Please review these policies if you are considering being a team member. Our goal is to make your missions trip an exciting, life changing event. We do need to communicate some of the business parameters behind this trip so that things will run more efficiently. Thank you!
LIGHTSHINE ALASKA EXPENSE POLICY
We want to be good stewards of the donations that come in to the ministry
(Matthew 25:14-30). We need to constantly ask the Lord for His wisdom to be
faithful with His finances. We want to try to be fair to everyone as to
what is and what is not reimbursed. The time in Alaska should be viewed
primarily as a mission assignment given by the Lord not a vacation. You are
going there supported by the hard earned money of faithful Christians that
believe you will make a difference in Alaska; therefore, care should be
given in spending money.
LightShine International Ministries (LSIM) is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. To receive a tax deduction, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stipulates that the donor must release control of all funds donated to a non-profit organization. For this reason, contributions from sponsors cannot be refunded. Contributions are pooled into a team budget and are not available for future teams. All funds remain under the full control and authority of LSIM.
People give financial support for you as unto the Lord. In other words, all money given on your behalf is not your own. Please note that once airline tickets are purchased, they are non-transferable. Therefore, if you choose to cancel your trip, you must purchase your airline ticket from LSIM or use it on a future trip with LSIM within one year. If you use it on a future trip, you will receive credit for the amount LSIM paid for your ticket, minus the cancellation fee determined by the airline. Remaining mission trip contributions, less team expenses, are also transferable for one year from the date of the trip unless cancellation occurs less than 30 days before departure, except for extreme emergencies. Fear of flying and/or leaving home is not a valid reason for cancellation.
WHAT DOES THE TEAM FEE COVER?
Pre-trip mailings, team t-shirt, transportation, trip accommodations, on-field meals, construction materials, and administrative costs.
Each LSIM team member is personally responsible to provide their own respective insurance coverage of any and all types, including but not limited to, medical, hospitalization, life, disability, death, lost baggage, lost or stolen personal property, and any and all other insurance which a team member may need or desire. We require that you state on your application the name of your medical insurance provider. Further, LSIM requires an affirmation on the application that your medical insurance provider will extend coverage in Alaska and that they will cover emergency transportation such as air rescue. If you find that you do not have adequate coverage, we require that you personally purchase medical insurance at a cost of a few dollars a day through an agency such as www.insurancefortrips.com (phone 1-800-647-4589).
RIGHTS/LIABILITY RELEASE & RISK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
All LSIM team members, leaders, and staff serve at their own risk, and LSIM is not liable in the event of sickness, accident, animal attack, terrorist act, natural disaster, or anything resulting in personal injury or death. Each team member will be asked to: waive his/her right to file a lawsuit in exchange for Biblically-based mediation; release all leaders and organizations from liability; acknowledge and accept hazards, risks, and other dangers associated with this mission trip; acknowledge and accept responsibility for all insurance needs; authorize LSIM leaders to make essential medical / emergency / hospitalization decisions if necessary and accept full responsibility for all such expenses; agree to abide by all policies, guidelines, and rules; and agree to submit to all leaders and those in authority. (The complete text for this entire release is contained in the LSIM Team Registration Packet.)
DRUG & DRINKING POLICY
LSIM does not allow drinking alcoholic beverages or the use of illegal drugs at any time. Team members who violate this policy are subject to being sent home immediately at their own expense.
Most of the villages where LSIM teams serve have a more conservative approach to clothing than we are used to. As guests, we choose to respect our hosts by honoring their request that our teams wear modest and culturally appropriate clothing. Women are expected to wear tops that fully-cover the chest and stomach. Modest and conservative shorts are O.K. for both men and women.
In short, we want to send quality people to Alaska. Our desire for everyone that represents LightShine Ministries to be above reproach, live a life of godliness (Ephesians 5:1-2) and not give the devil a foothold in tempting you to step into immorality. Therefore, people of the opposite sex are not permitted to sleep in the same room with one another if they are not legally married on any LightShine Ministries assignment. We also ask that you show discretion in your relationships and make it your goal to add to the unity of your team by focusing on the needs of the team as a whole and not simply on another person.
