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FAQs

How do we get started?

Check out each of the four trip options to figure out what works best for you: Design, Invite, Connect, or Respond. Follow directions on how to sign up for any of those trips. Or contact Dale Lusk at 956-458-9568 or dale.lusk@covchurch.org for information on how to get started.


 
Do we have to pay a deposit?

Merge Design teams pay a $275 deposit for the entire team. Merge Invite teams pay a $30 deposit per person. Once the deposits have been received, the trip is confirmed and the Merge staff will begin to work on the details.


 

When do we have to pay the balance?

One month before the trip starts. This applies to all Merge trips. 

 

When does Merge offer trips?

Only Merge Invite trips are time-specific, but Merge Design, Respond, and Connect trips can take place any time of year.


Who can go on Merge trips? Even children?

Anyone. We welcome children on most of our trips. Some Merge Invite trips do have age restrictions, and Merge Respond trips usually are much better with adults.

Does Merge take families? Multi-generational trips?

Merge’s experience is that multi-generational trips are the best type of teams. Teams made up of families are excellent as well.


How much do Merge trips cost?

Merge Connect trips are $650 for the entire team. Merge Invite trips have different budgets (check out the options). Merge Design trip budgets are based on the housing, ministry options, length of trip, location, etc. Generally, these trips cost about $650-800 per person, plus travel to the destination.


Are Merge trips safe?

Merge is responsible to the Evangelical Covenant Church leadership and can only implement trips based on meeting the risk assessment criteria of a particular location. If the risk criteria are not met, trips to that location are suspended until further assessment is completed.  

I’ve never led a trip like this before. Will you help me?

Merge coaches are trained to walk you through every detail of the trip and make you as successful as possible. We’ve been doing this for 30 years. Your specific coach will be following a checklist to make sure all details are covered. 

Will your staff be with us when we arrive?

The Merge staff will be with you from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. Their job is to take care of you.


Do you provide training materials, devotions and stuff like that?

Yes. We provide training material for you and we will go to your church to train your team if you are participating in a Merge Design or Merge Invite trip. Our staff is available to lead devotions and debriefings with your team during the trip and even after.


Do we need to provide translators?

No. Merge will provide translators whenever necessary.

Can we develop a long-term relationship with the site we partner with?

Of course. We love when that happens! Our goal is to coach both your team and the global partner to create long-term healthy and appropriate ministry-related relationships if both groups wish to do so.


What will we be doing?

Merge Invite trips have specific ministry focus for your teams, based on the desires of the global partner. Merge Design trips will utilize the skills of your team, and the desires of the global partner together to determine the best ministries for you both to do together.  

Where will we stay?

The best option is staying in the homes of the ministry you partner with. If that is not possible, other options include churches, retreat centers, hotels, etc.

What will we be eating, and what if I have team members with food allergies/preferences?

We prefer to hire local people to cook your food as much as possible. We do our best to meet the specific dietary needs of the people on your team.


What if someone gets hurt or sick?

Our local staff have information and access to local clinics, hospitals, and embassies. They are required to have an emergency plan for all teams, and all teams are required to have medical insurance.


What if our team or an individual have to cancel?

Merge will reimburse everything except for your initial deposit and any expenses Merge incurred preparing your trip. The earlier you cancel the more we can reimburse to you.

Can youth groups or children go on disaster rebuilding trips?

We do not recommend youth or children participating in Merge Respond trips because they often lack the physical abilities required for effective disaster rebuilding and may be exposed to unsafe working conditions.