Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come as an individual volunteer?
If there is a team in the area you are welcome to come as a single volunteer. If you wish to work with us when there is not a team, please contact us about our needs and a good time for you to come for a visit.
Can I pick a particular group to work with?
Yes. We have several teams that come and want to work with a particular people group. In these cases we try to pair you up with a congregation of that PG or put you in a location that has that group. Keep in mind that when working in an apartment complex you will encounter many nationalities.
Will there be a translator?
In apartment ministry, because you never know who is going to show up, this is difficult. Most kids speak English. We ask that you maintain flexibility and be willing to be stretched.
Can I bring gifts, clothes, or food to give away?
Please check with us before you bring anything. Surprisingly enough refugees have access to many of these things. We want our presence in the community to be an empowering one rather than one that creates dependency, so it’s best to check with us and let us distribute them as we see fit.
What is the best time to do ministry?
The best time to do ministry with RTN is in the afternoons and early evenings. This community is late rising and often works second and third-shift jobs. Mornings are certainly not the best.
Can my team come and stay over night?
Yes. Many local groups come and work for a day, two-three days, and all week. We have housing facilities in the community to accommodate groups as large as 20 people.
Can we come and not stay in the RTN facilities?
Yes. Several of our partners in the past have chosen to stay at a hotel in the area. We can make recommendations if that is something you might like to do.
If we have a project in mind to do, can we do it?
It depends. There are some things that will work here and some things that won’t. Here at RTN we are strategic in our ministry. We ask that you check with us before deciding what you are going to do as the area is very diverse and cross-cultural. We do have a calendar of events that we are needing teams to help us host. Please check with us about our calendar of events to see if anything we need matches up with a project that is on your heart.
Why does my trip still cost me something if my team takes care of our own food and chooses off-site housing?
A lot of time and effort is put into setting up a trip for any given team. A lot of what we charge is administrative costs for doing so. Also, even if you don't stay with us, we typically still use our facility during parts of the trip, so things like toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies come out of the money we receive from teams. Finally, bringing in teams has been and currently still is a way for us to generate revenue for the church. Our church is comprised of 95% refugees, so we will not ever be self-sustaining on tithes and offerings alone. For this reason we have to get creative with ways to bring in money. The revenue generated by teams in part funds the team and volunteer coordinator position and helps us disciple and train the summer interns as the next generation of missionaries. If you have any other financial questions, feel free to ask us directly.
Where will I stay?
RTN takes care of finding and providing housing to our summer interns. Typically our ladies will be housed with a host family in the area while the men will be housed in a condo owned by RTN in Clarkston.
What will I do about food?
RTN provides a food stipend of $100 each month to our interns.
Will I be reimbursed for gas?
Our interns are expected to keep track of their mileage while doing ministry and are reimbursed accordingly.
Will I need to raise any money?
Yes. Each intern is asked to raise $600 to help cover housing and utility costs.
Will I be doing ministry alone?
Interns will be part of a team. We encourage them to do ministry as a team, and we
also strongly encourage them to take our church members with them to visit people they meet
out in the community. This does not mean that interns do not operate with some level of
independence, but they will not be without support where needed.
Who oversees the internship program?
Mary Palm is on staff with Reach the Nations as the Administrative Assistant/Team and
Volunteer Coordinator. She is directly over the summer internship program. Mary personally
served as an intern with us for 5 summers before coming on staff as our Administrative Assistant/Team and Volunteer coordinator.