answers to all your questions about missions

Frequently Asked Questions for Cru’s High School International Missions:

What is Cru?

Cru is an interdenominational Christian organization that promotes evangelism and discipleship in more than 190 countries around the world. The high school ministry of Cru helps students apply their faith to everyday life, build positive relationships with family and friends, and teaches students how to live out the gospel on their campus in order to reach their peers for Christ.

What is a high school international mission trip?

High school international mission trips offer unique opportunities for you to interact with other teens around the world, share with them how to know God personally through faith in Jesus, and teach your new international friends how to be positive influences for Christ in their own families, schools and communities.

Why should I participate?

There are at least three reasons to participate in a mission trip:

  1. God’s calling: The primary reason to participate in a mission trip is that you are responding to God’s call to go to the world.
  2. Your unique platform: American teenagers are admired and listened to by other teenagers worldwide. This gives you a unique opportunity to have an eternal impact by sharing the truth of Christ and providing discipleship for young nationals who can then have a positive, eternal influence in their own countries.
  3. Training for a lifetime of ministry: On a mission trip you will learn many principles of ministry to take back to your school. This could set you on a path of life-long ministry.
How do I know if I am qualified to go?

These questions will help you determine if you are ready to apply for a mission trip:

  • Am I at least in high school?
  • Is my relationship with Christ growing consistently?
  • Am I actively communicating my faith with others?
  • Do I have a teachable attitude?
  • Am I willing to make the time required to prepare for the mission trip?
  • Do I allow Christ to live His life in me through the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Is God calling me to go on a mission trip?
What will I experience on an international trip?

As a mission participant, you will join a team of other students and adult leaders who serve Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ high school movements in host countries. You will have opportunities to speak to groups of students about their personal faith in Jesus Christ, participate in activities where you can intentionally build relationships with young nationals with the hope of sharing the gospel, and have the opportunity to trust God in many new ways. Each mission is different, but your mission may include:

  • Classroom or School Assembly Speaking
  • Teaching Conversational English Camps
  • Outreaches to Small and Large Groups
  • Sports Outreaches
  • Follow-up Bible Studies with New Christians
  • Developing Friendships through Group Activities
  • Training Nationals How to Communicate Their Faith
  • Concerts
What will a typical day look like?

An average day will involve meeting new friends and sharing your faith. Evangelism is the mainstay of your mission trip and most activities involve sharing the gospel. During the course of the trip you will also have team meetings, team prayer, team socials, and outreaches and socials for the students you meet. A typical day might look like this:

  • 8 – Breakfast and Quiet Times/Worship
  • 9-12 – Visiting Schools or Teaching English Camps
  • 12-1 – Lunch with Team
  • 1-2 – Free Time
  • 2-5 – Relational Time with Students
  • 7 – Dinner with Team or with Students
  • 8 – Cru Meeting or Other Outreach
  • 10 – Team Debrief
  • 11 – Lights Out

Many mission trip participants say there is no typical day. Your days will vary according to your location and if you are part of an existing movement or helping to develop a new one. We will also make time during the trip to take in local culture, sightseeing, shopping, etc.

What does the ministry look like?

You will spend a lot of your time meeting new people, sharing your faith and doing basic follow-up with students. In most cases, ministry is very relational and intentional. You are making friends and talking about Jesus. You are building relationships and bringing people to a point of decision to follow Christ. After students trust Christ, you will help them get connected to a church or ministry so the local youth workers can continue to help them develop in their relationship with the Lord.

Who will I go with?

You will go with a team of other students and Cru staff members. Many times this team consists of students from a particular school or city who go on an international experience together. (In other words, recruit your friends to go with you.) Most teams also have students who join as individuals from all over the country. A typical team is 12-25 people with a Cru team leader, a co-team leader, and an operations team leader. Together they give leadership and direction to the whole team.

Where will I stay and how will I get around?

Depending on your location, your team will live in a college dorm, a mission guest house, a regular hotel or a youth hostel. Typically, public transportation is used to travel to schools, communities and outreach events in the mission country. Vehicles may be rented by staff for some in-country travel. Security in housing and safety in travel are important considerations as we choose our locations in a country. We work closely with local, in-country Cru staff members to determine housing and travel accommodations.

How do I communicate with people at home?

Your main focus is the mission God has called you to and your “down time” is limited. There is usually limited Internet services available in most locations. Phone cards enable you to communicate from some locations. Your mission leaders will inform you of the best options for your location. Team leaders will also communicate to others back home that the team has arrived safely in country as soon as possible after your arrival. There will be opportunities to call home, but because of time differences and tiredness it may not be as often as parents may like.

How do I apply for an international trip as a high school student?

The application is entirely online. Click on the “Apply Now” button to begin the application process. The application process involves completing information regarding:

  • Basic Information
  • Personal Calling
  • Ministry Experiences
  • Values and Practices
  • Health/Medical
  • Mission Guidelines
  • Three Reference Questionnaires from:
    • Cru Staff or Youth Pastor or Spiritual Mentor
    • Parent/Guardian
    • Peer
  • Parent Consent Form
    • Once you submit your application an email will be sent to your parent/guardian to sign the parent consent form. This must be completed before your application can be reviewed.
  • Background Check
How do I apply for an international trip as an adult or college student?

