Handling Emergencies

  1. PRAY.
  2. Discuss the situation thoroughly with the missionaries/nationals.
  3. Call the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience (or other emergency contact at Asbury University) as soon as possible.

Always err on the side of caution.


Situation #1: Team Member Gets Sick or Injured

  • If minor, use your First Aid Kit.
  • If not minor, coordinate with the missionary/nationals to have the member seen by a reputable doctor.
  • If not connected with missionaries/national, contact IAMAT and/or ISIC helpline for names of reputable English-speaking doctors/hospitals.
  • Except in the case of life-threatening illness or injury, major medical care should be received in the United States via evacuation.
  • Things that should be seen by a doctor include:
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea with fever
    • Allergic reactions
    • Stings or bites of poisonous insects/animals
    • Any infection with a fever
    • Broken bones/teeth
    • Respiratory infection
    • Chest pain
    • Coughing/wheezing/severe asthma attack
    • Stroke signs

Situation #2: Missing Connecting Flights

  • Call the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience or emergency contact from Asbury University.
  • Call the missionary/national (or other contact person at your destination) if you are traveling to the field.
  • The team leader needs to go to the ticket counter to make alternate arrangements.
  • Don’t wait to do this, even if you have to make phone calls.
  • The team must stay together if possible. Under no circumstances should one member stay behind or one person go ahead. If necessary, the assistant leader should go with the first group and the team leader with the second group. Each group should have at least three members if possible.

Situation #3: Natural Disasters

  • Meet at a rendezvous point that has been previously arranged.
  • Discuss with missionaries/nationals to determine course of action.
  • Call Asbury University to discuss plan options and to report on the situation.
  • Keep the team together.

Situation #4: Terrorist or Hostage Situation, Violence, or Abduction of Team Member

  • Pray a LOT!
  • Contact the American Embassy immediately.
  • Call the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience or emergency contact at Asbury University.
  • Asbury University will not negotiate or provide payment.
  • If there is a team member involved as the victim of any violent act, the entire team may return home at the earliest possible time in order for emotional and spiritual healing to take place. A crisis team will be assembled by the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience to aid in at least the initial stages of debriefing and re-entry.
  • If violence breaks out in the country, city, and/or area where the team is located, call the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience immediately. She/he will confer with the missionaries/nationals as well.

Situation #5: Violation of law on a trip

  • The American Embassy must be contacted.
  • A call must be made to the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience or the emergency contact at Asbury University.

Situation #6: Violation of a Team Rule that Places the Team in Jeopardy

  • The offending member will be sent home at his/her own expense.
  • The exception would be if the team leader does not think the member is emotionally stable enough to travel alone. In which case, significant intervention on the field must take place.
  • Do not let the situation “work itself out.”
  • A phone call to the Director of Cross-Cultural Experience or emergency contact at Asbury University needs to be made before the decision to send someone home is finalized.

Situation #7: Team Member Conflict

  • Sit down with both individuals. Do this prayerfully, asking for guidance and wisdom.

Situation #8: Family or Other Emergency at Home

  • Encourage that person to return home unless they feel a strong compulsion from God, and the family members are in agreement.

Things to Consider:

  • In all situations, the team needs to be given as much information as the team leader deems appropriate. In cases of imminent danger, as much information as possible needs to be given – without panic.
  • In many cases, significant debriefing needs to occur. Arrange for an appropriate amount of team time.
  • Be prepared for a wide range of emotions.
  • Remind the team that God is in control. Point to Him.
  • Remember YOU set the tone for how the team deals with the situation.
  • Ask the team to join you in prayer for wisdom, healing, protection, etc.
  • Remember spiritual warfare is taking place.
  • You have a chance to witness by the way the entire team handles the situation.

The goal is always healing and continued glory to God.