Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply to join one of the Global Challenge Expeditions?
Any born again believer with a love for Christ can apply. We accept believers from all nationalities who are passionate about establishing God’s kingdom in the world. An adventurous spirit is required!
Who fits the profile of a Global Challenger?
We are looking for God-seekers: men and women with a heart to serve, with willingness to sacrifice and an unquenchable dedication to Christ; people who are teachable, adaptable and possess skills that can be used in ministry.
Can teams or married couples apply?
Yes. We welcome married couples and also church groups or universities who would like to enter as a team.
What age should I be to join a journey?
The age range is about 18 – 35. We can, however, accept younger applicants for short term expeditions.
If I go on a journey, what work will I be involved in?
Each day on a GCEX journey will be spent being a part of and furthering God’s Kingdom. You will partner with different ministries as you travel the world. Some days you will serve in orphanages, schools or churches. Other days will be spent evangelising, preaching, building, painting, praying, cleaning or encouraging believers and missionaries. There will also be some days spent sightseeing, hanging out with locals, having some alone-time or just having fun with your team. For any further questions please search our website or contact us.
Do we really work in all the countries we visit?
We don't separate the ministry work from everyday life. As we travel through countries you will be able to share Christ with people on trains, airports etc. We will have planned ministry in most of the countries that the teams visit, and the ministry may include both physical work and reaching out to people. The teams will also pioneer some of the countries which GCEX has not visited before. The duration of stay in countries with planned ministry varies between 3 weeks to a month.
What kind of living conditions can I expect to experience?
A Global Challenge Expedition journey can be seen as a backpacking trip around the world, with a purpose to pursue a God-seeking lifestyle and with the aim of having the ultimate adventure on a relatively low budget. Teams seek to maintain the living standard of the locals that they minister to. Most teams stay in housing provided by missionaries or local churches or alternatively they sleep in their own personal tents. Global Challenge Expeditions encourages a lifestyle of simplicity and participants will have to be willing, in every situation, to choose the cheapest way of transport, food, accommodation, etc.
The details vary from team to team and from year to year and these will unfold during the training period.
Under whose supervision will I be?
On every expedition team, an expedition leader who oversees the entire group is appointed. Some of the long term expeditions have both a male and female expedition leader, some of whom are married couples, but in some cases the leader may be a single leader either male or female.
An expedition leader oversees all of the basic functions of the group and serves as the link between the group and the missionaries, churches, etc. Responsibilities of an expedition leader include the safety of a team, handling of any problems that might occur at borders or airports, etc. They are also responsible for all administrative operations and serve as the link between the team and the leadership team back in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
As is the case in some of the long term expeditions, the expedition group is further divided into small groups of about 4-5 team members each. These groups are each supervised by their own ‘small group leader’. A small group leader is responsible for the spiritual well-being and safety of the small group members during challenges, long distance travelling etc. Each member of a small group will also play a different role within the group, be it cooking for the small group, handling the small group’s finances, etc.
How much does it cost to take part in one of the journeys?
GCEX journeys are priced according to the duration and route of the journey. Click here to view the different prices of our expeditions. We require a 60% deposit to be paid before the start of your journey to cover some of the necessary costs, like flights. The remaining 40% can be paid in one payment or in the form of monthly pledges so that you can still raise money whilst on your journey.
What is included in the price?
All expenses, once the journey begins, are covered by the price. This includes: setup costs, all flight tickets, food and lodging, all forms of transportation, ministry expenses, challenges and entrance to planned sights. It does not however include: travel to the start and end point of the journey; visas; travel insurance; vaccinations, personal spending money, laundry and entrance to unplanned sights.
Why do participants from first world countries pay more?
In order to give an equal opportunity to all applicants, there is a slight price increase for applicants from more affluent countries. The price you pay for a journey is determined by your main country of income for the past year. The additional funding will be used to support third world country applicants who have difficulties raising funds.
How will I get the money for my expedition?
Raising the required funds is an integral part of any GCEX expedition. For that very purpose we have included some great fund raising ideas for you to help you start the process. Click here for more information on raising your funds.
Are donations toward my expedition tax deductible?
Yes, all donations towards Global Challenge Expeditions are tax deductible. This includes donations made towards your expedition with one of the following indicated as reference: your name; the expeditions; our building project or any of our other projects.
What about my personal spending money?
Personal spending money is NOT included in the budget of any GCEX expedition.
This includes expenses on laundry, internet, buying souvenirs etc.
