What kind of work do you do on Messenger?
The Messenger work varies according to location. In the past, the work has involved teaching, working with children in orphanages, leading Vacation Bible School, running camps, relational evangelism, sports outreach, working in medical clinics, visiting people in Mother Teresa homes, manual labor projects, prison ministry, and working in a coffee shop. The teams are supervised by missionaries, missionary organizations, or church leaders in the community where you serve.
Does everyone who turns in an application go on Messenger?
In some cases, although rare, through much prayer and conversation, the Messenger Committee and/or student or parents can come to the conclusion that Messenger is not the best next step for them at the present time.
Do I have any say in where I go?
If a student has a passion for a particular location or people group in the world, he or she is given the opportunity to share this passion with the Committee. The committee then has the task of building teams, and looking at students’ passions as one of many factors to consider when determining where each student will be sent. It is important to remember that one of the most beautiful aspects of going on Messenger is the opportunity to say, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!” and giving up control over where you will go (Isaiah 6:8).
Will I be assigned to a war zone?
NO. The Committee is in partnership (via our church’s missionaries and trustworthy mission agencies) with people around the world to ensure that we are picking locations that will be as safe as possible. However, the fact that all cross-cultural travel has inherent risks. The team hosts will educate the participants on appropriate safety measures. We also partner with CU’s Global Experiences on safety precautions and abide by the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories.
"The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times."
- Paulo Coelho
What about shots, passports, etc.?
You must have (or be able to get) a valid passport. Shots, visas and other requirements for travel are sometimes needed, depending on the country.. If necessary/applicable, information on these requirements is given during the spring training times. These expenses are paid for by the student, however can be taken out of the fundraising cost if the student raises above $3,500.
What does the fundraising amount of $3,500 cover?
The $3,500 student amount combined with the money raised from the Messenger Fundraiser Dinner will cover the following expenses: airfare, food, lodging, travel insurance, ground transportation, agency fees, etc. This cost excludes: passport costs, clothing, vaccinations, emergency cash, souvenirs, and personal items. Each team will be given money to spend on ministry supplies (crafts, sports equipment, etc.) they might need, both before they leave and while they are away. The amount is worked out with the committee on an individual team basis.
When do I need to send out support letters?
Support letters are usually sent out in early March. Students will receive more information on support letters at the Messenger retreat in late February.
Do I have to be a follower of Jesus?
Yes. Messenger is open to university students who demonstrate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a willingness to grow in their faith. The nature of the expectations placed on Messengers make it prohibitive and challenging to students and partners if participants do not have a faith in Jesus Christ.
"Here am I. Send me!"
- THE Prophet Isaiah
Do I or my family have to go to First Presbyterian Church to go on Messenger?
No. The Messenger Program is for any student involved in The Annex at FPC, regardless of church membership. Though rare, college age children of First Presbyterian families, but not involved in Annex, may be considered.
How many people are on a team?
Messenger teams generally range in size from two to six students. Depending on the location being served, some teams will join other college students from across the nation to make up teams from 10 to 20 students.
Is Messenger an Internship?
Yes! Messenger can absolutely be considered as an internship. Many past Messengers have found the trip to be a major boost to their resume, as well as providing professional skills and helping them to narrow down their professional interests.
Can Messenger Count as CU Credit?
Yes! One of the Messenger Committee members is on the CU faculty and can work with the students to provide Independent Study credit, typically in the fall semester following the Messenger experience.