Whether you are a new sponsor of a child in this part of India (East India office) or you have been sponsoring for many years, this group tour experience is a great way to deepen the friendship you have begun. Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming joy you will experience when you see that precious child face to face. The cool thing is that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this trip. Along the way, you’ll forge an incredible bond with brothers and sisters from around the United States and together we will serve the beautiful bride of Christ in India and the other beautiful children we will meet along the way.
India is home to 1.2 billion people trapped in the most unimaginable conditions of poverty, and yet very quietly a huge army is growing, an army of children who are growing into the fullness of whom they were created to be. It is the Church in the midst of their communities that is reaching deep into their hearts and their homes with the love and freedom found only in Jesus. The time to experience all of this is now, and your new friends in India are eager to meet you. I know you will be both captivated and challenged by the passion with which they serve the Lord.
So, don’t let the price of this trip scare you. If you are meant to go on this ministry tour, God will provide a way. You may be able to raise funds for this service-focused tour through your local church and we can guide you in that process if need be. In any case, you can trust God with the finances to be part of this special ministry team.
I encourage you to pray and ask the Lord if this is what He has for you and if He says, “Yes!” please don’t delay, register right away so we can reserve your spot on the team. See you there!!
Registration: Our trips fill up quickly on a first-come basis, so it is important to register as soon as possible. Once we have received your registration along with a deposit of $380, we will confirm your place on the tour and you may then purchase your domestic air ticket. The final payment of $ 3470.00 is due no later than 10/3/2014.
Please register now to complete the registration form online.
Price: The cost of this tour is $3850 per person for double occupancy.
Included in our tour price are round-trip airfare between Washington DC, Dulles International Airport and Kolkata, India, lodging, all meals, travel within India, tips, your child's travel, guides and translators during the tour, admission fees, departure tax and administrative costs.
Costs not included in the tour price are domestic transportation to and from Washington DC/Dulles International Airport, passport, visa, and incidentals such as snacks, additional beverages, laundry, phone calls, film and other personal items. You may want to bring extra spending money for shopping at the local markets.
Safety and Preparation: This tour will be more difficult because of long flights, time change, and impoverished conditions. Also, there will be some walking, rides on bumpy roads, and long days.
Compassion constantly monitors the safety of our destination countries and will make any adjustments necessary to protect our tour participants, sponsored children and in-country staff. We believe it is important to provide safe, comfortable accommodations, traditional meals and reliable transportation so that your focus can be on what God is teaching you and the impact of the experience rather than concern for your personal safety and well-being.
Please read the Tour Conditions and General Information document before finalizing your decision.
Please read the Tour Conditions and General Information tab before finalizing your decision.
Sunday, January 11– Tuesday, January 13: Our Journey Begins
Our group will be meeting at the Washington DC/Dulles International Airport, our U.S. gateway city, for a quick introduction before we start our journey to Kolkata, India. Our flight stops briefly in Doha, Qatar before continuing on. Upon arrival into Kolkata in the very early morning hours of Tuesday January 13, we will have time to check-in to our hotel and rest a bit before continuing on with our first full day in-country. Late morning, we will begin with a visit to the Compassion East India office for a brief in-country orientation and prepare for our week of ministry in this amazing country.
Wednesday, January 14 – Ministry in a rural context
Our newly formed ministry team will serve among new moms and babies through Compassion’s Child Survival Program as we learn how this incredible program is not only helping moms and babies survive, but thrive amidst tremendous spiritual, physical, socio-emotional and economic poverty. We’ll visit beneficiaries, hear their stories, have opportunities to serve and bless them with words of encouragement. But lest you think this is about what you will do for them, expect to be deeply changed by how they minister to you.
Thursday, January 15 – Ministry in an urban context
Poverty takes on many forms and feels different depending on the context. Today, we’ll learn how poverty impacts children and families living in a more urban context. Today we’ll divide into teams to support the tutors in an urban implementing church partner. We’ll provide extra hands and big hearts as they teach their children a typical lesson they learn while attending the Compassion Child development center, which is the cornerstone of Compassion’s Child Development Program.
Friday, January 16 – Lean How Compassion Helps Children Finish Well
Now that we are beginning to more fully understand the holistic impact of poverty and Compassion’s long-term, holistic approach to child development in these contexts, it is important to connect with how Compassion tracks and measures individual progress toward specific outcomes. We’ll spend the day with emerging young leaders who are nearing completion of high school and the Compassion program to understand how Compassion is helping them achieve their dreams and goals. We will meet students who have learned vocational skills and others who are attending university.
