My latest must have youth ministry mission trip tool? The Skype app for iPhone (available on other smart phones as well)! I thought I would try it out while leading the mission trip to Jamaica – it surpassed my expectations.
A lot of people assume Skype is only for computer to computer communication; that’s only one part of the Skype magic. You can also use Skype to call a land line or cell phone number from your computer, or through the app and a wifi connection.
So that’s what we did. Instead of paying $2.19 a minute for students to call home and check in with their parents, we paid 2.4 cents per minute and used the Skype app on my iPhone. It was great because it didn’t feel any different than making a typical cell phone call, the reception was clear, and I didn’t sweat the cost if someone spent a while talking to their parents.
The one downside is that it showed up as an unidentified number or as blocked on people’s caller id’s, but usually they picked up the second time their child dialed.
All in all, it’s a must for short term mission trips. Phenomenal cost savings, great tool, and works really great.
On a side note, with all the power packed into an iPhone (and I only have the 3GS), I can totally travel without my laptop now. I even have a portable bluetooth keyboard for typing longer emails on, etc. And using apps like Dropbox enables me to have access to everything I’m working on anywhere. Definitely making travel and leading on the go easier!