Thank you for your interest in serving the people of Liberia. The purpose of this packet is to provide basic information about our process, what to expect on the trip as well as information so we can do our best to ensure your health, safety, and productivity while on site.

Overview: Bridges of Hope is a 501 C(3) nonprofit organization registered in the state of South Dakota. After a prolonged 14-year civil war, quality healthcare and education in Liberia are scarce. We strive to come alongside the Liberian people to help them serve their community and create self-sustainability over the long-term. Bridges of Hope has been operating in Bensonville, Liberia, West Africa for almost 20 years. The Chairperson of Bridges of Hope is Martin Digler, PA who resides in Rapid City SD and was born and raised in Liberia.

Educational: A school for children was established in 2005 and currently serves over 400 children. We provide a quality, culturally relevant Christ-centered education as well as a safe environment.

Medical: We provide an annual medical outreach for the local community. The outreach includes a family practice clinic (held at the school) and a surgical outreach (held at a surgery facility in Phebe). Future plans include a permanent clinic facility at the school.

Dates: Leave the US on Thursday, March 13, 2025 arrive in Monrovia Friday, March 14; return flight from Monrovia on Friday, March 28, arrive in the US Saturday, March 29. Early in the process, these dates may vary by a day or two depending on flight availability. We will confirm the dates as soon as airfare booking is available.

Optional travel dates: The Surgical group will transfer to the Bridges of Hope School in Bensonville at the completion of their surgical cases. There will be an option for Surgical group members to begin the return trip to the US on March 25 should their schedule not allow them to complete the trip experience by visiting the school. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to change airline ticketing information after the initial ticket purchase. If you are with the Surgical group, we will need to know your preferred departure date at the time of your trip deposit.

Eligible Applicants: Application is open for all areas and levels of medical practice as well as evangelism/discipleship. The needs are great in Liberia, and anyone with a heart to go is welcome to apply to come and exercise their gifts. We also recruit local Liberian community members as medical and non-medical support staff, translators, etc. The medical team will serve at either the clinic in Bensonville or the surgery hospital in Phebe. We will also be taking applications for prayer and discipleship support teams.

  1. Interested parties are asked to complete a Volunteer Application either online or on paper as soon as possible. Mailing address for paper completed applications is 6406 Muirfield Dr, Rapid City SD 57702.
    Applications will be reviewed and potential team members notified, by October 1, 2024. (We would love to take everyone who applies but we have limited housing accommodations and procedure facilities.) We plan to take a medical team every year so waitlist options will be available!
  2. Accepted applicants will complete a Volunteer Registration to provide more detailed information. A deposit in the amount of $ 1,800 will be due at that time.

Estimated Cost: Payable to Bridges of Hope: Approximately $3,000 – $3,200 per person.  This amount depends on the cost of airline tickets (which is approximately $1,800 – $2,000 from Rapid City to Monrovia, Liberia). This amount includes $1,200 for in-country trip expenses and mission supplies.

Funds should be made payable by check or money order to Bridges of Hope and mailed directly to 6406 Muirfield Dr, Rapid City SD  57702.  Funds are tax-deductible.

Included: air fare (Rapid City departure), in-country lodging, food, laundry, ground transportation and group travel insurance. Should your departure airport be other than Rapid City, the air fare cost may increase or decrease accordingly. We do not have any fund-raising planned at this time, but you are welcome to raise your own support.

Not Included: Additional costs for vaccinations, passport, VISA, personal food, and travel will likely be at least $1,000 so plan accordingly. Plan for a few souvenir purchases, too!

Upon acceptance to the outreach team, a down payment of $ 1,800 is due October 18, 2024.  The balance of the trip cost is due February 15, 2025.

After airfare is booked by Bridges of Hope and the confirmation numbers are received, individuals will be responsible for upgrading seating, if desired, (when available), directly with the airline at additional personal cost.

Vaccinations: Routine adult vaccinations, plus typhoid (renew shot every two years and oral every five years) and yellow fever (good for life). A yellow fever vaccination card is required for admission into Liberia. Also ask your travel doctor for malaria prophylaxis and consider a prescription for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis if the cost is not prohibitive. We can provide contact information for a Rapid City based international travel medicine doctor to answer any questions you may have. We recommend you pack mosquito spray (50% DEET). Mosquito nets are provided for sleeping. To review risk for non-vaccine preventable diseases, please view the CDC Liberia travel page, and discuss any questions with your travel medicine provider.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/clinician/none/liberia#vaccines-and-medicines. COVID vaccination is not currently required for entry into Liberia or return to the U.S.

Language: English is the primary language but with a strong dialect; multiple tribal languages are also spoken. English spoken slowly by each party is best. Local community members are recruited to assist in communication.

General Schedule: Fly out on Thursday, arrive in Monrovia Friday evening. Ground transportation of the team members from airport to appropriate sites:

Clinic/Hope: Bensonville (Bridges of Hope School, 2-hour drive from Monrovia). Clinic and pharmacy set-up on Saturday/Sunday.

Surgical/Phebe:  Phebe Hospital, (2-hour drive inland from Monrovia).  Screen patients and set up supplies Saturday & Sunday (afternoon) for surgeries to begin Monday. Surgical cases will have been pre-screened by local physicians, U.S. team does final screen to determine patient eligibility and caseload.

Plan to attend church and rest or enjoy the local community on Sunday.

The group will return to Monrovia with the possibility of a vacation day prior to boarding the return flight Friday evening, March 28.

See ‘Optional Travel Dates’ in the above ‘Date’ section for the possibility of an early departure on March 25. If choosing the early departure option, it must be selected upon trip acceptance.

Weather: Our trip will be during the dry season in Liberia, but rain is still possible; expect 95-100 degrees and 95% humidity. Liberia is ~500 miles north of the equator.

