We appreciate your interest in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference work project program. Volunteer in Mission work teams have made a valuable contribution to the Native American churches and people of the OIMC. The work, enthusiasm and love shared during the experience has had a tremendous effect on the lives of the participants and the lives of those being served.
1. We hope the time spent working and sharing together will help you grow in Christian love and that each individual will use the time away from their normal environment and routine to reflect and pray about the problems and joys in their own life and be spiritually enriched.
2. We wish to help each individual understand the ministry of OIMC, and why it is important to the Native Americans of our conference.
3. We want to make the daily work beneficial to the churches and community.
4. We hope during your stay you will learn of the beauty and richness of our area and the people who live here, and will learn more about the beautiful culture and heritage that makes us who we are.
The following information will assist you as you begin to think about a work project experience in the OIMC. Please read it thoroughly and share it with those involved in your planning.
The VIM program in the OIMC welcomes both youth and adults. We accept youth fellowships, young adult and adult groups, intergenerational groups, and district and conference groups. We trust that the youth groups who attend will be adequately chaperoned by adults. We prefer that most youth who come have completed at least the Ninth Grade. Due to the size of our projects and the resources of our local churches we must limit the size of incoming work groups to 40 participants. Larger groups may inquire and will be accepted if accommodations are available, such as housing and amount of work to be done etc.
Work teams will stay in various facilities, according to the site that you will be working on. Several of the projects are located close to our district centers, which are equipped with kitchens and shower facilities. Most have a limited supply of cooking utensils, although your group will need to supply paper goods, etc. Most do not have any types of beds available, although there is space. Groups may bring sleeping bags, etc. as groups may be housed in local OIMC churches, in sanctuaries or fellowship halls, depending on the location. Accommodations will be firmed up when the location of the work site is determined.
All teams will be responsible for their own food. The district centers and local churches have refrigerators and some have freezers. Most of the larger cooking pans, etc., will be available. The local church where you will be working will prepare at least one meal for your group during your stay.
Work teams are able to choose the projects that they want. However, they have been prioritized by the Council on Local Church Ministries of the OIMC. This means that there are some churches that have been waiting longer than others for repairs, etc. and we would like to keep them in priority order. All work teams MUST apply through the OIMC office. We try to match the designated projects with the skills of the group. In your choice of projects please consider the number of people you are bringing and their skills. We try to match our projects with the teams expertise.
Some projects may take several work teams to complete. If you have a large group, it may become necessary to split the team up with another nearby project. Almost all of our work projects will include maintenance and building skills. Of the volunteers needed, some should be skilled carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, roofers, but also needed are helpers working with them. Opportunities may arise that can include other skills.
The work schedules will vary, depending on the availability of the work teams. We are very flexible. Work teams in the summer months will need to keep in mind the hot temperatures in Oklahoma. Groups may want to work early in the mornings and have the afternoons free.
One of the requirements for the work teams will be information shared about OIMC. An OIMC interpreter will visit each work team to explain more about the mission of OIMC, it’s history, current issues, etc. This can be done in the evenings, and we will work with the team on scheduling. Before arriving, work teams will be sent information on surrounding activities such as lakes, local attractions, cultural events, etc.
Each group must provide their own health and accident insurance covering the trip to and from OIMC, as well as while you are here. United Methodist groups should have low cost insurance available through their annual conference office.
Each local church in the OIMC who requests a VIM team is asked to contribute at least 10 percent of the total cost for materials for the project. The majority of these churches are very small and struggle to come up with the 10 percent. All are required to do so, and some do go beyond their means, through fund raisers, etc.
After the project has been approved, then we try to find funding sources to complete the projects. As you look at the projects you will see that some are more costly than others. The committee responsible for these projects has a limited supply of funds to work with on each project. We receive money from a conference apportioned fund called Local Church Extension/Repair and from the National Advance, through the same name.
To help offset these costs we ask that volunteer teams to donate $25 per person per day to assist with the purchase of supplies. Also we ask the teams to donate $5 per person per day for lodging to assist the host with the cost of utilities. Making a total of $30 per person per day.
As you look at each project, some may have more funds available than others through the local church and also through the OIMC office. So as your group looks for a project, please be aware that the total amount needed for each project is not immediately available. This means that some projects will take longer than others to complete, due to availability of funding.
The local church also welcomes any form of financial assistance your group can give towards the building project itself. However, please know that your coming as a work team is not dependent on your group bringing funds. We will have some projects that can be funded and some that cannot be funded at this time.
As you consider the projects, please let us know if you are able to help with any part of the funding for materials. If you cannot, please let us know, as well. Again, the most important part for us is not bringing funds, but bringing the gifts of your time and talent to help us work on these various projects. As we assign work teams to these projects, this will help us tremendously to place teams in the best way we know how.
Once a project is chosen, your work team will be given more in-depth information about needs for funding, supplies, etc. Some of the projects may be quite large and will require several teams to complete the work.
If you have a question or concern, please call the Josephine Deere at (405) 632-2006. The FAX number is (405) 632-0209.
Each group will be responsible for providing their own transportation to the job sites and for evening activities, etc. cars and vans are more convenient than buses if the group is given assignments in different locations.
We would suggest that each group obtain a medical information and release form from the parent or guardian of each youth who participates.
The group counselors/leaders play an important role in the work project. His or her enthusiasm and willingness set the tone for the entire group. We depend on you to lead your groups work teams. You will make the people assignments and meet with the OIMC staff and coordinators to plan the work and discuss the needs of the project.
Fill out the WORK PROJECT APPLICATION, print it out and fax or mail it to the OIMC office. Estimate as closely as possible the number of people you expect to participate on the work team. Most of our needs are in the spring and fall, as well as in the summer. The months of June, July and August are the most popular times and available projects fill up fast.