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Parents


but this is MY child! 

PARENTS:  Congratulations on your child's appointment as a student missionary with the International Mission Board (IMB). Releasing your child to serve internationally might be a bigger step of faith for a parent than it is for their child! These resources will help answer your questions as your child prepares, goes and returns. As a parent, you naturally have many questions and concerns regarding your child's assignment, logistics, housing, food, travel, and safety. We assure you that you and your son or daughter have our full support during their preparation for, travel to, and service on the mission field. We hope these FAQs will help answer your initial questions.


parents FAQs


What is the International Mission Board (IMB)?

How are students chosen to serve through the IMB?

How are student missionaries supported financially?

What about insurance?

What about supervision?

What about transportation?

What about housing?

What about communication?

What if there is an emergency?

Can I send packages to my child?

Can I visit my child on the field?

What if I have other questions?


What is the International Mission Board (IMB)?

The International Mission Board (IMB), an agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, works in cooperation with Southern Baptist churches to send career, short-term and volunteer missionaries to the international mission field. IMB Students offers high school, college, graduate school and seminary students the opportunity to serve alongside experienced IMB career missionaries. Students serve in short-term, summer and semester assignments. IMB Students began in 1947. Since that time, more than 100,000 students have participated in the IMB Students program.

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How are students chosen to serve through the IMB?

Individual students complete and submit an in-depth, online application. A background check and four references are also required for each applicant. The IMB Students application review committee approves and assigns each student based on information gathered from the application and references, including skills, interests, abilities and dates of availability. Specific project assignments are primarily based on the preferences of the student, with consideration also given to the skills and experience of the student. Students serving with a team from their campus or church generally apply directly with their local team leader who selects team members and registers the entire team with IMB Students.

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How are student missionaries supported financially?

Students are responsible for all of their expenses including passport/visa, immunizations, travel costs, insurance, and cost of living on the field (food, lodging, and in-country transportation). The supervising missionary determines the cost of the project and makes the housing arrangements for students. The written project request gives details of field costs and instructions for travel and visa (not included in the field cost). NOTE: Students serving on semester projects through the Hands On program pay for a set portion of the costs outlined above (see the project request for the exact amount) and also receive funding assistance from IMB.

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What about insurance?

All students serving through the IMB are required to have insurance coverage through Gallagher Charitable International Insurance Services. This insurance is comprehensive coverage, not just travel insurance, and costs are just a few dollars a day. All students should keep their current U.S. coverage while on the field, but the U.S. policies generally do NOT cover emergency medical care overseas, emergency evacuation, etc.

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What about supervision?

The field supervisor will be a career missionary, a local pastor/partner, or a journeyman. Each student will be accountable to a supervisor and to the IMB leadership of the country in which they serve.

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What about transportation?

Most projects require the use of a specific travel agent so that the travel can be coordinated for many students serving on the same project. The information for that travel agent will be provided when the student is assigned to the project. It is recommended that students begin travel arrangements 3 months prior to the start of their project. Most students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements with the agent, but this may vary by program.

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What about housing?

The field supervisor is responsible for the living arrangements and all other logistics on the field, unless otherwise noted on the project request or communicated by the field supervisor. General information is included in the project request that each student receives when they were assigned. You may contact the supervisor directly for answers to specific questions about these logistics.

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What about communication?

The field supervisor can give you the contact information (email address, mailing address, phone numbers) where your child can be reached throughout their assignment. You may be accustomed to daily contact with your child via text, cell phone, and Facebook. Please realize that due to the nature of the schedule, time differences, cell phone coverage, power outages, etc., it will NOT be possible for your child to communicate with you every day. When you do communicate, please keep in mind the security level of the place where your child is serving. The field supervisor will provide security guidelines for communication.

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What if there is an emergency?

In the event of an emergency, you may contact your child's supervisor directly. The IMB Students team can quickly get in touch with your child. Call 1-800-999-3113. During business hours (8:30am-5:00pm EST) press 0 and ask for someone on the student team. After business hours, call the same number and follow the instructions for an emergency. Leave your message with the answering service, including your name, the name of your child, the location of your child, the nature of the emergency, and two phone numbers where you can be reached. The answering service will contact an IMB Students manager who will promptly return your call.

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Can I send packages to my child?

In general, YES, BUT, be sure and check with the field supervisor about the correct procedure. Postal mail is so slow in some countries that without the correct procedure your package would not arrive on the field until your student is back in the U.S. If your package does make it to the field, it is very possible that it will be searched and items taken before your student receives it. Some countries require the recipients to pay tax for packages when they retrieve them from the post office. This tax sometimes costs more than the items in the package. If you are planning to send packages, we recommend you investigate these things first.

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Can I visit my child on the field?

We appreciate your support and interest in your child's ministry. If you would like to visit your chlld while s/he is serving, the field supervisor MUST be notified and approve of your plans. It is important that your visit not interfere with the ministry.

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What if I have other questions?

If you have questions, please talk with your child and ask to see the project request and other information they received when they were assigned to their project. If your questions relate to packing, logistical details for their project or things specific to their location, their supervisor is the best source of information. For questions about visas, travel, insurance, and preparation, IMB Students can help. Please contact us any time with questions or concerns and we will help you as much as we possibly can. 800-789-4693 studentteam@imb.org

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