Monday, January 13, 2014

COUNTING THE COST: Keeping In Touch With International Calling

The hardest thing about getting up the courage to go someplace new and preach is the distance from your family. Maybe you're used to talking to your mom and dad every day or you've got kids that you're going to want to call and check on. Whatever your circumstances that distance can be overcome using some modern technology.

Now you've decided you want to go someplace and preach, maybe it's Nicaragua (Yay!) Maybe it's someplace else (Boo!). If you're from the USA there are companies making it a lot easier than it was even just four years ago. If you've got a phone, tablet or computer (w/wi-fi) than things are looking up for you. 

For those of you wanting to call home from your computer you've got great options that won't cost you a dime.

Skype - FREE calling to 1-800 numbers and free video calling between Skype users including conference calls.
Google Hangouts (a.k.a. Chat) - FREE calls to any number in the US; you can get up to ten people on one call. 
Facetime - FREE video calling comes standard on Apple products like iPhone, iPad and Mac

What about for the non-tech savvy family members?

Here are a couple to consider if you want them to be able to contact you using a real telephone number and leave messages:

Magic Jack $29.95
International Calling from your phone ($ varies- contact your mobile phone service provider for exact pricing)
Skype will also allow you to set up a phone number, check out their web page for more details on what that will cost you.

If you've done some international travel and you've found something that really works for you please leave a note in the comments section below and share it with the rest of us.

What about a blog? Check out my how to start a need-greater blog and tips.



  1. Great post Shelina!
    I love keeping in touch with all of the above. My challenge is keeping in touch with my parents who are "older" and not very tech savvy. From Skype I buy a credit and call their land line to make it easier. It costs next to nothing and is much more efficient that trying to get them on email, chat or Skype. I admit, I talk to them more now that I am on the other side of the world than I do when I am in the same country. In our case the distance and time difference actually makes it easier to keep in touch.

    Till next time!

  2. Whatsapp, Voxer and Line are great for texting family back home free. You can even use them like a walkie-talkie and pretend to be on a real phone call.

    1. I've never heard of these. I'm going to check them out. Thanks!

  3. I've been trying to calculate the cost of a skype call to a land-line or mobile phone but i can't make heads or tails of the prices for credit on the website. I've used skype to connect with friends who have it on their computer and its great. But is it really economical to use skype to make calls to regular fone lines, especially international calls?

  4. I believe that from the US it is. A call to Nicaragua, for example is about 23.5¢1/min for me but they determine the rates by where you are calling from and I'm not sure I'm getting the right rate for US.

    But if you are contacting someone using Skype it's FREE. It's a FREE download so the most you'd have to say with a phone call is "get on Skype so we can talk for free."

  5. My husband and I are getting ready to move to Costa Rica to serve as need greaters. We have a daughter and son-in- law who just moved there. We use Viber. Both parties have to have it installed on their phones or tablets but once you do it is free calling and texting.