As the coronavirus sweeps across the world and across our newsfeeds the Belize Mission Society is responding.  We are being intentional in doing so responsibly, faithfully, fearlessly, and lovingly.

We are prepared for the reality that this virus will affect our 2020 mission team season.  For example, one of our trips, scheduled for next week, is having to be rescheduled.  God willing the virus will plateau and decline in time to avoid the cancellation or rescheduling of any others, but we are preparing for all possibilities.

Some of you have asked about our policies for cancellations and refunds.  The BMS board has met to discuss this, and I will share our conclusions here below, recognizing that this specific situation is new territory for all of us and that flexibility and adaptability is important at a time like this.

BMS Coronavirus Policy

  1. Airfare, which is purchased by the individual team members and/or participating churches, is not the responsibility of BMS in any case.  If travel protection is desired, that can be purchased independently through the airlines at your discretion.  Thankfully, airlines generally seem to be very flexible right now with waiving fees normally associated with cancellations and changes.  Check with them directly for specifics.
  2. If a federal government (see the CDC) places specific travel restrictions to/from Belize or highlights Belize specifically as a country for which to avoid all unnecessary travel, BMS will cancel the trip and offer a full refund, as well as the $150 application fee.  In this case, there is no risk to you.  Helpful information can also be found at the WHO website.
  3. Even without a specific travel ban, BMS may determine, at its own discretion, that a mission trip would best be cancelled.  In this case a full refund, including the $150 application fee, will be issued. 
  4. If an individual team member wishes to cancel their trip due to concern over the coronavirus despite a lack of official travel restrictions, we are happy and willing to work with our Belize business partners to get as close to a full refund as possible, minus the $150 application fee.  Most of the hotels, restaurants, and vehicle rental operations that we work with are very flexible with us with things like cancellations and changes, especially outside of a month prior to the trip date, and we will work hard and use our influence to get as close to a full refund for them as possible.  What we are not able to recover, however, will be the responsibility of the individual team member.
  5. If there are no official travel restrictions to Belize, yet so many people from a team decide to drop out that BMS determines that a mission trip would no longer be able to accomplish its goals, BMS will cancel the trip and try to get as much of a refund from our bookings as possible to return to the team members.  The remainder, including the $150 application fee, will be the responsibility of the team members.  Note, we would think that a complete trip cancellation like this would be a very rare occurrence, as even small mission teams can be productive in most cases.  But, this will be at the discretion of BMS.
If anyone has questions or concerns about these policies Pastor Meissner would be more than happy to discuss them with you at the contact information listed below.  

We thank you for your patience, flexibility, and prayers as we navigate this epidemic.

Stay healthy, and God bless you,

Pastor Duane

Our mailing address is:
Belize Mission Society
4015 Cascade Sky Dr.
Arlington, TX 76005

Pastor Duane's Cell:  346-616-8090

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Belize Mission Society · 2822 Karr Rd · Belvidere, IL 61008 · USA

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