Where will we stay?
There are a few different locations where we may stay on our trips. All locations will have most American comforts to include hot showers, a full kitchen and twin-sized beds.
What are the rooms like?
What are the rooms like? The rooms will be bunk-room style, one each for men and women and a common area for congregating, praying and eating.
Where does the trip begin and end?
If you have traveled by plane then you will be dropped off back at the airport. If you started your trip via ground transportation in California then you can expect to be taken back to the same location where you were originally picked up.
Can I fly into San Diego?
Yes. If flying into San Diego is often the most convenient airport. We may also be able to facilitate airport pickups from other Southern California locations so call us to discuss specifics.
Do I need to bring a sleeping bag or pillow?
It depends on where you’re staying. Ask your group leader during the planning process.
What if I have special dietary requirements
If you have special requests be sure to submit those requests early so we can include these considerations in the planning process.
What if I have physical limitations?
Let us know what your conditions are and we will make every effort to accommodate. We can tailor the trip accordingly.
What things should I bring?
Bible, passport, signed waiver form, specific food if you have special dietary requirements, snacks, sunglasses, one set of work clothes that can get dirty, and comfortable closed toe shoes.
Can I donate clothes, candy or toys?
Please talk to your group leader before bringing along donated goods.
What is the climate like?
The weather is very similar to San Diego. The nights can be cool in the winter so bring appropriately warm clothes.
What if I forgot something?
You can get most anything that you need in Mexico. We can make stops at Wal-Mart.
What ministries are served?
Click here to find our Supported ministries
Is there really enough time on a short trip to make a difference?
This is a fair question and the answer is yes, if done properly. Only by working with long-term ministry partners who have developed relationships can this be possible
Wouldn't it just be better to send money rather than spend money to travel somewhere?
The answer is “sometimes yes and sometimes no.” It is very important as disciples of Christ to always assess whether or not we are producing fruit through the proper management of the resources that God has given us. What we have found in Baja is that hands-on serving can be done at a very reasonable cost. It is one thing to see an orphan or sick child on a television screen. It is quite another thing to serve these children with your own hands. Please see our president’s comments about the cost of short-term missions.
Are those who go on short-term missions trips considered missionaries?
We will let others answer this question. The more important question is whether people who participate on short-term trips are serving Christ. The answer if you partner with Strong Tower is “yes.”
Can we make a difference in just a few days?
Many of us doubted whether we could truly make a difference before we went to Mexico the first time. But very few come back with the same thoughts. Go and see for yourself and let the Spirit transform your life.
Do we get to build things?
Yes. Just let us know what your desires are when you contact us. We can get you building small homes for individual families, or you can participate in one of our larger construction projects.
Where does your financial support come from?
All our support comes in the form of donations—mostly from the U.S. Though we work with churches, corporations, and service organizations, the majority of our funding comes from individuals with a heart to help our various ministry work.
Is it safe?
Many Americans and Canadians purchase vacation homes or retire in this area of Mexico. We are located more than 1,000 miles from the mainland Mexico cities where much of the reported violence has taken place—it has no impact on us in the same way that violence in Chicago would have no impact on residents of Denver. In fact Chicago has a much higher crime rate than even Tijuana. Los Angeles and Tijuana have comparable crime rates. We cross the border multiple times per week and have never felt unsafe. As we visit the various ministries in the region, we will be staying together as a group, further relieving any concerns about safety. Most people who are concerned when first crossing the border quickly relax and thoroughly enjoy the rest of their trips. And regardless which location that we stay, it will be in a safe, peaceful environment.
Where in Baja will be serving?
We will be serving the people of Mexico from Tijuana to just south of Ensenada.
What is it like crossing the border?
We usually end up laughing and joking with the customs agents. Most often the US customs officers ask what the purpose of the trip was, where we visited and if we are bringing anything back that we purchased in Mexico. The wait times can vary greatly depending on the time of the crossing. Getting into Mexico is typically pretty quick with very little wait times. Crossing back into the US can have varying wait times depending on when you cross. We will assist you with making travel arrangements to ensure that you allow adequate time for crossing the border.
Where will we be eating?
It depends on the trip. For an all-inclusive trip, continental breakfast will be served where we stay. Most lunches will be eaten while on the go, typically at marvelous taco stands that we frequent often. Dinner varies, sometimes sit-down, sometimes takeout and sometimes eaten back at our lodging.
Can we drink the water?
Do not drink any water that is not bottled unless you ask someone who is either local or leading you on the trip.
What’s different about using the restroom?
In Mexico the plumbing is different. Do not flush toilet paper or any other product down the toilet. Place all toilet paper in the garbage located next to each toilet.
Can we take pictures and videos?
You must ask permission before taking photos. Each ministry/environment has different reasons and protocols for picture taking. Do not post any pictures on social media without prior permission. Please ask your Strong Tower leader if it hasn’t been discussed ahead of time.
Are these trips basically just a tour?
No. We will be financially helping those in need, working on building projects, and continuing to develop relationships with our friends south of the border.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day will involve getting together to eat breakfast at 6:30am, then praying and starting out on our journey. We will typically visit numerous ministries in the same day with a couple of hours of driving per day. We will normally return to our lodging facility for dinner or eat dinner on the way back. The evening will include a brief Bible study and time for fellowship, often centered around a campfire. Please be ready to depart each day at the appointed time. When we are late, we make those who have committed their lives to full-time service wait for us. In some cases being late may preclude us from ministry opportunities.
Do I need to get Mexican pesos before going?
You don’t need any Mexican pesos. US dollars are accepted nearly everywhere and credit cards are accepted at grocery stores and restaurants.
Can we adjust the dates of the trips?
Maybe. Call us and we will make every effort to be flexible, but once we have activities planned with other ministries it gets very difficult to adjust the schedule unless it is done well in advance.
How do you choose the minstires that you partner with?
We work with ministries that have a proven track record and are focused on Christ-centered ministries.
How can a short-term trip make a difference long-term?
Very few long-term missionaries started out by initially entering into long-term commitments. The short-term trip provides an opportunity for people to see missions field in a foreign country and witness the incredible work being done by those who have committed themselves to long-term work. Short term groups provide much needed spiritual, emotional, and financial support.
Isn't giving handouts to the poor just creating dependence?
We make every effort to ensure that we support ministries that also provide long-term solutions to poverty. This involves much more than just food handouts. We are involved in spiritual development and counseling, education, providing shelter, medical services, evangelism, church planting, drug rehabilitation, safe-houses, refugee support and numerous other ministries. Click here Poverty-what is it? for more information.
What should I do to prepare?
Pray that the trip will be both edifying for you as well as a blessing to those whom you will serve. Leave your itinerary and our contact information with someone back home.
Do we get to work with orphans?
Yes. Just let us know what your desires are when you contact us and we will customize your trip. We partner with numerous orphanages.
Is Strong Tower affiliated with other a church or denomination?
Strong Tower is a non-denominational, Christ-centered and gospel-oriented ministry. We are not affiliated with any particular church and we work with numerous denominations. Every portion of our ministry serves to support our mission statement that we serve Christ by serving the least of these.
What do other say about their trip experiences?
o Click here Testimonials to find out!