Luggage: Personal luggage is limited to one personal item and one carry-on. We will need to take most of our medical supplies in allowed checked bags due to limited supply availability in-country. Please plan to bring all personal items and OTC medications needed in your carry-on luggage.

Sleeping Accommodations: 

Clinic/Hope: There are two guest homes, an older and a newer. We will likely accommodate the women in the newer guest house. There are six bunk beds available in the room with the AC unit, and another six bunk beds in three other rooms with fans. There is an AC unit in the common area that can help cool these bedrooms. There are two bathrooms with running water available. In the older guest house, there is one queen bed with AC; the other rooms have bunk beds with fans, and an AC unit in the common room. This house also has two bathrooms. Mosquito nets are provided for sleeping.

Surgical/Phebe: Shared rooms in one large guest house, some fans available, no running water. The house has two and a half bathrooms. Generator available but schedule may be irregular. A small personal battery-operated or rechargeable travel fan may be helpful.

Personal Hygiene:  

Clinic/Hope:  Cold water showers available. Coffee maker may be used for limited warm water. Community helpers can wash your laundry (by hand).

Surgery/Phebe: No running water but (cold) water available for bucket bath. Coffee maker may be used for limited warm water. Community helpers can wash your laundry (by hand).

Electricity: Limited to generator. Bring an international outlet adaptor to charge your phone.

Communication with home: Limited cell service; available in Monrovia. Use of WhatsApp messaging service among team members and family at home is recommended. Liberia is six hours ahead of MST. Please discuss international service availability and costs with your cell phone carrier.

Drinking Water: Bottled water is purchased for our team at no extra charge; there are also Sawyer filters on site. Only consume bottled or filtered water (including teeth brushing).

Meals: Three meals per day are covered in trip expenses. Bridges of Hope will employ the local community to prepare. Breakfast is often oatmeal, eggs, or spaghetti with plantain and in-season fruit; hot water is available for coffee or tea. Lunch is prepared (saucy meat over rice), with leftovers for supper. Plan to bring protein bars (no melting chocolate!) and powdered hydration packets. Please keep in mind it is very difficult to accommodate food restrictions, allergies or special dietary needs.

Clothing: Dress is western, but modest, no short skirts/shorts or spaghetti straps, no political or controversial messaged shirts. Bring a set of clothing suitable for church along with casual clothes. Three sets of scrubs will be provided for the medical volunteers. Bridges of Hope will employ the local community to provide laundry services at no additional cost.

Currency: Bring a credit card with you for purchases at airports during travel to and from Liberia. Do not use your credit card in Liberia. US currency is accepted in Liberia and smaller, older currency is recommended.

Gifts: Our helpers and local community workers will be compensated; no cash gifts please. Thank you notes and encouragement are very much appreciated. You are welcome to leave behind clothes and other items, but please discuss with your team leader. We strongly discourage giving out your personal phone number or mailing address.

Additional questions should be directed to Stephanie at (605) 786-4111

Bridges of Hope Purpose Statement

Bridges of Hope exists to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to disciple Liberians to worship and glorify God by empowering them to live Christ-centered lives and provide for themselves a reasonable living. We will do this through a Bible-teaching church, quality education, quality healthcare, entrepreneurship and agriculture; so that they will have a biblical worldview evidenced by a lifestyle of character, leadership, stewardship, service, and joyful worship.

Principles

  • Word Based/Spirit Empowered
  • Ownership
  • Servant Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Intentional
  • Strong Teams
  • Sustainable

Culture

  • Worship
  • Freedom/Empowering
  • Humility
  • Transparency
  • Inviting
  • Teaching/Mentoring/Coaching
  • Giftedness/Creative

Statement of Faith

The Bible
We believe the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six (66) books of the Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired by God, written by human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, is without error in the original manuscripts, and is the infallible and authoritative Word of God.

God
We believe there is only one living and true God who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the same in essence, equal in power and glory, without division.

God the Father
We believe God the Father loves the world, gave Christ to be its Savior and is the Father of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

God the Son (Jesus Christ)
We believe Jesus Christ is God incarnate, was conceived through the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He is truly God and truly man. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

God the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a person. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He is the divine agent of regeneration and applies salvation to all God’s people. He indwells all genuine believers and baptizes them into the body of Christ.

The Human Condition
We believe that all people are born with a sinful nature, corrupt in every aspect of their being, sinful in thought, word and deed, and absolutely, irrevocably condemned to death. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

The Christian Life
We believe as followers of Christ we are called to follow the two greatest commandments; to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Marriage and Sexuality
We submit to the Bible’s authority as the Word of God as it speaks to human relationships, reserving human sexuality to be practiced only within the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, as God’s perfect design, for our highest good.

Satan
We believe in the existence of Satan who as a created fallen angel became the author of sin.

The Church and Its Ordinances
We believe the Lord Jesus is the head of the church. The church is the body of Jesus Christ and is a divinely established instrument for the worship of God, the growth of believers and evangelism of the lost. There are two ordinances in the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are divinely enjoined upon all believers. They are without saving merit in themselves, but they provide an expression of faith regarding the believer’s identification and fellowship with Christ.

The Mission of the Church
It is the mandate of all believers to make disciples of all nations. In response to Jesus’ last command to His disciples, it is therefore a necessity, a responsibility and a desired privilege of all those who have received new life in Christ to take this message of reconciliation to all nations.

The Message of Salvation
We believe salvation is not by works, but by God’s free and special grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, our representative and substitute.

The Return of Christ, Resurrection, and Judgment
Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth at His appointed time (known only to God) and manner. The dead in Christ will be raised, and Christ will judge all people in righteousness.