FOR PARENTS & GUARDIANS
Frequently Asked Questions
We know it can be scary to send your student halfway across the world. Rest assured that as a branch of Oral Roberts University, ORU Missions would never attempt to send students into unsafe situations or with contacts that we didn't trust. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below for answers on questions that you may have about your student's trip.
“When my son said he wanted to go on this mission trip to Zambia, I told him I don’t have the money for that. But I’m shocked at how God has touched hearts! I’m a teacher, and when I began asking people, it has blown my mind how people have given—my son’s former teachers, janitors, people at our church—after I shared in Sunday school about my son’s trip, a woman I didn’t even know gave me $200! I was skeptical—apprehensive—about asking for money, but many people have THANKED me for asking. Atheists have sought me out to give to my son’s trip. I’m praying that for everyone who gives, it would be a seed to their household. God has continued to fund this. Here we are a month out from his 100% deadline and he’s 101% funded with more people who want to give which will help fund the rest of his team.”
- Mother, Team Zambia 2019
What if my student doesn't make it to their financial deadline?
These situations are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director team on each financial deadline day, and a single answer can't be given broadly. Very limited scholarship is made available to qualifying missionaries in need by our FAM Scholarship donors (Learn more about FAM or donate here), but no student should rely on an expectation to receive a scholarship. Keep fundraising, get creative, work hard, and trust the Lord in the process!
**Please note that because ORU Missions is an IRS recognized, 501(c) 3 organization and awards tax-deductible receipts, there are no refunds for donations. In the unlikely event that any student being supported is unable to go on a trip, every donation will still go toward ORU Missions and the money will still be used for its intended purpose: to train and send students to the mission field, invest in our partner contacts, and reach those that they serve with the love of Christ.
Why doesn't ORU Missions pay for students' trips out of their budget?
ORU Missions does not have a budget for trips outside of what donors give. We do as much we can financially by providing students with training and tools for fundraising, and recruiting donors to build up a scholarship fund to better help students in need who don't have a strong support system to fundraise from. (To learn more about FAM or to donate to the FAM Scholarship fund, click here.)
What is covered in my student's trip cost?
Each student's trip cost covers their airfare, food, lodging, transportation, and travel insurance while on the field, as well as the training they receive before their trip. Expenses not covered in your student's trip cost are any expenses related to obtaining a passport and immunizations, souvenirs or other snacks that your student may wish to purchase while in country, and their health insurance, if purchasing short-term health insurance solely for their trip.
What if we don't have health insurance?
As a part of ORU's travel policy, each student traveling on an ORU Missions trip is required to have international health insurance (for international teams) or domestic health insurance (for domestic teams) that will cover them during Ropes and the entire time they are on the field. Students may purchase short-term health insurance for the duration of their trip.
Will my student receive any training?
All ORU Missions students take part in bi-monthly Missions Trainings, where they are trained and equipped on topics such as fundraising, ministry and evangelism, contact investment, sharing testimonies, spiritual warfare, and cultural sensitivity, among others. Before their trip, all teams take part in Ropes, a weekend-long (Spring Break teams) or week-long (Summer teams) intensive training including team-building, ministry preparation, safety scenarios, and evangelism training. Hands-on training will take place with the ministry partner once the team arrives at their destination.
How qualified are the leaders of my student's mission trip?
All Team Leaders and Assistant Team Leaders (TLs and ATLs) are thoroughly interviewed and prayerfully considered before being placed as leaders on a team. Throughout the year, leaders attend intensive training weekends, weekly training meetings, and Summer TLs even travel to Atlanta with us for a week for in-depth TL Training while serving the refugee community of GA. All leaders are trained on how to handle different emergencies, working with host contacts, handling finances, and, above all, taking care of their team. Leaders are also instructed to notify the Director team immediately in the case of any emergency.
When should my student apply for a passport?
Your student should apply for a passport immediately after signing up for an ORU Missions trip. Passports are due at their team's first financial deadline. Passports can take up to 8 weeks to arrive. Costs related to obtaining a passport, including any expediting fees to expedite the processing of their passport, are the responsibility of the participant.
When will my student receive a packing list for their mission trip?
Students will receive a packing list, as well as emergency information for parents and guardians, at the last Missions Training before their trip in March (Spring Break trips) or April (Summer trips).
How safe are these trips?
ORU Missions makes every effort to keep your student safe during their entire short term mission trip experience. We work with partners in the country who are familiar with the area we will be staying in and working in, and research to plan the safest places for your student to eat, stay, and work. In addition, we enroll all of our mission teams in the US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which allows the U.S. Embassy to contact and provide assistance to the team in a national emergency.
Who will the teams work with?
All teams work with established missionary partners in the ORU Missions network. These are either missionaries or ministry leaders who have a history of service in the country and programs that fit with the mission and vision of ORU Missions.
Who do I call in case of emergency while my student is traveling?
All ORU Missions participants will be given a list with emergency contact information and phone numbers before their trip.
What if a nationwide emergency occurs while a team is on the field?
We enroll all of our mission teams in the US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Enrolling in STEP allows the U.S. Embassy to contact and provide assistance to the team in an emergency, even evacuating the team safely to a US Consulate if necessary.
Will my student be able to call home and email while on the field?
Access to phone calls and email may be limited, and varies from location to location. As your student's trip approaches, more information will be given on phone and internet availability for that specific trip. In the event of an emergency, ORU Missions Directors will contact the guardian(s) listed on a student's emergency information form immediately. So remember that no news is good news!
I'm a graduate of ORU Missions. How can I stay involved?
Register for our FAM Newsletter, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram to hear about updates in the program, testimonies, and events for students and alumni. To adopt a current missionary or support the FAM scholarship, check out our FAM page.
Still have questions? Try one of these resources which have been given to your student, or reach out to ORU Missions & Outreach.