Servant Teams are 4-month formation opportunities, which are offered in established WMF countries of service. Each Servant Team is comprised of 3 to 7 people who commit to live and serve together, under the leadership and guidance of a WMF staff member. We hope you will consider participating!
- Servant Teams are sent out twice a year to hosting countries. Please note that the hosting countries are subject to change.
Please check back for dates and locations for Fall 2014 Servant Teams
Countries of Service
- Servant Team locations change periodically. Check the calendar above for current locations where we are accepting applications. Servant Teams may be offered in the following WMF countries of service:
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
WMF Argentina ministers among youth in Retiro, a central transportation hub through which hundreds of thousands of people pass daily. Once a week a local church opens its community center to the youth from Retiro. The staff members also make visits to youth who have a home or a stable living situation. Team members may accompany staff on visits to Retiro, work at the community center, and make home visits to the youth.
- Chisinau, Moldova
An independent nation since 1991, one-third of Moldova’s children have at least one parent living abroad while one in ten live without both parents. Although stories of trafficking, exploitation and abandonment abound, WMF staff are committed to living as people of hope in Moldova in the midst of what often seems to be an impenetrable darkness. Team members will have the opportunity to research ministry possibilities in the city of Chisinau while building relationships with these marginalized children.
- El Alto, Bolivia
The majority of the team’s work will take place in El Alto – previously a shantytown of La Paz. The WMF staff in Bolivia work among girls and women caught in prostitution. The community operates a drop-in center for women who prostitute, called Casa de Esperanza (House of Hope). The House of Hope is a place of refuge, love and transformation for the women and their families, where WMF staff and volunteers offer lunch, fellowship, recreation, Bible studies and skills training classes twice a week. Please note that the Word Made Flesh field in El Alto, Bolivia, is located 14,000 feet above sea level. The altitude can be deadly for those with sickle cell anemia and uncomfortable for those with asthma.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Team members will have the opportunity to research ministry possibilities in the city of Rio de Janeiro while building relationships with the poor, particularly children.
- Kolkata, India
WMF Kolkata serves among women who prostitute. Team members may have the opportunity to work among sexually exploited women and children, and minister in the neighborhoods where the women prostitute. Because of the sensitive nature of WMF’s work in Kolkata, there will be strict guidelines and some restrictions to participation on these teams.
- Kathmandu, Nepal
Team members may serve among street children, children suffering from substance abuse, children who prostitute, the destitute, and the elderly in the city of Kathmandu.
- Lima, Peru
Team members will participate with the WMF staff in an on-going work among children in street contexts in Lima. The ministry focuses on relationships of love and justice with children who are nurtured at the WMF day center, on the street and in other care homes.
- Galati, Romania
Team members will serve among street children and at-risk children and young adults at the WMF drop-in center (The Valley House).
- Freetown, Sierra Leone
The staff in Freetown are reaching out to victims of war, including refugees, child soldiers, amputee victims and war orphans. The community is involved in care and discipleship for street children, refugee children and children in slum communities. They monitor school and trades training sponsorships as well as operate a Good News Club in the largest slum in Freetown. Team members will participate in ministry activities alongside WMF staff.
- Bangkok, Thailand
WMF Thailand works against the exploitation of vulnerable women, men and children in Bangkok. Team members will have the opportunity to build relationships and research ministry opportunities while participating in ministry alongside WMF staff.
Values & Goals
- Servant Team Values
- The Servant Team will live as a community united in the love of Christ. Community is our means of ministry. It is through community that the values of the Kingdom of God are established in our lives and service. It will be through community that the redeeming love of Christ will be reflected in such a way that the poor are welcomed into our fellowship.
- Discipleship will take the form of weekly meetings concentrating on the issues of poverty, the poor, ministry and our corporate responsibility as the body of Christ. These informal meetings are designed to open doors for discussion. Discipleship will also come out of community living, Bible study, book critiques, and our brokenness as we live and serve among the poor. Worship and prayer will be vital parts of this discipleship with one another.
- A significant component of the Servant Team will be some form of active involvement in a local Christian ministry, a non-government organization (NGO), or an aid/relief program working in some capacity to serve the poor (i.e. street children, leprosy rehabilitation, pediatric AIDS care). This aspect of the Servant Team members will partly depend on the interests of the Servant Team members and will afford the members the opportunity to learn more about community development and holistic ministry. This experience also serves as a springboard for a personal project that each Servant Team member will be asked to submit at the end of their team experience.
- Ministry will not simply be the “things we do.” It will be the very essence of the lives we live with each other and among the poor.
- Servant Team Goals
- Celebrate the person of Jesus Christ
- The Servant Team exists to draw those involved into a deeper love and more intimate knowledge of Jesus that others may know him. It is by loving Him that we are able to love one another and this dying world. It is through knowing Him that we may know His passions and follow His lead in serving the poorest of the poor. This service is not the end we seek; the end is Christ Himself.
