We coordinate with pastors, youth pastors and mission coordinators to ensure that we experience God together and that our unique goals are accomplished.
Visiting teams pour themselves out in various ways; first, within our community contexts, and second, among one another. At Envision Chicago we strongly stress the importance of “Loving your neighbor.” For us that means anyone you are in close proximity with at any given moment in time.
Teams work with active ministries on the ground and among diverse people groups. Many people considered “unreached” can be found here. Some arrived as refugees or immigrants, others came as students, and others came to start their own businesses. The nations of the world are at our doorstep and so is the opportunity for teams to reach the nations.
Teams are empowered to run a variety of programs that meet many of the felt needs in our community.
We highly value pouring into our teams. This is what separates Envision Chicago from typical mission trip experiences. We incorporate trainings that equip your participants, not only to serve well during their trip, but be equipped to take the skills they learn back home and implement them locally. We allow teams to engage in cultural immersion in order to develop a broader understanding of the peoples and religions of the world. Teams also actively participate in discussions surrounding the issues of homelessness as well as a myriad of other societal and world complexities in urban contexts.
In reference to the holistic nature of the trip and what they received, one leader commented, “This is no mission trip.” His experience, as is the experience of most, is that a mission trip through Envision Chicago is all about being poured into, and pouring oneself out for others.
The cost for a trip is $475 per person for a week long trip. Trips run from Sunday afternoon (we encourage teams to arrive no later than 4:00) until Saturday morning. Trips end as soon as the team cleans up the facility that morning. Teams can linger on Saturday and site see, but our staff usually needs the 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday to recuperate for the next team.
Extended trips can be arranged so long as there is room in the week leading up to or after your trip.An additional fee of $65 per person will be added to the $475 base for each extra day.
Weekend trips are also welcome.They cost $75 per night or $150 for a Friday afternoon (beginning with dinner) until lunchtime Sunday.
Aside from team trainings, food is one of the best parts of Envision Chicago! We are within walking distance of a myriad of world cuisines.Teams will experience a plethora of foods from the around the world while here. Some options include Vietnamese, Mexican, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and others. We also serve a mixture of cold and hot breakfast during the stay as well as cold cut sandwiches for lunch (or dinner depending on when we serve the main meal). We have found that teams prefer buying their own snacks in between activities. We have plenty of places within walking distance to find snacks. Also, if teams decide to have a site-seeing day, they can pre-make sandwiches or have a meal at their own expense. We accommodate dietary restrictions and have found that direct conversation upon arrival allows us to purchase foods to help make those accommodations.
Facilities: Our facility has comfortably held up to 55 people in it at a time. We have also made arrangements for teams over 55. We do find that having teams from other churches the same week creates a great learning experience. As such,there is a possibility we will add teams to the same week until we hit a firm 40-50 people.
Showers and sleeping arrangements: We have a shower for guys and a shower for girls in our building. In addition, guys and girls will sleep separately from each other (with one gender staying in our classrooms and the other in our multipurpose room).
Teams sleep on the floor in our facility and are highly encouraged to bring air mattresses and sleeping bags. However, there are optional air mattress & sleeping bag rentals available.If you would prefer renting these items from us, you can do so for $15 per person for the week. This fee is paid directly to the site upon arrival and must be pre-arranged. This cost is utilized to keep our inventory fresh and clean.
We begin our typical week with a community barbecue and cookout. We then break for a nuts and bolts discussion of the week ahead. We have trainings 3 to 4 times during the week, daily service projects,a daily ministry activity (VBS, camp, after school program), shared meals,and— if requested— a downtown excursion to see fireworks. Please note: Our direct ministry activities are often centered around children but not limited to children.
We will provide you a general schedule for the structure of the week in advance. However, details are subject to change. Case in point: You will notice that service projects are often undefined until you arrive. That is because we have a rolling list of projects. Some teams finish more projects than others. As such, it is hard to schedule them far in advance.
Come with the expectation to give and serve. In other words, be flexible! The more open you are to let the experience be defined by God, the better the experience will be for you and the team. Please do not oversell to the parents what their children will experience.The best things to tell parents is “this is what the trip experience will look like, but some things are subject to change on arrival. The best thing you can do is let your child know they can trust God. If they go with an open heart, they will see and experience God at work.”
If we have specific needs for you leading up to the trip we will let you know in advance. Also if you have specific things you would like to see accomplished on the trip please let us know in advance so we can do our best to adapt for you.
When the question of safety often comes up, our response is always the same: “The safest place on earth for any person is exactly where God wants them at any given moment in time.” In 10 plus years of hosting teams and 15 plus years of ministry in the community we have not had one single significant safety issue. We inform teams when they arrive about the “do’s and don’ts”and so long as teams follow our directions, they tend to do just fine. One thing of note: we do ask teams not to wear colored bandanas as the colors on bandanas represent gang factions.
The best way to catch a glimpse of our site is to check out our webpages and Social media pages. Feel free to harvest photos and videos for the purpose of trip promotion.