Vision for Africa Information
Goals for the Mission
- Declare the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
- Bring healing to those in need through eye care, medical, mosquito net and sanitary pad distribution.
What is “Vision for Africa”?
Vision for Africa is a united effort of multiple Lutheran congregations to reach the mission goals stated above. Salem Lutheran Church serves as the cornerstone congregation for “Vision for Africa” by providing assistance in scheduling trips, securing supplies, and hosting regular meetings for the participating congregations to coordinate their efforts.
Salem's cost for each clinic mission is over $3,000 per participant (includes airline ticket, Kenya ground transportation, most meals, lodging, supplies and equipment, etc.). To contribute to the cost of the mission, participants are asked to contribute $1500. The rest of the cost of the mission is subsidized by Salem Lutheran Church.
Each traveler is responsible for his/her own transportation to and from Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Participants are NOT to leave the airport during any airline layover, regardless of length of layover.
You must pack lightly. On the aircraft, each team member will be allowed only one regulation sized carry-on bag plus one other SMALL personal bag (large purse, backpack, etc.) YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CHECK A SUITCASE OR LARGE BAG. The checked-bag allowance for each ticket will be allocated for equipment footlockers. However, there will be a designated footlocker for you to place a gallon-size zip-lock bag for sharps, liquids and other personal items that are not allowed on the plane.
At times, some participants choose to schedule personal travel for safaris, sightseeing, visiting, etc. after a mission to Kenya. If this is your option, you will be responsible for booking your own complete airline itinerary. Since equipment footlockers are checked using your ticket privileges you will be required to pay for any additional cost to check footlockers that would otherwise have been assigned to you. This charge should be paid directly to Salem Lutheran Church. Any post-mission personal itinerary should begin only after your team has returned to Nairobi for the flight back to the U.S. Full details should be given to Catherine Bluege at least eight weeks prior to the mission trip.
Please see your doctor to determine what vaccines and preventative medications you will need when traveling to Kenya. There are a few specific ones when traveling to Kenya that will be important. We recommend that you obtain all the necessary immunizations and preventative medications for this trip. The Covid-19 vaccine is required.
Passport & Visa
Every participant must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after entry date into Kenya. The process of obtaining or renewing a passport can take as long as 4-6 weeks, so plan ahead. A Kenyan visa must be obtained within one month prior to the mission trip. The cost is $50. You may apply for your visa HERE. We can assist you in this process.
A travel insurance package (accident, medical, luggage loss, etc.) is provided for all participants at no additional cost. However, it does NOT cover trip cancellation prior to departure.
Food – Water, Etc.
The accommodations in Kenya include breakfast and evening meals. Some of the meals may be very similar to American style; others will vary in preparation and type. Every effort is made to ensure that the food is nutritious and safe. Lunch is the responsibility of each individual. The clinic work proceeds uninterrupted and team members normally take individual short breaks to snack for lunch. Bringing food from the U.S. is discouraged, since you will have limited packing space. Snack food can be obtained at stores in Kenya (a “Walmart” type store is available). The “don’t drink the water” advice for foreign travel applies in Kenya. Safe, bottled water is readily available at reasonable prices and you are expected to purchase your own supply of drinking water. DO NOT drink any water or brush your teeth with water from a faucet, shower or water tap. Antiseptic hand lotion is available at the stores in Kenya.
Clothing for the mission must be chosen carefully. Although Kenya is located on the equator, the climate at some of our clinics and lodgings is mild due to their higher altitudes. A light jacket or sweater may be desired in the mornings or evenings. Medical scrubs are worn by team members at the clinics. Long pants are recommended. Do NOT bring shorts. Longer skirts or dresses are permitted. A light rain poncho plus an extra pair of shoes are suggested. If rubber boots are advised for your clinic, they can be purchased on the first Saturday while shopping for personal food, sanitation, and water supplies in Nairobi.
You are advised to bring about $200 in $100 dollar bills. These bills should be crisp, unworn, without creases or marks and dated 2003 or newer. Contact your bank a couple weeks in advance since many banks do not have a supply of “perfect” $100 bills on hand. You will be able to convert U.S. dollars to Kenyan shillings at the Nairobi airport. Visa and Master Card are accepted in a few places in Nairobi. Discover and AmEx are not readily accepted in Kenya. Debit cards may be declined. Use a credit card instead of cash when purchasing in European airports. Advise your credit card company that you will be travelling abroad.
Safety – Security - Accommodations
Our native hosts live in the areas we visit and make every effort to ensure that the group is safe at all times. Accommodations will be different from American standards but are safe and clean. Meals will be taken either at our lodgings or at restaurants known and recommended by our hosts.
Days 1-2 – travel from Houston to Nairobi
Day 3 – jet lag recovery, sightseeing, shopping, final clinic briefing, and evening worship
Day 4 – team travels to clinic location
Days 5-9 – conduct clinics during day; fellowship, meal, devotions in the evening.
Day 10 – teams return to Nairobi; depart for home in the late evening
Day 11 – Arrive back in Houston
You are encouraged to bring a camera, but discretion is crucial when taking photos of strangers. A daily journal and small Bible are recommended. English is widely spoken, but knowing a few native words or phrases is appreciated by the locals.
Questions? Contact one of the following:
Paul Cheney, Director of Missions & Outreach
Church: 281.351.8223 Cell: 281.380.7051 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Pieper, Minister of Mission & Outreach
Church: 281.351.8223 Cell: 281.635.2400 Email: email@example.com
Jill Boldt, Missions & Outreach Coordinator
Church: 281.351.8223 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org