Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long does the application process take?

Applicants should allow up to two weeks per approval, or approximately 6-8 weeks.  A variety of factors may change this amount of time, such as the amount of time it takes for the applicant’s to complete all requirements, including the mission preparation course, if applicable.  Another factor is the amount of time the calling organization takes to review and accept or deny your application.

How long may I serve?

Most volunteer assignments are for 10 months to one year.  A few offer two-year commitments.  Whatever the length of time, you may talk with your mission supervisor about extending your service, once you are nearing the end of your volunteer assignment. You may extend as long as the mission site allows.

What happens if I can’t finish my term?

While we hope and pray that each of our volunteers are able to honor the time commitment agreed upon in the service request, there are some cases that necessitate returning early.  Whatever the case may be, it is important that you communicate with your site supervisor and student missions coordinator (if applicable).  They will help you make the arrangements, and communicate with AVS to process your “early return.”

Once you have returned, your campus mission office and our office are available to help with supporting you in your transition home.  We would appreciate your feedback in either completing a “Position Assessment” form or an online survey posted on our website, under “Resources” and “Returning Missionaries.”

What are some reasonable causes for volunteers to return early?

The most common reasons for an early return might include personal illness or injury, a family emergency, or a situation or political climate at the mission site that is out of the volunteer’s control. Unfortunately, there are a few cases each year when a mission site asks a volunteer to leave.  In this case, it must go through an appropriate process before the volunteer is sent home. Whatever the case, the volunteer is encouraged to give an explanation for their early return to their supervisor, SM Coordinator, division, and/or Office of Volunteer Ministries when appropriate.

Am I allowed to bring a spouse and family?

YES, as long as the service request indicates that there are accommodations for a spouse or family.

  • It is recommended that married couples should be married for at least one year before serving.
  • All married volunteers serving more than three months MUST be accompanied by their spouse, per Church policy.
  • In the event that a spouse will accompany the volunteer as a dependent (spouse is not a voted volunteer) for an international assignment, spouse forms need to be submitted with the volunteer’s application.  These may found on our website under “Resources” and “Downloads.”

Will OVM take care of my financial obligations while I’m serving?

Unfortunately the Office of Volunteer Ministries is unable to provide any financial assistance to volunteers.

Who pays for my insurance coverage?

When viewing a service request, under the “Finances” section, the financial responsibilities are listed, including the cost of insurance.  For most service requests, the calling organization (through their local division) covers the cost of the volunteer’s insurance.  Some, however, will state that insurance is the responsibility of the “Volunteer/Sponsor.”  In this case, the coordinator and/or volunteer will be notified so that appropriate arrangements can be made by the volunteer to cover the cost of insurance. (The bill cannot be received by an individual, so the volunteer will be paying an SDA institution that is approved for billing.)

What do I do in a medical emergency?

Seek immediate medical attention. If you need help finding medical attention, or after you have already secured medical attention, call Europe Assistance:

1-202-659-7803 (outside the U.S., call COLLECT)

1-800-243-6124 (inside the U.S.)

If you are acting on behalf of someone else in case of an injury, follow these steps:

1.  Assess situation and environment where injured is located.  Do not walk into a dangerous situation.

2.  Ask injured where they are hurt.  Trying to move an injured person may cause more harm.

3.  Secure immediate medical attention, while making sure injured is not left alone, if possible.

4. Call ambulance or emergency care unit.

5. Contact Europ Assistance (or contact supervisor or designated person to do this on behalf of injured.)

6. After medical attention has been secured, continue communicating with Europ Assistance to ensure expenses are covered.  This will include completing an Accident and Sickness Medical Claim Form. (See APPENDIX A7.)

 

Click here for more information.

Who do I talk to if issues arise while I am serving?

Sometimes questions or more serious issues arise during your mission service that you may not be able to solve on your own or within your group of missionaries.  In these cases, please follow the steps below:

Student Missionary Volunteers (SM)

1. Local Mission Site Supervisor

Ask your site supervisor for help in resolving the issue before taking it to your SM Coordinator.

2. Student Missions Coordinator

If your site supervisor is unable to help for some reason, contact your SM Coordinator.

3. Local Division Coordinator

If you are unable to reach your SM Coordinator, you may try contacting the Volunteer Coordinator for the division in which you are serving.  Contact information for division coordinators is listed here:https://www.adventistvolunteers.org/Contacts

4.  OVM Coordinator

If you are unable to reach your host division Volunteer Coordinator, you may contact the Processing Coordinator for the NAD Office of Volunteer Ministries, Ernest Hernandez.

Office of Volunteer Ministries Volunteers (OVM)

1. Local Mission Site Supervisor

Ask your site supervisor for help in resolving the issue before taking it to your SM Coordinator.

2. Local Division Coordinator

If your site supervisor is unable to help for some reason, you may try contacting the Volunteer Coordinator for the division in which you are serving. Contact information for division coordinators is listed here:https://www.adventistvolunteers.org/Contacts

3.  OVM Coordinator

If you are unable to reach your host division Volunteer Coordinator, you may contact the Processing Coordinator for the NAD Office of Volunteer Ministries, Ernest Hernandez at ernest.hernandez@nad.adventist.org.

 

One thought on “Q & A

  1. Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through
    your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

    Many thanks!

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