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. 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. 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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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 a local hotel or hostel, 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!