- Clarify and contextualize a biblically based world view
- Our world view is distorted by our economic status and the narcissism of our society. Greed, pride, and extreme individualism characterize our values. Scripture speaks of a world view shaped by the values of humility, sacrifice, and love. These are the values of the Kingdom of God. As believers we should place more emphasis on understanding what Scripture has to say about who we are and to Whom we belong. Clarification of our world view enables us to develop a more secure foundation upon which to build our faith. Contextualizing our world view is necessary for us to maintain a consistent, Biblical understanding of our faith, regardless of our geographical location.
- Develop a foundational philosophy of Christian ministry
- All to often service becomes nothing more than a job for those in ministry. At this point it becomes fruitless and vain as it is not rooted in their spirituality. True ministry is a natural out-flow of our relationship with Christ. Unless our outreach is motivated by our relationship with Jesus, it is not rooted in our spirituality. By understanding our relationship with Jesus, the unchanging King, and our relationship to His unshakable Kingdom, we can begin to develop a foundation for living. Once this foundation for living is established, we will have a foundation for ministry.
- Re-interpret our spirituality in the context of a dying world
- Through exposure both to God’s Word and God’s world, we are faced with the reality of the poor and our need to engage that reality. We must be committed to a response that centers on bringing God’s redemptive love, through our own brokenness and humility, to His lost and suffering children.
- Develop a firm relationship with local churches
- Throughout the commitment of the Servant Team we will seek to understand through the study of Scriptures, how and why the Lord has established the Church as His body here on earth. Seeking to understand our place in the Church, what we give to the Church, and what we can offer the Church will be a starting point to developing a collective and personal understanding of the theology and philosophy of the Church.
- Learn to function in culturally appropriate ways in the majority world
- We acknowledge that we are entering the Third World as outsiders. As such, we can never fully identify with or understand the conditions of those among whom we serve; the poorest of the poor. It is arrogant for us to believe that we have all the answers. Therefore, we will seek to enter into each situation with a posture of humility that will place us in a position of continual learning from the poor.
Frequently Asked Questions
- General Information
How old are most Servant Team members?
How many people participate on each team?
How long are the Servant Teams?
What is the cost of the Servant Team?
What if I want to travel on a shorter team?
What if I want to stay overseas longer than the team?
Will there be a time of team training and orientation before we depart?
Is there any reading I can do that will help prepare me to make a decision to apply?
How can I apply for a Servant Team?
- The Servant Team Application
What is the deadline for submitting Servant Team applications?
What should I put on the Medical Insurance page, if I don’t currently have insurance that covers me while overseas?
The application asks for a copy of my passport, but I don’t have one yet.
- After You Have Been Accepted to the Servant Team Program
How do I find out about immunizations, visas, what to bring, etc.?
My doctor has told me that I should get some shots that aren’t listed in the Short Term Programs handbook, or that I don’t need some of the shots that have been recommended.
Will I meet with my fellow team members before traveling overseas?
What resources will help prepare me for the Servant Team?
- General Information
- How old are most Servant Team members?
You must be at least 18 years of age to participate on a Servant Team. Historically, most Servant Team members have been 18-28 years old. WMF has no age limitations for participating on a team. Anyone who participates on a Servant Team must be willing to submit to the leadership of the WMF Servant Team Coordinator, many of whom are in their early- to mid-twenties.
- How many people participate on each team?
We keep the teams small for the sake of community. Between four and six team members is the ideal team size. Some teams have had as few as three people and the most we’d ever put on a team is seven people.
- How long are the Servant Teams?
We have a spring Servant Team and a fall Servant Team, both teams lasting four months. The spring Servant Team lasts from February to June and the fall Servant Team lasts from August to December.
- What is the cost of the Servant Team?
The cost is influenced by living expenses in each country, exchange rate, activities planned, and it could vary between $6000 – $8000. Please contact Tami Ankeny for the cost for a specific country. This covers the cost of international airfare, housing, transportation and food while on the team, as well as all programming and administrative costs associated with the Servant Team. This does not cover immunizations, required reading books, visa, toiletries, correspondence or any gifts that you may wish to purchase while overseas.
- What if i want to travel on a shorter team?
We offer a Discovery Team program that lasts two to five weeks. A church or school must sponsor these teams so that WMF does not have to handle all the administrative burdens associated with accepting applicants and fundraising. Discovery Teams range in size from 8-12 participants. If you want to learn more, please visit the Discovery Team page.
- What if I want to stay overseas longer than the team?
Servant Team members that want to stay longer must arrange to have their tickets changed on their own. Once the Servant Team comes to a close, Word Made Flesh is not administratively or legally responsible for team members.
- Will there be a time of orientation and training before I depart?
