International Mission Trip


Partnership is the key to sustainable missions. And nowhere is partnership greater than in Sumpango, Guatemala. Located about an hour from Guatemala City is the small town of Sumpango. Primarily a Mayan community, this town is full of vibrant people nestled in the middle of beautiful rolling hills. Sumpango is home to Next Step’s community partner, Betty Merida.

We met Betty in 2007 when first coming to Guatemala and reconnected years later in 2014 through God’s guiding hand.  Betty is a local Guatemalan who felt God calling her to place her roots in Sumpango, a community that alongside its beauty, struggles with poverty, education, and a lack of hope.  Betty moved to Sumpango in 2012, adopted a 4-year old son, and began to pour her life into her neighbors.  She is determined to win this community over for Christ through the local Church.  Betty has a vision for the Church to be a place of hope for Sumpango, which it has become. The pastor’s of the church in Sumpango also share in this vision and have a desire to make disciples.


Next Step is excited to work alongside Betty and the Church as we build and expand a local church building, serve at a local HIV orphanage, build home additions for overcrowded families, and hit the streets for powerful home visits where your students will have the opportunity to pray and share faith with many Guatemalan families. Your trip to Guatemala will give students a wide variety of construction and relational ministry opportunities, as you will serve and worship alongside many of our Guatemalan partners.  Know you can be an integral part of what God is doing in this special community of Sumpango, as we seek to be the body of Christ sharing in our gifts and passions with one another.




June 2-8 July 7-13
June 9-15 July 14-20
June 16-22 July 21-27
June 23-29 July 28-Aug 3
June 30-July 5**  

* Sunday – Friday Trip

  • Call for Availability on Crossed out Dates or for Winter/Spring Break Trips




  • Middle School Students 
  • High School Students
  • College Students




*This includes all accommodations, food, on site transportation, work project materials and programming.



 Construction  50%

 Community Activities / Immersion  10%

 Relational Ministry 40%



Many crews spend their days at our wonderful partner church in Sumpango, Busca A Dios. Our days are divided up into two parts, morning construction and afternoon VBS.  When we began our partnership with Busca A Dios in 2014, their church had temporary walls and make-shift classrooms. Teams work side by side with the church community to rebuild the church with block and concrete and have built a permanent addition for classroom space. In the afternoons the music is turned up and the kids from the neighborhood roll in as we help out with the locally-led community Summer VBS Program.


Each summer Next Step partners with local masons and our community leadership team to build 5-8 home additions. These families are selected by the Sumpango leadership team based on need and commitment to involvement of this addition. Most families are living in one-room homes with temporary walls and the teams are able to build a 12×12 block and concrete room addition to serve as a bedroom or kitchen.


This school and orphanage is filled with 60-70 beautiful children living with HIV/ AIDS. Our partnership includes construction projects at the facility, as well as supporting the staff with music, games and free time activities with the children. Our teams spend their days at the Orphanage with an even balance of physical work and relational time with the kids.




Busca a Dios was planted in 2011 by Pastor Manuel and his wife Dorita.  The couple moved from their Church in Guatemala City to serve as full-time missionaries in Sumpango and spread the Word of God through love and action in the community of Sumpango.  In 2014, Pastor Manuel passed the church off to the leadership of his son-in-law, Pastor Marvin and his wife Naomi.  The church is very outreach focused as they try to meet the needs and empower families within walking distance of the church.  Busca a Dios has a very strong youth program and summer-long children’s VBS.



The Catholic led and funded orphanage has been a staple of the Sumpango community for many years.  The orphanage is home to approximately 40-50 children with HIV/AIDS.  The facility cares for infants up to 16 years old.  Anna Vitiello also has a thriving school and education program on campus that provides a safe and supportive leaning environment for the children.  The orphanage is staffed by local nuns, teachers and volunteers.




We’ve been told our worship experience is where summer camp meets mission trip. We put together bands from all over the country to lead your students in powerful worship every night. These talented and Christ-centered musicians will help show your students that worship can be fun, worship can be exciting, and worship can bring a joy they have maybe never experienced before.

It is our goal to bring your students closer to Christ this week. One way we do this is through challenging evening messages. Whether your students are new to the whole God thing or devoted Christians, these messages will help them understand Christ is alive and working in their lives today and a personal relationship with Him is available.

Every summer we produce an original video series that coincides with the evening messages. This video series is our attempt to reach your students in yet another way with powerful stories of Christ in action. We’ve featured speakers such as Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne and Propaganda. You can watch some of our past video series in our Film Section



MyStep is an online program solely dedicated to helping your students, your church, or your ministry take the next step in a commitment to Jesus Christ. Whether you just came back from a mission trip through Next Step, or you’re just looking for another way to strengthen your faith, MyStep is for you! We created a safe environment for students to explore the faith, and experience God in new and amazing ways!

