Who and What is Alaska Outreach?
Alaska Outreach exists to facilitate short-term missions trips by connecting churches, pastors, businesses, and individuals to great missions opportunities in Alaska. We have developed relationships with phenomenal missionaries, organizations, and churches both on and off the road system in Alaska to strategically plan life-changing missions experiences. We are committed to simplifying the process and giving your team the greatest moments of their lives for the kingdom.
What does my trip cost include?
Your trip cost includes the flight or ferry to your destination from Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau respectively, food for the entire time in your destination, transportation in your destination, promotional material for your destination, ministry expenses, expenses that the church incurs in hosting a team, team t-shirts, and an incredible experience in the Last Frontier.
What airport do we fly into?
If you are going on a trip in Northern or Western Alaska, you will fly into Anchorage (ANC) and we will purchase your plane ticket from Anchorage to your destination. If you are going on a trip in Southeast Alaska, you will fly into Juneau (JNU) and we will purchase your ferry ticket from Juneau to your destination. If you're going somewhere in the Interior of Alaska, you'll fly into Fairbanks (FAI).
Do you provide VBS curriculum?
We can provide VBS curriculum if requested. If your ministry already has a VBS curriculum that you have used before and fits into the host pastor's idea for the week, then we ask that you use that. We have found that things run smoother when the team (or some on the team) have run them before.
What kind of food will we eat?
Your team will eat well with menus designed by our Network's camp chef. For example, a day's menu may include eggs, bacon, and cereal for breakfast; sandwiches and chips for lunch; and lasagna and garlic bread for dinner with cookies for dessert. Depending on your destination, we encourage our team hosts to expose the team to Native Alaskan food, with optional American food for the less adventurous of the group.
Where will we sleep?
You and your team will most likely be sleeping in the church on the floor. Those who want to are more than welcome to bring air for foam mattresses, but be sure to discuss it with your host pastor to make sure there will be enough floor space with your particular size of team.
What are we responsible for preparing for ministry?
The first rule of thumb here to is to be in communication with your host pastor to ensure that you both are on the same page in regards to who is preparing what. Typically the team will be responsible to practice and prepare VBS ministry as well as the youth or all church nightly outreach.
Do Alaskans live in igloos?
Though this is a widespread belief, this is not true. The Inuit people of Alaska used igloos as temporary dwelling places, typically on hunting trips or when caught out in bad weather to stay safe from the cold. But igloos are used more as you'd think of using a tent when camping - as a temporary place to stay rather than a permanent residence.
Do we get t-shirts?
Yes, we provide each member of the team with a t-shirt and an Alaska Outreach water bottle. You will receive them when you reach your destination.
What if we want a free day to explore while I'm in Alaska?
Talk to us about it! We have facilitated these in the past on a case by case basis. We would look at your size of group and what you're wanting to do and get you a customized quote for what it would cost. Unfortunately vehicle rentals in Alaska in the summer time are expensive, but we'll do what we can to put together a cost effective free day while you're in Alaska.
What if someone drops out - is the money refundable?
The initial $150 deposit and the airfare (if applicable) installment are both nonrefundable. Any other monies turned in are refundable up to 30 days before the start of the trip. You can make a substitution for the $100 name change fee with the airline and no additional cost from us.
When is the money due?
The initial $150 nonrefundable deposit is due January 4th.
The 2nd installment (varies by trip) is due February 4th. Please note if your trip is very early in the summer this date may be earlier.
The 3rd installment is due April 4th. The amount of this varies by trip.
The final installment is due May 4th. The amount of this varies by trip.
Please note, we are flexible with these dates. Please talk to us if you would like to to request changes to this financial timeline.
You can pay by check or credit card. Please note that if the money is not received by our office by the due date, the team will be responsible to pay any additional costs that result from late payment. For example, if the airfare installment is turned in late and we lose our originally reserved airfare, the ticket prices often go up and the team would be responsible to pay the additional cost of the airline tickets.
Do we need a passport?
Unless you are driving through Canada to get to Alaska, you do not need a passport. You will need the standard identification required for flying anywhere in the United States.
What sort of ministry will we do?
Each destination has different facets of ministry that the teams will do and be a part of, but the key here is communication with the host pastor of the trip. The team's job is to be a blessing to the pastor and work within his or her vision of ministry to their community. Typically we have found that a combination of children's ministry in the afternoon (often, but not always, sports related), youth or all church outreach rallies in the evening, and small work projects throughout the trip is a winning combination of ministry opportunities for teams and a blessing to the church. Let us know when we are setting up your trip what type of ministry your team would like to focus on and we can do our best to set you up with a destination that will match your teams' skill sets.
How long are the trips?
We set up our trips to leave Anchorage or Juneau on Saturday and leave out of their destination to head home the following Saturday. Typically we tell teams to allow for a travel day in the beginning and then on the end of their trip, so the total time teams are gone from home is about 9-10 days, depending on where you're coming from. This puts your team in your destination for approximately 8 days doing ministry and being a blessing to the churches of Alaska. Please note - Trips that are beyond 8 days may cost extra (transportation, lodging, meals, etc...) Please contact our office if this is the case.
How many people can come on the trip?
This depends on your destination - we have had trips range from 10 people all the way up to 27 people in one destination. If you have a larger group let us know, what we have found works best for our churches is to split the team to go to two different villages with that many people.
Where in Alaska will my destination be?
We offer destinations throughout the state of Alaska, on a first come first serve basis. However, we retain the right to switch locations based on needs that arise in the local church communities as well as within the state as a whole. For example we have had to make shifts in the past due to a pastoral transition leaving a church without adequate leadership to host a trip. When this occurs we will communicate with the mission's team leader about the shift along with the new proposed location. If there are additional expenses we will not pass them on to you.