The risk of over-reaction and under-response

Missions is not safe. Never has been. Never will be. So what should you do when the U.S. government tells you not to travel to a place it considers dangerous? Ignore the warning by faith? Listen to wisdom? It’s a quandary that every person who organizes short term mission eventually faces.

Does a US State Department Travel Warning mean trip cancellation? It’s a tough question to consider…

Is there a difference between an alert and a warning? Does the information from the government always offer accurate risk analysis? Can your organization be sued if you send a team when an alert or warning is in effect? A fuller analysis can be found at STM Toolbox website. Click here

The secular study abroad industry has been analyzing this question regarding US State Department warning for several years. Here are a few resources that might be of interest. NAFSA Health and Safety in Education Abroad Subcommittee issued a report in 2011 on how member institutions (colleges and universities) handle the issue. There is a wide spectrum of perspective on what action is warranted. “Americans Abroad: International Education Programs and Tort Liability” by Vincent R. Johnson is an excellent article published in Journal of College and University Law. It can be downloaded free.

David BosworthAbout David Bosworth

David Bosworth has a passion for helping others organize effective short term mission trips. David is the Executive Director of STM Toolbox, a place where believers can network, collaborate and encourage one another in effective short term missions.

As a partner with, David is a contributing blogger for

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