After 6 years of Compassion’s partnership with the local evangelical church we’re seeing the results in Togo. Children and families’ lives are being changed. Now with a solid foundation Compassion is reaching outside Lome into new areas. You have this special opportunity to travel with a group of committed sponsors who are helping change this small West Africa country. The beauty here outshines the poverty but we will look deep into the reality and see what a difference our commitment is making. Getting to visit some of these local evangelical churches and hearing from the Pastors and staffs gives us a glimpse into the calling they have. And we get to come alongside and help enable their ministry. Complementary Intervention fund are special money given over and above regular sponsorship. These help to fund proactive endeavors as well as respond to natural disasters. Seeing some examples demonstrate the difference these dollars are making and increase our desire to help. You have no idea how much your visit blesses and encourages our Compassion country staff who works so hard every day to be your liaison. Yes, we want you to see all these different aspects of our work in Togo. But we haven’t neglected that most important part. You will have a full day with your sponsored child! What an incredible opportunity for him or her to look you in the eye, tell you they love you, and give you a big hug. Your sponsorship is changing their life but your personal visit has given them encouragement for a lifetime. They can see for themselves just how much you really care!
We trust you will read the brief basic itinerary and prayerfully consider joining our sponsor tour. Sharing this with other sponsorships just like yourself only increases your joy. Come – be a blessing to Togo – and be blessed yourself. Hope to see you in July!
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 $380.00, we will confirm your place on the tour and you may then purchase your domestic air ticket. The final payment of $3,600.00 is due no later than 3/13/2014.
Please register now
Price: The cost of this tour is $3980.00 per person for double occupancy.
Included in our tour price are round-trip airfare between New York City, JFK and Accra, Ghana (we are flying into Ghana due to excessively high airfare into Togo, and will be driving across the border), lodging, all meals, travel within Togo, 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 transportation to and from New York City, JFK, 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 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.
Days 1 - 2: Time to Fly
Saturday – Sunday, July 5-6 Saturday evening an excited group gathers at the Delta Airlines departure gate in New York’s JFK Airport. It’s the Compassion Togo sponsor tour group! As we are busy getting to know each other it’s clear we are embarking on a life-changing experience. Crossing the Atlantic we finally arrive early Sunday afternoon in Accra, Ghana. Go through immigration, get our luggage, and we’re finally on the bus headed across the border to Togo. Pulling up to our hotel in Lome we are ready for our adventure. What does the Lord have in store for us?
Day 3: Learning From Our Staff
Monday, July 7 After breakfast we're on the bus and ready for the Compassion Country Office. Arriving we are so eager to meet the incredible men and women who work every day to be the liaison with the local evangelical church. We have some idea how it all works but want to learn more. As we share in songs of praise to our Lord and then devotions with the staff we definitely experience the spiritual side. Afterwards the Togo leadership staff give us a little history and overview of how the program works within their culture and needs. Then it's off for a tour of the different departments and processes. So this is what happens to our letters when they arrive! We are amazed at how they can do so much with so little. Our children are certainly in good hands. After lunch we have a short tour of the city and surrounding area so we get a context from that side as well.
Days 4-6: Learning From Our Centers
Tuesday-Thursday, July 8-10 These days are filled with driving to different evangelical churches that partner with us to reach and change their children and families. Whether it's meeting the center staff that are absolutely bubbling over with their enthusiasm to make a difference in those lives or the heartfelt vision of the pastor that wants to make a difference in the kingdom for eternity we are committed to this partnership. These centers are both in the Lome area and the outlying areas where Compassion is just starting their partnership. One day we'll see skills and training the mothers are getting and then another day income-generating activities for the parents. We'll even be invited into nearby homes for fellowship and insight into their lives. In the past we've read about Compassion's Complementary Interventions but that's nothing like seeing it in person. Now we understand how these special funds are used to make a difference in special projects or respond to a natural disaster.
Day 7: It's Our Day!
Friday, July 11 We thought we were prepared for this special day but definitely not. There is nothing like seeing your sponsored child face-to-face for the first time. Letters are wonderful but they don't give hugs and smiles! Besides time to play there's time for sharing. This all helps strengthen the bond you two have. There may even be some fun surprises as you both get to know each other better. Yes, saying good-bye is hard. Who knew we could grow so much closer in a day! There's a lot to process as we try to store all these memories.
Day 8: Seeing It In Action
Saturday, July 12 Back on the bus and off to one of our student centers with over a hundred excited children and dedicated staff. They have been anticipating our visit so we are overwhelmed with the welcome. Besides sharing in opening devotions we'll get to join the classes to learn how the different aspects of child development work. After serving the children lunch we can share arts, crafts, and sports with them. With wild good-byes and waving out the windows we're off to our hotel.
Day 9: Let's Praise The Lord
Days 10-11: Time to Leave
Monday – Tuesday, July 14-15
Sunday, July 13 What better way to end our time together in Togo than by participating in the Sunday services at one of our implementing church partners. After songs of praise and a moving message by the pastor we're welcomed into their child development center. What a special time as they share their vision and we can pray for them. This definitely is a partnership! After lunch we shop for fun souvenirs and great gifts to bring back home. Tonight over dinner we try to put into words what our time together in Togo has meant to us.
With luggage on the bus we're engrossed in looking out the windows as we drive back across the border into Ghana. We're beginning to fully realize the impact this trip has had on us. With time to look around the city we make our way to the airport. Our evening flight takes us across the Atlantic. Landing in the US Tuesday we're changed people and eager to share our stories and new commitment for His children. Thank you, Lord, we took this time for Togo.
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, Protect My Ministry 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 $380.00 per person. The final payment of $3,600.00 is due no later than 3/13/2014.
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.