What is the Embark program?
The Embark program is TWR’s short-term, overseas missions program that allows a person to start with a shorter term (2 to 12 months) to explore the opportunity of career service with TWR without the requirement of full missionary support. The purpose of the program is to help you answer the question, “Is this where God wants me to serve?”
What do I have to do to qualify to be part of this program?
You will need to complete an application, write out your Christian testimony, agree to our Statement of Faith and Community Conduct Policy, give us a few references, and have an interview with a potential supervisor. If your application materials are approved, you’ll be invited to join us in Cary, NC for a few days of orientation to learn about the ministry, get some valuable training, and prepare to raise support.
What will I be doing while I’m overseas?
We will find roles that fit well with your interests and skill set. Whether you have technical training, a creative eye, or administrative skills, we’ll find a role for you at one our offices around the world that combines your skills and passions and meets an on-going need within the organization.
Will I have internet access to stay connected with family and friends?
Most definitely! All our locations have good internet access for Skype or Facetime.
Will I have to learn a foreign language?
No. All our teams work in English, but you’re always welcome to use your spare time to work on your language skills.
How long can I serve?
2-12 months. Any shorter than that, it’ll be hard to develop a long-term impact and be of meaningful help to the team. Any longer than that and you won’t qualify to get your expenses reimbursed, by U.S. per diem law.
How can I learn more about the potential locations where I could serve?
After you have completed the application, we’ll send you information on the locations you’re interested in.
Can I raise funds to cover my expenses?
Yes. After your application is approved and you have been trained in support raising, you may raise funds from churches, friends, and family to cover your stateside expenses and a per diem (lodging and meals), while you are overseas.
What is a per diem?
A per diem is a daily amount (set by the receiving location) it generally takes to live in that particular location, (lodging, meals, and incidental expenses incurred when traveling and working overseas). This is in lieu of paying for your actual lodging and meal expenses. If you have more questions about this, our team would be happy to chat with you. This is a way we can help you as a volunteer in an overseas location.
If I do not spend all funds that I have raised, what happens to the excess?
We will ensure that you know when you’re close to 100% so that you can tell your supporters that you have the finances you need. Excess support will be used to help another Embark volunteer.
If I don’t raise enough funds, what happens?
If you do not raise enough funds for your entire stay, you may be able to reduce your amount of time of service, find discounted travel for your return, or change your housing arrangements to reduce costs.
When can I start raising support?
Once your application is approved, you’ve been appointed as a TWR short-term missionary, and you’ve received all necessary training, you’ll be set.
Are there any fees associated with the program?
Yes. There is a $150 administration fee and 5% of all donations go to support TWR’s recruiting and member care efforts.
When can I book my airfare?
We will give you permission once you reach 90% of your support goal.
Can I stay longer than 12 months?
Yes, but only if you stay as a volunteer and don’t want to request the per diem. Our team in Cary, NC will be in regular contact with you during your service and we’ll discuss all options prior to your end-date of service.
What does TWR arrange for and what do I arrange for?
The Embarker handles most of the arrangements – travel, housing, transportation to and from work, meals, vaccinations, visas, passports, etc. TWR will coordinate the receipt of all donations, set up your first months housing (you can stay if you like it or find somewhere else) and provide regular oversight and supervision of your work.
Do I get any vacation time?
Yes. You will get one day of time off per month served with your supervisor’s pre-approval.
Will I get health or life insurance?
No. You are a volunteer and not an employee so you will need to find insurance elsewhere. We can provide suggestions of where to get insurance.
Will I get to talk to my potential supervisor before I agree to start the program?
Yes. After we have approved your application, we will set up an appointment for you to talk with your potential supervisor. If you both believe that this is a good match, we can proceed.
Can I get college credit for this like an internship?
No. Since you are a volunteer, we can’t call you an intern since we’re required by law to pay our interns.
What does the per diem include?
The per diem rate is calculated to cover all meals, laundry, fees and tips, and all lodging expenses. Forty (40%) percent of the payment is treated as payment for meals and 60% as payment for lodging.
What expenses can I raise funds for?
Domestic and international travel, transfers, field travel, newsletters, postage, prayer cards, and the per diem.
Do I get the same per diem rate every day?
As long as you are at just one location, yes, except for the first and last of your trip. On the first and last day, you can only get ¾ of the standard rate.
Are per diem payments considered income or wages?
Per diem payments are not part of the employee’s wages if the payment is equal to or less than the federal per diem rate (which they are) and the employer receives an expense report from the employee (which you will do).
How is the per diem rate calculated?
Each receiving location will develop a daily rate by on estimates of the cost of lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. For every day that you serve overseas you will get the per diem times the number of days since your last per diem.
How do I report my expense reimbursements on my taxes?
You don’t need to. It’s not income. It’s just a reimbursement of your expenses.
How soon and how often do I need to send in an expense report?
The Embarker must file the expense report with the employer within a reasonable period (at least every 60 days). If any of these requirements are not met, the payment is taxable to the employee. The report must include the business purpose of the trip and the date and place of the trip.