There are two types of letters.
Prayer letters are required for trips for which you do not, or are not required to, raise funds to cover the cost of the trip. These trips need prayer support.
The second type of letter is a support letter. If you are planning to raise funds for your trip, support letters are mandatory! God works through such letters to provide much of the funding for short-term Mission Journeys. Even more importantly, support letters generate prayer support as well. Many friends and family are happy to help participate in a mission trip by giving and praying.
Prayerfully ask God to show you who would be a willing recipient of your request. He knows how is ready and able to contribute to the mission. He will do his part to prompt them to make a donation or to pray. Many people are waiting to be asked to be involved in God's kingdom work. You may be surprised to find how many family members, friends, and others are willing to donate to your trip. Many times God wants to work in their lives through this process.
If you are placed on a trip that requires fundraising and you do not send out letters asking for funding for your trip, you will not be eligible for any available scholarships.
If you are paying for the entire trip yourself, you may wish to add a statement in your prayer letter that the cost of your trip is covered, but people may contribute to the cost of the team going if they wish to do so.
Support Letters should include the following
- Dates and location of the trip. Include a brief description of the area where you will be traveling. These can be found online, from the trip information pages, or from your trip leader.
- Description of what your team will be doing. Include any planned activities such as VBS, construction, evangelism, cleaning, etc. This can be taken from the trip information pages or from your first team meeting.
- Why you want to be involved in this trip. Explain your call to this particular trip, location, or project. Describe what personal growth you hope to achieve.
- The exact cost of the trip. Include how much this trip will cost and place the following phrase in your letter: “Any amount I raise above and beyond the cost of my trip will go to help the overall cost of student mission trip expenses.”
- Clear instructions on how the reader should respond. The goal is to have all your support in by May 15. MAKE IT CLEAR THAT CHECKS SHOULD NOT BE MADE OUT TO YOU. Include the following statement: “If you can help financially at this time, please make checks payable to Bent Tree Bible Fellowship and put my name in the memo section. Please return your donation by May 15 in the enclosed envelope. You may also give online at benttree.org/give.” You should write your name and your trip location on the outside of the return envelope, and, if possible, place a stamp on the return envelope.
Important steps in completing your letter
- Each team member should compose their own letter. If there are siblings going on different trips, one letter may be sent. However, each student should write their own section of the letter. Contributions may also be made in one check – with both names in the memo section – and in one return envelope.
- Keep it brief. One page is recommended. Including maps or photos (especially of children) will enhance your letter. These can be found online or from previous trip members or leaders. Please put the date that you write your letter on the upper right side of the page.
- Have your parents proofread your letter.
- Bent Tree must proofread your letter. Please submit a copy of your letter via email to your trip leader prior to mailing your letter. Due dates for proofreading and mailing deadlines will be communicated at your team meetings.
- Send your letters by the listed dates. Please refer to your trip information sheets for the required number of letters. Feel free to send more, and please send to people outside of Bent Tree.
- Send a thank-you note for each donation. You will receive monthly updates of individuals who have contributed funds in your name. When you return from your trip, please send thank you/report letters to all who contributed financially and through prayer.
In addition to writing support letters, you are encouraged to work, babysit, or do other services for individuals to raise money for your trip.
Turn in any funds to the Student Missions office with a notation of your name and the name of your trip. This can begin even before you are placed on a team. If you start working now to raise money for next summer, you have more than six months to earn money for your trip.
At the first student/parent meeting, you will receive a trip-specific schedule for payment. If you have not raised these percentages of funds by your specific dates, you will be required to pay the remainder of that percentage by the deadline.
Percentage or Amount
** If you are paying for your mission trip, please adhere to these payment deadlines accordingly