Foreign Exchange kiosks and banks are regularly available, so if you are travelling with cash or travellers cheques (Dollars, Euros etc.) they are easily transferable.
We advise all participants to make use of a debit card and withdraw money in each country as needed. Ask your local bank if you will be able to do international transactions with your card before you go. Most cards with a 4 digit pin number are accepted internationally. From experience, we have found that VISA cards tend to be more reliable than Mastercard or Maestro.
Note: When you withdraw money from an ATM in a foreign country, the machine will, most of the time, only dispense the local currency.
If you decide to take a debit card on the expedition, make sure that your next of kin (like your father, mother, uncle etc.) also get signatory rights on your personal banking accounts. If a financial or banking problem should present itself, it will be much easier for them to handle the problem from home with the local bank if they have all the legal rights over the bank account.
What about my safety?
Global Challenge Expeditions will do everything within their power to ensure the safety of participants at all times. However, there exists a definite risk in travelling through countries all around the world and it is therefore impossible to give a guarantee of absolute safety.
Here are some factors to consider:
• Before a team arrives at a specific destination, the prevailing political issues, religious systems and all national issues are thoroughly evaluated for the team’s safety.
• Our teams usually move around in large groups, providing security for each team member, especially girls.
• Teams usually visit local missionaries, local churches, and families etc. who are familiar with their cities, towns, neighbourhoods and surrounding areas. These people help a great deal in providing necessary information regarding the safety of the teams.
What about travel insurance?
Travelling internationally comes with some risk, for this reason we advise all participants to ensure that they are sufficiently covered by travel insurance during the expedition.
Note: Some countries require that visitors must have travel insurance before a visa for that country can be issued. For this reason, travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for some of our expeditions. You will, however, be informed about this when you apply for one of these expeditions.
“Travel Is Lekker” is our in-house travel agency. They handle all visa applications, flight ticket purchases as well as the purchasing of travel insurances.
For more detailed information regarding travel insurance, please contact our “Travel Is Lekker” staff at:
What if I need emergency medical care?
In the unlikely event of a medical emergency we work closely with the local host to ensure you receive the best available care. The most common medical situations, which we have experienced, are related to stomach problems, etc. This is mainly due to the change, in nutrition, from the students' countries of residence and other nations. Fortunately, we have had no serious illnesses or injuries.
How can I communicate back home while I’m away?
All teams will have contact with their specific project leader in Jeffreys Bay at all times. On request, the appropriate project leader’s contact details can be made available to the participants' parents. Please bear in mind that in some remote parts of the world, communication with teams can be very limited due to poor telephone signals or a lack of Internet access.
Team members may also switch their own personal phones over to international roaming or simple text roaming and take their phone along on the expedition. This is, however, a more expensive alternative as well as a risk considering that the phone might get lost or damaged somewhere during the expedition.
While travelling through foreign countries, the best way of communicating back home is through the Internet. Compared to South Africa, access to the Internet is actually cheaper and easier in most other countries. On your expedition you may find that the use of Internet cafés to send and read emails or to update your social networks will in fact be your easiest way of communication
Teams will also use blogs to keep friends, family and supporters updated on their whereabouts and news. Therefore, it is also the responsibility of the family and friends of a participant to encourage the participants to write frequent blogs on our website.
What equipment will I need for my expedition?
Once your application has been successful, you will receive a detailed Member's Guide indicating all necessary equipment and all the preparations you will need to make. This manual will also include a comprehensive packing list.
Equipment needed varies from expedition to expedition and it depends on the countries to be visited. However, some things that any Global Challenger will need include the following:
• A tent (1-2 man) (Must be waterproof)
• A Backpack (60-75 litre)
• A day bag (15-20 litre)
• Self-inflatable mattress
• Eating utensils (you can also pack a multi-tool like an army knife)
• Water bottle
• Medical kit
• Sleeping bag (you can also pack a pillow)
• Closed walking shoes
• Mosquito repellent (you can also pack a light-weight mosquito net)
Note: The above list mainly applies to participants going on one of one - year expeditions. For the short term expeditions, the required equipment might be less intensive and will be communicated to successful short term expedition applicants.
How do I apply for a journey?
You can only apply online. Click the “Apply now” link on the home page and follow the instructions. A general screening will be done and applicants will be notified of the application outcome within 3-4 weeks from submitting the online application. Once you have been accepted into the selection process you will have to pay a non-refundable R200 applications fee and also fill out a more thorough application form to be eligible for final selection.