AGE LIMITS FOR TEAM MEMBERS
In previous years, we have had younger people be part of our teams and we have learned many lessons (both good and bad) that we want to share with you. Not all young people are qualified to be part of our teams because some have not reached an age where they can display a life of maturity, attention to completing a task and adding to the overall unity of the team. Please understand that we consider all team members as equal (regardless of age) and therefore under the authority of the team leader. Parents have to be able to answer the question if their son or daughter is ready to work hard during a 40 hour week and not become a liability for the team. We understand that young teens are not skilled workers. But can they work hard at cleaning the job site, collecting firewood, doing kitchen preparation and cleanup, or whatever else is asked of them? Will they be able to attend their team’s meetings in preparation for the team’s assignment? Will they be able to sit quietly (and/or participate) during our Bible study times each day? Does the parent understand that the team leader has the right to give tasks and/or reprimand the child if those tasks are not completed? If a parent can say “yes” to these questions, the young person is welcome to apply for being part of the team.
Please look at the airline website before you leave for specific baggage
rules. LightShine will cover the cost of one piece of checked baggage that
is less than 50 pounds. Please check the weight of your piece before you
leave; you will be responsible to pay for overweight or extra bags. For
example, United Airlines charges $100 for bags that are 51 to 70 pounds and
$200 for bags that weigh between 71 to 100 pounds. LightShine will only pay
for a second piece of luggage if it is directly related to a need for the
work that the team is doing (example: special tools). If you have a special
need you can talk to Tom Denlinger about it. Team leaders or in some cases
an assigned team member should pay for all the team’s bags on their credit
card during check in at the airport. Please keep all receipts (see section
below about submitting expenses).
In general LightShine will cover the cost of 3 basic meals per day once you
are dropped off at the airport. The team leader or one assigned team member
should use their credit card to pay for meals during the travel time. You
are responsible to pay for snacks outside of regular meal times. LightShine
will make arrangements with your hosts for meals while in Alaska.
Generally, depending on your assignment, during a seven to ten day
assignment we will arrange for no more than 3 meals in restaurants in AK
outside of your flights and time in the airports. We ask that restaurant
costs be held below $15 per person for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $18 for
dinner with tip included in that amount; anything over that is your expense.
In order to be a good witness, we ask that a tip of at least 20% of the bill
PERSONAL TRIPS TO THE AIRPORT
Some team members choose to take personal vacations before or after their
work time in Alaska. LightShine is responsible for food and travel while
the team is together. If you leave your team and assignment you are
responsible for your own food and travel expenses. LightShine will work
with you on scheduling your airline ticket but will not pay for your
transportation to or from the airports while you are on your own. We do
arrange and pay for transportation to the airport according to what is
regularly scheduled for the team but not for those who take personal trips.
If the airline ticket cost increases because of the extra days for a
personal trip, you will be expected to reimburse LightShine for the extra
SPECIAL MINISTRY TRIPS
Sometimes a question might arise about reimbursement for personal travel to
places where LightShine has worked in the past or might work in the future.
If you are to be reimbursed for these trips you need to clear it with Tom
Denlinger. These special trips will include ministry related meetings which
Tom will help schedule and plan with your host.
Generally team leaders or in some cases an assigned team member will handle
paying for expenses on a credit card. In order to minimize paperwork we
prefer, if possible, to have one person to handle expenses. Please keep all
receipts and submit them to Jeff Zimmerman for reimbursement at LightShine
Ministries, PO Box 777, Mount Joy, PA 17552.
CLOTHING AND SUPPLIES
You are responsible to pay for anything (clothing, rainwear, boots,
supplies, etc.) that you will end up keeping after the trip is over.
In general LightShine does not pay tourist related expenses. We believe we
should not spend money given by supporters to do missionary work on things
related to tourism. We will cover the fuel cost to take the team to a
tourist location. If a host wants to bless a team with a free tourist
activity on your day off that is their gift to the team. LightShine does
not pay for any tourist related fees – including cruises, tours, and hunting
or fishing licenses.
USE OF CREDIT CARDS
If you want to use a personal credit card while in Alaska you should call
your credit card company to tell them about your trip. Some credit card
companies block credit cards from being used far from a home address.
Updated August 19, 2016