The application is entirely online. Click on the “Apply Now” button to begin the application process. The process involves completing information regarding:

  • Basic Information
  • Personal Calling
  • Ministry Experiences
  • Values and Practices
  • Health/Medical
  • Missions Guidelines
  • Completing References
    • Cru Staff or Youth Pastor or Spiritual Mentor
    • Peer, Roommate or Souse
  • Background Check
    • All participants going on an international trip must complete a background check. After you submit your application an email will be sent to you with instructions on filling out the form to get the background check completed.
How long does the application process take?

After completing and submitting the application (with ALL references completed and returned), you should hear back from us within 1-2 weeks. In most cases, you will be notified by email or letter.

What happens after I am accepted on an international trip?

After we review your application, and if you are accepted, we will send you a “Go Pac.” This includes an acceptance letter and mission guidebook. The Go Pac enables you to actively pursue raising your funds and spiritually prepare yourself for the mission.

How do I prepare for an international trip?

Before departing, you must read all the materials provided to you which will help you prepare spiritually, physically, mentally and practically for your international experience. If you live in a city where there is a Cru team, often there are meetings provided to help the group prepare. If you do not live in a Cru city, then most of the preparation depends on you to thoroughly utilize the training pack provided upon acceptance. You will also, depending on the mission, have a briefing with your team. One of the trip team leaders will serve as a coach for you during preparation and give you more specific information on what to prepare for your international trip.

What does a "Go Pac" cover?

The “Go Pac” includes sections designed to help equip you to be an effective ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). These sections cover topics more in-depth on:

  • Mission Basics (broad perspective)
  • Mission Specifics (per your mission location)
  • Raising Funds
  • Travel Information
  • Spiritual Preparation
  • Cross-Cultural Training
  • Prayer
  • Testimony Preparation
  • Gospel Presentations
How much money will I need to raise?

The cost of a typical spring trip (usually 2 weeks) is $2000-$3500. The cost of a typical summer trip (usually 3-6 weeks) is $3500-$6000. Mission trip costs vary by length of trip and cost of travel. There are some miscellaneous expenses you need to consider that are not included in the trip cost. (See FAQ “What is covered in the amount I raise?”)

How will I raise it?

Most of your support will come from individuals you ask to be part of your support team. We call them “ministry partners.” Your “Go Pac” has detailed information on Ministry Partner Development. It covers things like: God’s promises, name storming, sample letters, sample thank you notes and frequently asked questions regarding raising funds. The “Go Pac” will be a great resource to help you gather a team of ministry partners. Be encouraged; every mission participant and staff member is responsible for raising his/her support and God has done it over and over again. He continues to prove Himself faithful as He provides for those He calls according to His purpose. You will also ask people to be Prayer Partners with you and your team.

Why should my ministry partners invest in my international mission?

Investing finances in a student participating in an international mission can be one of the wisest investments people can make – it will provide great returns spiritually and for all eternity. Not only will the student participating be forever changed, but also hundreds of lives can be affected as the gospel is shared. Ministry partners can truly make an eternal difference by helping to send those able to go and personally share Christ all over the world.

What is covered in the amount I raise?

Your international trip cost covers:

  • An overnight stateside mission briefing
  • International round-trip airfare (from briefing location to mission destination)
  • Mission Debriefing
  • Visa Processing Fee (if needed)
  • All cost for lodging and food
  • All transportation in-country
  • Mission Materials
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance
Administrative costs your mission cost DOES NOT cover:
  • Domestic airfare to and from the Gateway city (your briefing location) though it is reimbursable if enough money is raised for the reimbursement
  • Passport Fees (to obtain a passport if you don’t already have one)
  • Ministry Partner Development materials (such as paper, printing, and postage)
  • Money for laundry, souvenirs or additional food on the project
  • Any cost associated with an early return as a result of serious violation of rules or any family emergency
  • Immunizations and other medical preparations
How are medical needs met?

Most locations have adequate, if not good, medical facilities. If an emergency or a serious issue arises, you will leave the country to get treatment in the best place possible. If it is an extreme emergency you will be airlifted out by our emergency evacuation service (a company called SOS).

What happens if political unrest occurs in the country I plan to visit?

If there should be political unrest in the country of choice, the mission may be reassigned to another destination. Great care is taken to evaluate potential risks, and to provide the greatest protection possible for you and your team members. If you choose to withdraw from the team, funds donated for the original mission destination can be directed to another student participating in a mission. Or, you may choose to go on another mission in the same year.

What about safety issues?

We carefully evaluate each location’s safety using several factors and informational sources:

  • U.S. State Department
  • U. S. Health Department
  • Travel Bulletins from our Insurance Providers
  • Advice from Cru International Leadership of the Country
What difference does an international mission make?

We have seen thousands of people decide to follow Christ worldwide. In some cases, we have helped to start high school “win-build-send” movements in countries where none previously existed. In other countries, we provided the manpower and energy to expand existing high school movements.

How will this international mission trip personally affect those on the team?

Past participants have experienced tremendous spiritual and personal growth through their involvement in an international mission. Many have taken great steps of faith and seen lasting changes in their relationships and in their life choices. Many gain a deeper concern for other people, develop team-building skills, learn greater flexibility, and gain self-confidence. These personal benefits occur as God works through the team to bring the gospel to many who have never heard. The lives of those in other countries will be changed forever and many lasting friendships between students in the different cultures are formed. Lastly, many receive a greater vision for ministry at home or a lifelong call to serve globally.

More questions?

Contact Cru’s high school international missions team at