We continue to serve our returning participants and their parents and to work on our summer and fall plans. We have been so encouraged by how we have seen the returning missionaries continue their passion for expressing Christ and His Kingdom during this time.
In the midst of uncertainty about travel restrictions, we are building contingency plans that would provide the opportunity for us to effectively mobilize missionaries, while staying compliant with the recommendations of experts such as the CDC and any local, federal and proper international mandates.
Our June 13, 2020 Open House has been cancelled. We are working on shifting it to some later dates or doing it via webcast. More on that soon.
Important Upcoming Dates:
May 1 - Decision deadline for whether we will be able to offer our original July trips for Semesters and Ambassador participants. We are still pursuing some back up possibilities - most likely at domestic locations.
May 20 - Target date for having “next steps” in place for Racers who returned from the field early. This includes an update on Project Searchlight and any possibility of a return to the field. Financial questions can also be answered at that point.
July 1 - Deadline for notifying September 2020 Gap Year Racers of the plan for September, including any impact on fundraising and deadlines. We’ve announced a couple of contingency plans that we are exploring (see status report below) and we anticipate making a decision by this date.
Current Status for Remaining 2020 Programs:
Summer 2020 Short Term Mission Trips - All trips are being evaluated on a weekly basis. Cancellations for domestic trips are made four weeks before the trip. Cancellations for international trips (plus Puerto Rico) are made six weeks before the trip. At this point, domestic trips have been cancelled through May and international trips (plus Puerto Rico) have been cancelled through June 12th.
June Semesters trips cancelled - Participants have the option of waiting to see what happens with July possibilities, deferring to a future trip (with their fundraising moving to that trip) or dropping completely, thus notifying their donors that they can request a refund by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Refunds cannot be issued until a participant has officially notified their Admissions Advisor of their decision.
July Semesters and Ambassador trips - The announcement on May 1 will include options all options. If we are not able to offer any program options at this time, participants will have the same defer or refund options mentioned for June participants.
August World Race (11 months) - The launch is deferred to October, with training camp incorporated into launch. Racers who cannot work with an October launch date may defer to a future trip (with their fundraising moving to that trip) or they can drop completely and their donors may request a refund by contacting email@example.com. Refunds cannot be issued until a Racer has officially notified their Admissions Advisor of their decision.
September World Race Gap Year (9 months) - We are still planning to launch in September, with training camp incorporated into launch, but are currently developing contingency plans if we are not able to travel overseas at that point. Two possibilities which have been communicated to committed Racers are spending the fall in Gainesville for team building, leadership development, missional training, outreach locally and discipleship or a 6 month Gap Year program launching in January 2021. Final decision and options will be announced by July 1.
October World Race (11 months) - Planning to launch in October, with training camp as part of Launch.
Late Summer Possibilities Being Considered (depending on the protocols in place for gatherings) :
Conferences for transitioning high school students and prospective missionaries to process the impact of Covid-19 on their situation and to help them prepare for ministry/missions in a post-Covid 19 world.
Open House type events for parents and others who have questions and are seeking to know more about our vision.