Sending a package to missionaries overseas is by far one of the most tangible ways to make them feel loved and connected to people back home. But how to send a package—how much it costs, where to send it exactly, how long it takes to get there—those details are often so murky that it keeps this gift from ever materializing. Now, full disclosure: sending a package overseas, and especially to Papua New Guinea, is not cheap. To send an average-sized parcel will run you about $120, not including the contents. But if you have the money and the time, it is a gift well-worth sending.
First, some things to expect:
Your package will take about 2-3 months to get to your missionaries. This is because the postal system moves slower once the parcel hits Papua New Guinea. It has to first get from the capital to the city of Madang, and then be flown into the village via the missionaries’ next helicopter supply run—which usually occurs every six weeks. Thus it is, plan on 2-3 months for an arrival time.
Don’t pack anything too valuable. It doesn’t happen very often, but items have gotten lost along the way. Probably not the best idea to be sending a new laptop this way!
Without further ado, here are three easy steps to sending a package to missionaries in Papua New Guinea!
- Get a Box! Typically, the best bet for sending an average care package overseas is to buy a medium flat-rate box. This allows the sender to fill between 10-20 lbs. of items (see box in picture above). Flat-rate boxes are available for pick up from the post office at no charge or you can find your own medium-sized cardboard box. Tip: Shoot an email to your missionaries and ask what their favorite things to get might be. Although, it’s pretty much guaranteed that anything will be a refreshment to their souls! Put Finisterre Vision’s PNG address on the box with your missionary’s name in the “Attention” line.
- Fill Out the Customs Form! At the post office, you will need to fill out a customs form. It will ask you to describe and give dollar amounts for the items you’re sending. Our recommendation is to give general names for the non-food items (i.e. books, coffee, duds, etc.), and specific names for the food items (coffee, snacks, etc., instead of ‘food’). You can leave the net weight line item empty as the post office will fill this in and always put garage sale pricing for the items in the box since they’re gifts.
- Tape and Ship the Box! Getting from the United States to Papua New Guinea is not an easy trip for anyone and boxes might have it worst of all. Be sure to buy a sturdy box and then go to town with packing tape. The more taped the box is, the more secure and the better chance it has of arriving at its destination with all of its contents intact.
You’re done! You can fill out the customs form, pay for the shipping, and send the box all in one visit to the post office!
No matter what items you actually end up sending, one thing is sure: your missionaries will feel loved and cared for by you and be spurred on to do the work God has called them to do!