Devo Stories are one of MyStep’s most popular features. We have over 365 short video story illustrations that show the many different ways God is working in our daily lives. Whether it’s a comical lesson about the consequences of stealing or a serious conversation about a parents’ divorce, these stories help students understand God in new and real ways.

Another feature is the Prayer Wall, which provides an open and anonymous prayer forum for anyone to share their praises and concerns, and be prayed for throughout the year. Know our team is praying for these requests.

Both of these features can be installed for free on your mobile device. Simply search for Devo Stories or Prayer Wall on your phone or tablet’s app store. This makes staying connected to God and each other easier than ever!




The trip is hosted at the Retreat Center – Paz en la Tormenta in Sumpango. The retreat center has AC and large hotel style rooms that sleep anywhere from 4-16 people. There are beds with mattresses, sheets, and pillows. Every room has an individual bathroom and shower. There is a large dining hall, kitchen, and an outdoor pool within the gated property. We will also worship in the evenings at the retreat center.



Please book your flights for arrival and departure through the Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Our friendly Next Step staff will be waiting for you at the airport and will provide ground transportation for the entire trip. The airport is about 1 hour away from our mission site in Sumpango.


  • Passport
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Swim Suit
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toiletries
  • Rain Jacket
  • Rain Boots
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Work Shoes
  • Work Clothes
  • Casual Clothes


For most summer dates, please see the standard mission trip schedule below. Please plan on arriving Sunday afternoon and departing Saturday morning. Monday-Thursday are work days and Friday will be a fun day! For safety, it is important for all driving to and from the airport to be during daylight hours. Please contact our office to discuss arrival and departure flights.

For the week of June 30-July 5*, please note the trip is scheduled to end on Friday morning. This means you would arrive Sunday afternoon, serve in the community Monday-Thursday, and then depart for home Friday morning. This shorter schedule is to allow our on-site staff with one long weekend in the summer for rest.


Land in Guatemala City
Meet the Next Step Ministries staff at the airport
Drive to the hotel
Unload luggage/Free Time
Orientation and Worship
11:00 pm Lights Out


7:00 am – Wake Up
7:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
8:00 am – Morning Devotional
8:15 am – Depart for Worksite & Begin Working
12:00 pm – Lunch & Devotion
1:00 pm – Resume Working
3:30 pm – Clean Up/Return
4:00 pm – Free time/Showers/Leader Meeting
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 – Church Time/Small Groups/Free Time
11:00 pm – Lights Out


8:00 am – Wake Up 
8:15 am – Eat Breakfast & Lunch Preparation
9:00 am – Morning Devotion
9:15 am – Community/ Fun Day Activity! 
4:00 pm  – Shower Time/Free Time/Leader Meeting
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Worship
8:30 pm – Church Time/Small Groups/Free time
11:00 pm – Lights Out


Yes. Next Step Ministries exists to give middle school, high school, and college students an opportunity to explore their faith, experience God, and extend service to others on a mission trip. Students are our top priority and safety is always our primary concern. Thankfully, because of our long-term commitment and involvement within the community we have developed many close relationships with the locals. The community is familiar with Next Step and we’ve worked hard to humbly earn their trust and respect. Because of these close friendships we are the first to know if something out of the ordinary comes up or is unsafe. 

The trip lodging facility will always be locked to ensure safety. During the day, students will be serving at homes where Next Step has already visited the family and knows who they are. Furthermore, community members select these projects, so we can ensure they are safe places for us to be. This network of community friendships allows for Next Step to engage with the community in a way that is trusted and safe. 

On the first night of the trip, our staff will train and equip your team to understand safety on the construction work sites. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please visit our Construction Safety page.

We are more than happy to talk in more detail about safety on this trip. Please feel free to contact our office for further conversation regarding trip safety.

We are committed to never being in an area where we feel students are at a heightened risk to their physical, spiritual or emotional health.  However, we understand we are serving in a community where safety concerns surround us at a distance. For that reason, we have created Safety Procedures available for the main leader of your trip on the Trip Dashboard. You can access this information at anytime leading up to your trip.
Registration opens in July and will be available through early spring. To get your preferred dates, locations, and spaces it is recommended to secure your spots sometime before October.
For summer mission trips you must have a minimum of five participants to be eligible for a group. If you have less than five participants please contact our office. The maximum number of people will depend on location capacity and availability. Please call our office to learn more about the special requirements for spring mission trips.
Our office staff is available to help with this process. Please contact our office to learn more about how to reserve your spots. You can always add people to your group, as long as there is space available.
Next Step Ministries offers trips for middle school, high school, and college groups. Some trips are reserved for specific age groups and other trips are mixed ages. Please contact our office with your preferences and we will provide you with a list of available trips. Middle school trips are for students going into 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. High school trips are for students going into 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. College trips are for ages 18-25.
Next Step Ministries asks for 1 adult for every 6 students.
Yes. Each church group is responsible for conducting background checks on all participants ages 18 or older.
Each location has a different max capacity, so please contact our office to learn more about spaces available. In the event that we are fully booked for the trip you are interested in, we can put you on a wait list or help find alternative trip options. To avoid these delays, we recommend registering for your trip as soon as you can!
$50 Deposit- 30 days after registration

Final Payment on May 15

The deposit is $50 per participant and due 30 days after online registration. The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss in more detail.

