Hello Pine Cove Friends,
With the end of the school semester, I’m sure you are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Commission Camping trips! This January marks the start of the thirteenth year for Pine Cove to travel and influence people’s lives in Central and South America through the ministry of camping.
As you know, we desire to be a ministry that is marked by excellence and safety. This year we have 5 teams with 77 Pine Cove staff to 5 countries. We continue to partner with Christian Camping International (CCI) Latin America through our relationship with their Executive Director, Robert Bruneau, and his team. Robert and his family visited the USA this summer and we were able to sit down face-to-face and praise God for the work He has done and will do through this partnership.
This fall we helped our staff with the details of prayerfully raising the money for this trip. Now we want to help them, and you, see some of the things we have been doing to help make this a safe trip. As you have seen in the news, traveling anywhere these days comes with risk. Pine Cove has gone to great lengths to make sure these trips are as safe as we can. Here are some things we have done:
- We have preformed an exhaustive analysis of the risks and safety conditions on the ground for all locations. While there is always an inherent risk when traveling internationally to third world countries, we feel very good about the preparations taken for each trip.
- Each trip will be led by two full time Pine Cove staff who will provide daily blog updates for each team at: missiontrips.pinecove.com. We also will have them post on Instagram, @pinecovestaff, to help get more news from the locations posted.
- Transportation and on-the-ground leadership will be CCI associates who live in the country and are intimately acquainted with the culture and the appropriate safety precautions for each camping location and the surrounding cities.
- We will preform intensive safety and risk awareness training with each and every member of the commission camping teams prior to leaving, as well as provide regular safety reminders during the trip.
- We hire security guards to travel with teams in Central American countries for extra security.
- Prior to our arrival, we will be notifying the US embassy in each country with our specific travel plans, locations and the names of all those who are on the trip. In turn, this gives us up-to-date information and news on anything happening in country that could present a problem for Americans there.
- Pine Cove has purchased a 3rd party medical and evacuation insurance plan for everyone on the trips.
- With the Zika warning that exists in all our partner countries, we will also send bug spray and have our staff apply it any time they go outside.
We take these trips because we truly believe in the Acts 1:8 mandate and that Pine Cove exists to be used by God to transform the lives of people for his purposes and His glory. Please be praying for the safety and success of all our trips. Christian camping continues to be a highly effective vehicle for God’s redemptive work; both in the US and in lands far away. I can’t wait to hear the stories of life transformation.
While our staff are in country, they will be communicating to us via a trip leader’s phone who has purchased an international plan. If there is any kind of emergency or situation, they will let us know and we will communicate to their parents should they need to be informed.
We would love you to partner with us as we send these staff out. Please pray for them daily for: health, safety, unity and most importantly that the Gospel would sink into the hearts of kids.
Thanks for your partnership,
Melanie “Wafells” Langemeier
Global Ministries Coordinator
Ridge Women’s Director