children and adults from the U.S. safely on missions in Guatemala
- Solutions to the greatest problems we have encountered in our 9 yrs of mission of work
- A practical list of effective missions projects, which projects to avoid, and why
- Hands-on immersion exercises on how to find building mat's, food, lodging, and ground transport, and how to set up projects on-the-ground
- Loads of registration and PR templates, forms, online tools, apps, and resources for leading missions
- Our personal contacts for Guatemalan ground transport, mission lodgings, and village leaders, and projects they need help with next year
- Networking opportunities with other future missionaries
- Access to a private Facebook Group of fellow missionaries and Mission Bootcamp students and graduates
- Access to a virtual ticket of all keynote talks after the mission
- Daily time with Shawn & Damaris for mission Q&A, training, and encouragement
- An opportunity to serve a new village with limited service projects (Stoves, VBS, and Donations/Humanitarian Aid)
Plus, All Will Receive Practical Training On How To:
- Set up a sound mission budget
- Set up daily and weekly mission schedules that is productive, but will not burn out your volunteers
- Set up successful building projects in a developing country
- Find quality people and programs to partner with in developing countries
- Keep volunteers safe, while providing a life-changing, purpose-filled mission experience
- Find safe hotel and ground transport for missions in developing countries
- and much more
A portion of our time during Mission Bootcamp will be spent doing service projects at a new village (Stoves, VBS, and donations), so students will get hands-on experience serving in a new village. However, this time, we will pull the curtain back on our process with all the behind-the-scenes problems that exist when setting up new projects with new village hosts. In fact, we've already begun recording this process with audio podcasts and blog entries so you can track our progress right up to the mission in July.
Mission Bootcamp Cost
If we were to offer this kind of training here in the U.S., we would charge at least $750/person just for 3 days of the training sessions alone. The training, plus food, hotel, and flight costs WITHIN THE U.S. would be over $1,500 total.
However, we are are offering over 5 days of training, (over 20 contact hours) ONSITE IN GUATEMALA INCLUDED in the mission bootcamp price, AND the hands-on immersion training. PLUS we will be spending a portion of our time serving a new community of children living in extreme poverty by sharing the love and hope of Jesus, and helping with their greatest needs.
We will provide over 20 contact hours of practical training, PLUS:
- Airfare to/from the U.S.
- Safe, licensed, and insured ground transport
- Exquisite lodgings at Hotel Candelaria Antigua
- Professional conference facilities
- Excellent and safe food and purified water at the hotel and worksite
- Immersion experiential learning exercises
- Service projects serving those living in extreme poverty
All of the above will be included for the same price as our normal missions to Guatemala:
Only $1,600/person for 1 week (INCLUDING AIRFARE, FOOD, LODGING, GROUND TRANSPORT)
Only $2,100/person for 2 Weeks (including airfare, food, lodging, ground transport)
That's right - all of this training for the SAME PRICE AS OUR MISSIONS, and only $500 more to come 1 week earlier to get more experience serving on one of our mission crews. You or your fellow Bootcampers would also like to experience a full mission week as a Crew Member and serve during Week 3 in Santa Maria de Jesus as well, it will only cost $500 more to come for both Week 3 and Week 4.
Mission Bootcamp BONUSES (over $500 value)
In addition to all of the incredible value above, there may be other benefits for you and your church leaders coming to learn during our Mission Bootcamp. Because as part of the training, we will provide access to step-by-step instructions, with guides of all of the equipment and apps necessary to create an easily created and managed online platform and social media presence.
In addition to our Mission Bootcamp Training, we will also teach you step-by-step instructions how to:
- Build an inexpensive, media-rich, mobile-optimized, world-class website without learning HTML, or hiring a web developer. You will learn how to easily accept donations, credit cards, and echeck transfers; collect and manage email mailing lists, and easily integrate and publish blog and podcast posts and news updates to social media. I used this exact system to build this website, and I can teach you how to set up and manage it with the ease of click, drag, and drop.
- Set up online mission registration with Google Docs that integrates with your website
- Set up PayPal and Intuit E-CHECK buttons for your website to accept donations
- Set up tools to easily and automatically track mission funds including deposits, receipts, and wire transfers - even from Guatemala!
- Set up a powerful email server to manage your mailing lists, and set up auto-responder emails
- Create a pro-quality audio podcast, and how to publish it on iTunes
- Set up a pro-quality, multi-microphone mobile podcast recording rig. This is what I use to record our mission podcasts with. What most don't realize is that it all fits in a backpack, allows you to record right into your iPhone or iPad, or even out in the field, so you can interview anyone, anywhere
- Create and manage a private and public online forum
- Create and manage a Private Facebook Page
These are all tools that we have learned are key to run a successful, low-overhead, highly successful mission. However, they may be helpful to you not only for a future mission, but also for other areas of church life and ministry. This BONUS training alone is worth hundreds of dollars, but will be provided for free as part of the Mission Bootcamp.
Worried About the Cost?
Concerned about finances? Let me share this fact with you: Of the 1000+ missionaries that we have hosted in the 9 years of leading missions to Guatemala, not one person has not been able to raise the funds. Not one. You can find the $. God DOES provide. He has for us. Damaris and I have needed to fundraise over $7,000/yr for the past nine years in order to lead these missions as volunteers, on a Christian musician's salary. Trust me: You can do it. Plus, we can help. We have a FUNDRAISING KIT on our FORMS page
Bring a Friend
No, seriously. If you come, we strongly recommend bringing at least 1 other leader to join you for our Mission Bootcamp; ideally someone who may be interested in joining you to lead a mission team of your own someday. Although it is possible for 1 person to organize a mission, it is far better for 2 leaders organize, lead, and support each other to put together a mission. Plus, by bringing a partner, it will reinforce the learning, especially after you return home.
Now Is the Time...to Share
Damaris and I do not know if we will be able to offer this kind of hands-on, in-country training program in the future. So we hope that you and/or your church or organization will take advantage of this rare opportunity for us to share our experience, knowledge, contacts, and resources to continue, and even expand the mission work we have established over the past 9 years. Please consider joining us. Pray about it!
Limited Space Available
Although we accept up to 50 Crew Members per week with our other mission weeks, we are limiting our Mission Bootcamp to only 30 students. (As of today, there are only 20 spots left). If you have ever wanted to lead your own mission to a developing country, please do not miss this opportunity. We would love to help you make your desire, dream, or calling a reality. Sincerely, this program may never be offered again. Register below to guarantee your spot.