No, we do not affiliate with a particular denomination. Next Step Ministries is an interdenominational organization and we partner with hundreds of churches from all different denominations on our mission trips. Please see our Statement of Faith to learn more about what we believe. In simple terms, we stick to the basics of the Gospel. Our foundation for ministry is to provide opportunities for students to connect and grow in a personal relationship with Christ.
Next Step Ministries works alongside community leaders, non-profit organizations, and the local church in order to line up work projects. Next Step Partnership Coordinators live and serve within the community year round and are well connected. Next Step collaborates with the community to plan the projects you will be working on in advance.
Your group will learn about the work projects on the first night of your trip! Our staff will contact you 1-2 weeks prior to the trip to share updates in advance and provide an updated tool list. 
A Next Step Partnership Coordinator facilitates community partnerships, lines up projects, leads the summer staff, and coordinates other logistics such as lodging and accommodations. The trip will be facilitated by 8-10 energetic, mission-minded, and highly trained college interns. The site staff will include a construction team, worship team, speaker, meal coordinators, and administrative leaders to guide you through the week.
You will most likely be attending a trip with 2-4 other youth groups. All groups will share sleeping quarters and we will have meals and worship together as a large group. Most of our mission site locations can accommodate for 80-100 volunteers each week. For work projects, we love to mix students and encourage new friendships to form, but also understand that many groups prefer not to have their group split up for different work projects. Please let our office staff know your preference and we will plan accordingly to accommodate your preferences.

During the mission trip it is important that we make every effort to dress respectfully, modestly, and appropriately. We will be working hard serving in the community so it is best to wear old, comfortable, and modest clothes. Please understand there may be different cultural norms in the other partnering churches and/or community you are visiting for one week. While certain clothing may be acceptable in your hometown, it might not be appropriate for the mission trip.

Please review the dress code below and pack accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact our office at or 608-514-4051.

  • Shirts: All trip participants should wear either a short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirt on the work projects. You may wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts in the evening during free time, dinner, and worship. Tank tops must be modest. Please note, no spaghetti strap tank tops or ripped/torn cut-off shirts. All sleeveless shirts must have a hem.
  • Pants/Shorts: All trip participants should wear modest pants or shorts at all times on the mission trip. Please adhere to the following rules:
    • Please be mindful of the length of your shorts. Follow the “fingertip length” rule to determine if your shorts are appropriate length. To do this, stand with your arms straight at your side and place your palm against the side of your legs. The length of your shorts should be at your fingertips or longer. Spandex pants/shorts are NOT allowed on the mission trip at anytime. This includes yoga pants or spandex athletic shorts.
  • Bathing Suits
    • Ladies must wear a one-piece swim suit or wear a t-shirt over a two-piece swim suit. Males must wear swim trunks that are long enough for the “fingertip length” rule mentioned above.

The trip cost is the same for students and adults. The cost covers all meals, materials, and lodging. The only cost not included is for transportation. You will need to provide your own vehicle for every day of the trip.
The trip begins on Sunday evening. Please plan to arrive between 3:00-5:00 pm. Our friendly staff will welcome you with dinner and help you unload all of your bags. The trip concludes Saturday morning after breakfast and clean up. Please plan to depart by 9:00 am. We are happy to accommodate your travel plans so please contact our office if you need special arrival or departure plans. Please note the July 17-22 trip is scheduled as a Sunday-Friday trip and will conclude Friday morning at 9:00 am.

Each trip participant should be sure to pack the following items: 

  • Air Mattress (twin size to be sure there is enough space for everyone)
  • Bedding & Pillow
  • Water Bottle 
  • Sunglasses and/or Hat
  • Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
  • Personal Snacks (i.e. granola bars, trail mix)
  • Towel and toiletries (i.e. soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Work Shoes: an old pair of tennis shoes will work well 
  • Work Clothes: old t-shirts, athletic shorts, cargo shorts, or jeans all work well. Please be sure to review the dress code in advance. 
  • Casual Clothes: bring a clean set of clothes to change into after showers every evening. Plan to dress casually and comfortably! 
  • Personal work gloves, safety glasses, and hammer


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