Word Made Flesh does not schedule a time where team members come together for training before they leave the States. We do this for both practical and philosophical reasons. First, we do not want to have to raise the price of the team to include the costs involved in this type of training. Also, we do not want to offer a program that separates book knowledge from experience.While overseas, you will meet as a team to discuss particular books that are required for the team. These times of discussion, discipleship, worship and prayer will occur in the midst of serving in ministry settings. It is our hope that you will be energized by the reading materials and that you would incorporate this synthesis of book knowledge and experience into their lives.Though there is no formal training, we do ask that you read and reflect on a number of books before departure. These books may be cultural, missiological and/or devotional in nature. We ask you to do this so that all team members can begin to posture themselves as learners in a new culture.
- Is there any reading I can do that will help prepare me to make a decision to apply?
You may download the Short Term Programs Handbook for more information about the Servant Team.
- How can I apply for a Servant Team?
Servant Team applications are accepted via an application process. Download the Servant Team Application and Servant Team Reference Form and follow the instructions.
- The Servant Team Application
- What is the deadline for submitting Servant Team applications?
Applications and all references must be received at our office (not postmarked) by the following dates:
Spring Teams: September 15
Fall Teams: March 15
- What should I put on the medical insurance page if I don’t currently have insurance that covers me overseas?
Many Servant Team applicants don’t have the necessary overseas insurance coverage when filling out their application. If this is your case, put a note on that page of the application, letting us know that you don’t currently have insurance, but will purchase insurance before leaving the country.Before departing on the Servant Team, you must purchase medical insurance that covers you while overseas. To help facilitate finding a company that suits your needs, we have provided several pages of insurance carriers (with phone numbers and addresses) in the Short Term Programs handbook. Word Made Flesh does not endorse any of these companies but provides these as a courtesy for researching the insurance carrier that best suits your needs.Word Made Flesh requires that each Servant Team Member obtain a major medical policy. However, the kind of policy you choose depends on you. Some Servant Team Members are comfortable with paying all hospital expenses and then working out any reimbursement issues with the insurance company. Other participants want the insurance company to pay all expenses at the beginning of any treatment. Some prefer to pay a premium to fly home in the case of a major medical emergency, while others are comfortable with the care provided within the indigenous countries that Word Made Flesh serves. You should purchase a policy that suits your needs and comfort level.In the event of an emergency Word Made Flesh may spend up to $500 for medical treatment. However, Word Made Flesh requires complete reimbursement for any medical expenses incurred.
- The application asks for a copy of my passport, but I don’t have a passport yet.If you don’t have a passport yet, please note this on the application. You may wait until you have been accepted to the Servant Team to begin the process to obtain a passport.You may pick up a passport application from any U.S. post office. Some post offices also receive completed applications, but not all locations do so. Be sure to ask where the passport application can be filed.When you take the completed passport application in to be filed, you must bring the application fee as well as every other piece of information requested on the application. You will not be given a passport if you don’t have all the required documents in hand. The passport process may take a couple months, so be sure to allow enough time to receive your passport, especially if you are participating on a Servant Team that requires that you get a visa. You need your passport before you can apply for a visa.Once you have received your passport, don’t forget to send in two photocopies of the inside cover to the Word Made Flesh office.
- After You Have Been Accepted to the Servant Team Program
- How do I find out about immunizations, visas, what to bring, etc?
As soon as Servant Team applicants are accepted, a Short Term Programs handbook will be sent to all Servant Team members. A number of different topics are covered within the Short Term Programs handbook, such as: Servant Team goals and objectives, expectations, preparation, things you need to know, things you need to be prepared for, living conditions, what to bring, guidelines for behavior, fund raising, and overseas safety awareness.Servant Team members may purchase additional copies of the handbook for $15 each if they would like to give them to friends or family members.
- My doctor has told me that I should get some shots that aren’t listed in the Servant Team Handbook, or that I don’t need some of the shots that have been recommended. What should I do?
We list the immunizations that have been recommended to us. You should contact your health care professional for his/her recommendations about shots to get before traveling. Also, keep in mind that some of the immunizations require multiple shots. You should start getting your immunizations shortly after you are accepted on a Servant Team.If you are attending a college or university, ask about getting shots at your school, since they will probably be much cheaper there.Probably the best source of information on immunizations would be the (CDC) Center for Disease Control. They provide information about immunizations for travel.
- Will I meet with my fellow team members before traveling overseas?
Word Made Flesh does not provide a forum for team members to meet before they leave. However, we do provide the names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of fellow team members. Team members are encouraged to e-mail or chat online and commit to praying for one another before the team starts.
- What resources will help prepare me for the Servant Team?
Upon being approved for a WMF team, we will send you a copy of the Short Term Programs Handbook. Each team member is required to read the handbook in its entirety. You may purchase additional copies of the handbook for $15 or download an electronic copy.You will also be required to read and write reports/reflections for a few books before departure on your Servant Team, Discovery Team or internship. Upon being accepted to a WMF team, you will be given a country-specific reading list that will include these pre-departure books to read and a list of books to bring with you. You will also be in communication with the Short Term Programs Director in our U.S. office as well as the Servant Team Coordinator in your country of service. They will offer wisdom and resources to you as you prepare to go.
- General Information