Saturday, January 17 – Child/Sponsor Fun Day
Finally the day has arrived for you to meet the beautiful children you sponsor here in East India. We’ll bring the children to a fun, interactive amusement park with plenty of open spaces, quiet spaces and plenty of fun activities sure to delight kids of all ages (and grown up kids too) where you can spend the entire day making memories. Tonight we will spend some time sharing stories from the day to reflect on this incredible day.
Sunday, January 18 – Sunday morning Worship/Afternoon of sightseeing & shopping
Due to the wide variety of ministry and emotions you will undoubtedly experience during our adventure, today will be a day to unwind, take a deep breath before the excitement of sponsor/child Fun Day tomorrow. This will happen today as we celebrate Sunday morning worship at a Compassion implementing church partner, as we shop for gifts and souvenirs. and visit some of Mother Theresa’s work, which continues to extend her legacy of love and ministry in this part of the country.
Monday, January 19 – A Final Day of Ministry & Wrap-up
By now I am confident you will be thoroughly blessed by the unique beauty within the culture here in East India. Today we will have one final ministry opportunity. We’ll travel to another implementing church partner where we’ll enjoy a day of ministry together. We’ll divide into our ministry teams and provide a fun day of vacation bible school type activities for the children we meet. We’ll be looking for craft ideas, games, worship activities and Fun Bible Lessons around whatever theme we choose to highlight. Tonight we’ll have one final dinner together to celebrate all that we have experienced together this week.
Tuesday, January 20 – The Journey Home
We depart Kolkata in the very early hours of this day, but the nice thing is that we are actually back in Washington DC by mid-afternoon this same day (through the miracle of time zones) so you may very well be able to return all the way home today unless you would like to plan a couple extra days in our nation’s capital. Welcome Home!
In order to ensure our children's protection and determine eligibility to travel with Compassion, we now require all travelers (over the age of 18) to complete a criminal background check to ensure the safety of the children in our programs.
Please visit Screening One Sponsor Tour BC to complete your online background check at the time of registration. If you are unable to complete this online, please contact us and we will send you a paper form for you to fill out and return. Compassion uses a third party vendor, Screening One to process background checks. The results of your background check are confidential and all personal information is encrypted and secure.
RESERVATIONS should be made well in advance and require a nonrefundable deposit of $380 per person. Final Payment of $3,470.00 is due no later than 10/3/2014.
AIR TRANSPORTATION and FUEL SURCHARGES
Air transportation as included in the tour is based on economy-class transportation and is subject to all rules and regulations governing these fares. Fuel surcharges are added on a per-ticket basis at time of confirmation. In the event these surcharges are increasingly higher than budget estimates, we may require additional funds to cover these surcharges. We will communicate any pricing changes immediately.
In the event that you need to cancel your trip, please refer to our cancellation policy below:
All deposits are nonrefundable.
Fifty percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 59-31 days prior to the sponsor tour.
One hundred percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 30-0 days prior to the sponsor tour. Only written cancellations accepted.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to adjust or alter any travel program when necessary or desirable for the protection, safety or improvement of said travel program, or when local conditions do not permit operation as published. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to accept or deny participants application at its sole discretion.
RESPONSIBILITY: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL makes arrangements with airlines, hotels and other independent parties to provide you with the travel services you purchase. These parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct control. In the absence of negligence on our part, we are not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death; damage, loss or delay of baggage or other property; or delay, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from (1) the act or omission of any party other than COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL or its employees; (2) mechanical breakdown, government actions, weather or other factors beyond our control; (3) failure to obtain documents, passports, visas and health certificates valid through the date of reentry, when required, in which case a cancellation charge will be assessed; (4) failure to follow instructions including but not limited to check-in and checkout times and baggage handling; (5) cancellation or change for any reason in the travel services offered; and (6) medical or health problems or physical disabilities. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to cancel or alter the travel services at its discretion, except as otherwise noted herein. In the event of change, COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will try to substitute comparable services; in the event of complete cancellation by COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL, we shall refund all monies paid to us. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will not be responsible for any other cost incurred by participants.