BEGINNING A MISSION EXPERIENCE

How do I choose a Mission Experience that is right for me?

You will probably get the most out of your mission outreach when you serve in a way where you are most able to use your talents, skills, and experience. Of course this doesn't mean that you should never stretch yourself to try new things!  You may consider a trip based on time of year or who you would like to participate with (family, adults, professionals).  Ultimately, you know your passions and God knows His plans.  Listen to your heart and listen to God to make the best choice for you. 

 

What is the age requirement to participate in a mission experience?

Each trip is built with a specific purpose and mission in mind.  Therefore, each trip description will indicate if it is "adult only" or not.  Those children who can participate must have completed 2 years of accredited education (2nd grade).  This assures us that the child is capable of being a contributing member of the team, is able to follow directions, stay with the group, and overall have a great experience.

 

Do I have to be a member of a certain church, religion, organization to participate in an Identify Mission Experience?

We are a Christian organization, so we ask that you be at a minimum, open to the idea of Christianity and not in opposition of it.  Other than that, there are no other requirements that would limit your participation.  We are affiliated with many denominations within the Christian faith, both here and on the foreign field.  We love spending time with diverse teams and seeing how each person learns something meaningful from others. Of course, if you are participating in one of our Mission Experiences with a Spiritual focus, such as VBS or Women's Bible Study, we do ask that the main leaders and teachers of these classes have made a commitment to Jesus Christ.  

 

Once I look through the trip dates/options, how do I get started?

Complete an application and submit it for approval. You should receive an email within minutes of applying, confirming that Identify has received your application. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at info@identifythemission.org.  After that, we will be in touch with you about your acceptance, team meetings, and further details.  

 

How are applicants selected?

Each team has a different set of criteria that will enable the mission to meet its full potential. It is important that we place people on teams that would best meet the designed purpose. This could include looking for people with specific skill sets or experience or even limiting it to first-timers. Keep in mind that trips do have limits to the number of people allowed and that there may be times we receive more applications than we have availability. If you are unsure of where you fit, call us and let us help guide you to the right place.  

 

By applying, am I committing to the experience? When am I officially committed?

No, you are not committing by submitting your application, but you are stating that you can be a contributing member of the team. After the teams are selected, Identify will contact you to confirm or discuss your approval. Once this has happened, you are responsible for paying your non-refundable deposit immediately in order to hold your place on the team.

 

FUNDRAISING/DONATIONS

I want to do this, but don't have my own funds to pay.  What should I do?

Your Team Leader will lead you and your team in gathering support from others if desired. Many people don’t have the time or ability to engage in a Mission Experience but have the desire to be involved in some way with these kinds of ventures. Because of this, we walk you through a process of online fundraising and recruiting support from friends and family by sharing the goals of the projects and the financial requirements to make it happen. We will also challenge you to get creative, by doing odd jobs, asking for Skymile donations, etc.  Over the years, we have seen God provide in INCREDIBLE ways to people just like you!

 

How does someone donate to a specific team member or project?

Online is the easiest:

  • Each team member will have a specific link that allows easy online donations to be given for him/her, the project, or team they are a part of.  

Checks & Cash are also easy:

  • These items should be mailed or given directly to the team member.  Once these funds are in hand, they will turn them in at their next team meeting.  All items will be directed to the correct accounts and donor info will be added for tax receipts that will be sent out later. 

 

Are my donations/payments tax deductible?

Because Identify is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, it is easy for donors to receive tax deductions for their contributions.  All contributors will receive either an online contribution statement emailed upon receipt or an end-of-the year statement letter in the mail that may be used when filing taxes. Identify determines the manner in which all donated monies are used.   A more thorough discussion of this topic can be obtained by requesting a copy of Guidelines for Contributions and Expenses Related to Mission Experiences from Identify’s Administrative Manual.  All fees/donations are non-refundable.

Are my donations/payments refundable?

Simply put, no. Again, because of our 501c3 status and tax deduction regulations, we are unable to return funds once received.  If there is a circumstance where the funds are not able to be used for their original intentions, Identify will put them toward a similar purpose.

TRAVEL

Do I need a passport?

YES! Apply for a passport now if you don’t have one at http://travel.state.gov

After you receive your new passport number update your application with that information. You will also need to make a copy of your passport application and/or passport and give it to your team leader no later than 2 months before the team is scheduled to fly out. If your passport expires less than six months after your departure date, you will need to renew your passport as soon as possible. Additionally, if you have a non-US passport, you are responsible for finding out if a visa is required for you to travel to a specific country.

 

Can I travel to/from another destination or stay longer at my destination?

We provide a specific flight agenda to the team that will allow us to travel together and in unity. However, we understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as living out of state.  If there is a true need to arrive separately from the team, the team member must first have it approved by Identify staff and will still be limited to the arrival dates/times for team logistical reasons.  If this circumstance cannot be prevented, participant will sign a release removing Identify from any liability outside of the team's assigned agenda and will also pay any additional charges associated with the alternate plans. 

 

Where will I sleep?  Will I have a real bathroom?  

Each experience is different, depending on the project and area of travel.  However, most teams are housed in our mission house, a local hotel, or a hostel, all with beds and bathrooms. Trips requiring other accommodations will be noted in the trip details section.  

 

Will I have to eat bugs for protein and survival?

