Whether you are a new sponsor of a child in Rwanda or you have been sponsoring for many years, this Rwandan 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 Rwanda and the other beautiful children we will meet along the way.
In case you aren’t terribly familiar with Rwanda, it is a country that personifies the power of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. In the three months that followed, April 6, 1994 it is estimated that over 800,000 Rwandan men, women and children were brutally murdered. At this time, nearly 14% of the total population were of the ethnic group known as the Tutsis, and when the smoke had cleared nearly the entire ethnic group had been reduced to a mere 4% of the population. While the devastation was deep, catastrophic, and impacted nearly every family, today you will not find even a hint of bitterness, let alone the rage that might be expected. Instead, you’ll find a people at peace with their history, a people possessing a deep spirit of grace and forgiveness and deeply committed to transforming every aspect of their country.
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 $3495.00 is due no later than 5/22/2014.
Please register now to complete the registration form online.
Price: The cost of this tour is $3875 per person for double occupancy.
Included in our tour price are round-trip airfare between Washington DC, Dulles International Airport and Kigali, Rwanda, lodging, all meals, travel within Rwanda, 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, 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 changes, 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 Information tab before finalizing your decision.
Saturday, September 13 – Sunday, September 14: 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 Kigali, Rwanda. Our flight stops briefly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before continuing on. Upon arrival into Rwanda on the afternoon of September 14, we will have a brief in-country orientation and prepare for our week of ministry in this amazing country.
Monday, September 15: Understanding more about Compassion
This morning we will make our way to the Compassion Rwanda office to join our amazing in-country staff for their weekly devotions and then we’ll enjoy a brief overview to better understand the Rwandan context. This will also help us gain a deeper understanding of how Compassion works operationally in this country.
Tuesday & Wednesday, September 16 & 17 – Ministry in a rural context
During the next two days, our newly formed ministry team will serve among new moms and babies through Compassion’s Child Survival Program as well as serving among the children who are part of the Compassion child sponsorship program. We’ll visit beneficiaries, hear their stories, have opportunities to serve them 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, September 18: Journey back to Kigali
Today, we’ll journey back to Kigali and I know you’ll enjoy the beauty of this country as we make our way back. Upon arrival, we’ll visit the Rwandan Genocide memorial as no trip to this country is complete without a deep understanding of this aspect of their history and their dedication to peace, reconciliation and forgiveness for the future. This is likely to be an emotional experience so we will definitely debrief this experience as a group when we return to our hotel.
Friday, September 19 – Child Sponsor Fun Day
Finally the day has arrived for you to meet the beautiful children you sponsor in Rwanda. We’ll bring the children to a fun, interactive location and spend the entire day making memories. Tonight we will spend some time sharing stories from the day to help each other.
Saturday, September 20 – A Day of Ministry Among the Children
In the urban context, children attend the child development center for a full day of activities. So, we won’t want to miss this day as we will have one last opportunity to pour ourselves out in service for these beautiful children and for the incredible staff who serve them.
Sunday, September 21 – Worship Service, Shopping and Travel Home
Due to the wide variety of ministry and emotions you will undoubtedly experience, today will be a day to unwind, take a deep breath and begin processing what you have learned and what this learning means for you as you return home. This will happen today as we celebrate Sunday morning worship at a Compassion implementing church partner, as we shop for gifts and souvenirs, and as we travel back to the United States.
Monday, September 22 – You are back in the United States
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 $3495 is due no later than May 22, 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.