Ummm, no.  Although this ranks in the top 5 most common team member fears, as far as we know it has never happened on one of our trips.  Your trip fees provide you with DELICIOUS breakfast, lunch, and dinner cooked by the locals.  The food is so good you would have to be crazy to choose a bug instead!

GLOBAL PANDEMIC TRAVEL

How is Identify handling global pandemic limitations and concerns?

Great question! Thankfully, we have had a lot of time to research, collaborate with professionals, and plan well. Although circumstances seem to change daily, we are mindful and diligent about our responsibility to our team members, host partners, and the communities we serve.  In order to do our very best to keep those we interact with safe and healthy, we have developed many measures that are put into action before, during, and after mission travel and participation.  We ask and expect that each part of the Identify Family work in unison, unity, and dedication to successful mission efforts despite the global health changes we've experienced.

What precautions/protocol are team members required to follow?

We require that participants have no known symptoms of Covid within 10 days of spending time with other team members during preparatory and re-entry phases of the Mission Experience.  Team members must be symptom free 10 days prior to travel as well.  Team members must have a negative Covid test 96 hours prior to travel.  During travel, team members must carry disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and disposable or cloth masks (one per travel day) at all times.  We will also monitor team members and Identify staff for fever each morning and evening. 

How is the pandemic unfolding and being handled in the foreign countries and communities where Identify works?

Each community has had a different story.  Some have had no cases. Some have had a few and others, many.  In general, the rise and fall of Covid in each country has mirrored others.  This means, when you see an increase in your home country, you can expect to see the same in other countries simultaneously.  However, the actual number and ratio of positive cases and deaths has been far less in our partnering communities that we have seen in North America.  Thankfully, in Guatemala, the government responded immediately to the pandemic and due to a much longer period of closed borders and in-home shelter, they were able to slow the spread much quicker than our own countries.  Today, nationals and visitors are expected to social distance, wear mask in many places, and are monitored for fever at almost every public site prior to entry.  

What happens if I develop symptoms while in-field doing my mission work?  

    If MILD SYMPTOMS occur, WE WILL:

  • Place you in private quarters and socially distanced transportation and quarantine you as necessary.

  • Call our trusted healthcare professionals in Guatemala and on-call advisors in the U.S. to HELP evaluate your illness and HELP decide the best course of action.

  • Continue monitoring and evaluating symptoms.

 

    If MODERATE TO SEVERE SYMPTOMS occur, WE WILL:

  • Place you in private quarters and socially distanced transportation and quarantine you as necessary.

  • Call our trusted healthcare professionals in Guatemala and on-call advisors in the U.S. to HELP evaluate your illness and HELP decide the best course of action.

  • Contact your listed emergency contact to inform them of your situation.  Parents/guardians of minors may have input in the proceeding course of action.  Those 18 or over will work in conjunction with Identify leaders to make final decisions regarding next steps.

  • Take you to a local doctor or hospital where you will be evaluated, treated, and expected to pay in-full for your treatment using a secure credit card of your choosing which will later be filled for reimbursement through the provided travel insurance policy.    

  • Follow the instructions provided by the travel insurance that Identify provides for each team member.

  • Restrict your further involvement in day-to-day activities and interactions.

 

    In addition, WE MAY:

  • Contact your listed primary care physician for guidance.

  • Contact the US local public health department for guidance.

  • Send you home at your expense or extend your stay, with quarantine, also at your own expense.

Will any funds I have paid be refunded if I cancel my Mission Experience before or during travel?

This depends on the circumstances.  If you cancel prior to travel, Identify will not refund any of the fees you or others have paid toward your Mission Experience (see above policy statement).  Because of this we have moved fee deadlines closer to travel, giving team members the ability, in a sense, to hold funds without uncertainty for longer. If this is still a concern, there are travel insurance policies that provide a Trip Cancellation benefit, also called a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) that you can purchase and will provide fund replacement.  If you must come home during travel, the travel insurance provided through Identify will reimburse some funds.  This travel health insurance is a short-term supplemental medical insurance designed to cover unexpected medical expenses incurred abroad, as well as offer some travel benefits. Depending on the policy purchased, it may cover expenses such as: the cost of a local ambulance, surgery, labs, and testing, the bill for your hospital room and board, emergency medical evacuation, accidental death and dismemberment, trip interruption, travel delay, lost checked luggage reimbursement, and/or lost or stolen passport/travel visa fees.  Be assured however, that even if funds are deposited into the Identify account, but end up not being used for travel, they will still go toward our mission efforts as we have great needs, whether teams are on the ground or not.  In this way, nothing is lost, but much is gained!

What if I want to go, but can't make up my mind?

We can't tell you what to do.  This is a decision that we all make on our own, with input and wisdom from trusted family members, friends, mentors, and God. The leaders of our organization are diligently working to make wise and meaningful Mission Experiences happen again and we are definitely ready to grow and go with you again!  However, we know that each person has a personal journey and only you can decide when the timing is right for you.  If you feel ready, then trust God and move forward.  If you feel hesitant, give yourself some time to make a decision you feel confident about.  If you cannot find peace in going, then join our mission family from home and be part of providing supplies, resources, or encouragement that will benefit the team and communities that you would love to be part of!  No matter how, there is a perfect place for you in our very important mission efforts!

FAQs

​​Call us:

404-590-4908 USA

502-4680-4533 GUA

​​Mail us:

PO Box 3983

Suwanee, GA 30024