1. What to bring?Sleeping bag or blankets. Beds are provided.Pillow, towels, and toiletries.Note on cameras: because many people we will meet are concerned about having their picture taken, we ask that you don’t bring any cameras. We will take pictures and give a copy to your leader to distribute.
2. Where will we stay? Groups will normally be housed at the Turning Point Campus: 3223 N 45th St., Omaha. www.turningpointomaha.org The rooms are traditional college dorm rooms with two beds per room. Three spacious areas are available for group meetings and meals. Separate sleeping wings and bathrooms are provided for males and females. Occasionally, housing may be assigned to a different location. If that happens, we will communicate clearly with you. Please note: Because of somewhat limited housing, your group may be housed on the same floor of the dormitory with another Urban Plunge group, and it is possible that you may share meals together. Males and females will always be separate, except possibly in the case of a married couple. If there are multiple teams, all group discussions, videos, and debriefing sessions will be held separately.
2. Beginning and End times?Your group will meet us at approximately 4:00 p.m. at our housing location (See FAQ Question 2). We end around 2:00 p.m. on Sunday after the last church service. Our facilitator will conduct a debrief session at the end of your Plunge to help you identify what your next step might be. Everyone is asked to fill out an evaluation form at that time.
4. Are all costs taken care of while we are there, or is there anything we need to cover?The $130.00 per person includes an Urban Plunge t-shirt, housing, meals, a facilitator to be with your group, all materials, assistance with recruiting, Faith Journal for each participant, follow-up video slideshow, pictures of your group, a team photo, and logistical support. We provide Friday night dinner, three meals on Saturday, and a light breakfast on Sunday morning. We also provide light snacks throughout the weekend. You are welcome to bring your own additional snacks, if you wish. You might want to schedule a lunch on your own on Sunday afternoon in order to debrief
5. Can we schedule an Urban Plunge for longer than a weekend or midweek?Yes, during the summer some groups stay longer. They do work projects for a local ministry. You can also enjoy one of our local recreational activities. Let us know if you have an interest in adding on days to your trip. The cost to extend your weekend mission trip is $40 a night.
Summer Weeklong Plunge:$250/person – Sunday evening through Friday morning (6 days, 5 nights). Weeklong Plunges are scheduled May through August, or Spring Break.
6. Payments?We require a $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve your date. This payment will be deducted from your final bill. We’ll send an invoice once we know you want to take the Plunge. We’ll also send your church an invoice two weeks before the Plunge and we require that the church mails us a check prior to the first day of the Plunge. The details are outlined in the Team Application form. You are welcome to bring last-minute participants, and we'll invoice your church following your Plunge.
7. Individual Registration?Each participant must fill out an Individual Registration form (signed by a parent if under 19). The registration includes a permission slip and a liability release. You may bring the Individual Registration forms the day you come for the Plunge. Because Christ For the City International does not carry insurance on participants, we encourage them to have health insurance. You can download this form from our Urban Plunge website: www.urbanplunge.com.
8. Minimum participants/Maximum participants?We require a minimum of 10 participants per team. You may bring less, but because of fixed costs, we will charge you for 10 people to cover the weekend. If your group is smaller than 10 participants, we can sometimes schedule you along with another small group and waive the 10 person minimum. Because of the size of most of the ministry locations, the maximum team size is 25 people. If your group has more than 25 people, you’ll have the option to split into 2 groups, which will run on slightly different ministry site schedules.
9. Age Range?Historically, 75% of our groups have been youth groups, split evenly between high school and junior high/middle school. Family groups or adults have made up the balance of our teams. Church plants and Adult Small Groups have had wonderful experiences on the Plunge.
10. Can you help us with recruiting?Yes, we will be glad to provide recruiting materials. We can also come to your church/school to have a time to answer specific questions and provide information for those who might be interested in being a part of your team. All we ask is that you cover our travel expenses. Please let us know how we can assist so that your Plunge is a successful event! You can also download these materials from our Urban Plunge website: www.urbanplunge.com.
11. Is it safe?We partner with many organizations and ministry leaders who have been working with the poor and marginalized for many years. They are in the neighborhoods every day, and they have amazing relationships and street credibility with the people that you will serve. Turning Point is also a fenced and gated campus. Both the front gate and the dorms are locked securely at night, and a resident overseer lives on the campus. We are very concerned about your group’s safety and won’t knowingly put anyone at risk. However, you should be aware that street ministry can be unpredictable. This quote from the movie The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, might help you process this question. Lucy asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan (Jesus) is safe. "‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver; ‘Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’"
12. Chaperones?If the team is composed of Jr. High or Sr. High students, then chaperones are required. You know your youth better than we do, so the decision is up to you as to how many chaperones accompany the team. Although a CFCI facilitator will be with the group most of the time, we will not always be staying overnight. Your team leaders/chaperones have the responsibility to stay with their participants during the nights and to monitor their discipline. Ensuring cooperation and disciplining behavior are the responsibility of the team leader and/or chaperones, not the facilitator.
13. Transportation?You will need to provide vehicles to transport your group between ministries. You need to have room in your lead car for our facilitator, and possibly an assistant.
14. Schedule?We provide a schedule for the Team Leader, as well as driving directions to each ministry location. We will briefly introduce the ministries that you will be visiting, along with an introduction of the ministries of Christ For the City International. The ministries like to give the team the full details of their testimonies and histories, but please check out the Weekend Rundown and share as much as you would like with your team. We’ve been involved with “street ministries” for many years and it is important to know that sometimes God has a different schedule in mind for us. Sometimes, we don’t discover the change in schedule until minutes before. Therefore, flexibility with both time and last minute changes to the schedule is critical.
15. How should the group dress? Casual is okay; jeans and t-shirts are fine. It’s important that the girls do not wear clothes that expose their stomachs, or are revealing in any way. Obviously, this includes short-shorts, short-skirts, and strapless or halter tops. No open-toed shoe (safety reasons). We will be outside during parts of the weekend, so dress according to the weather.
16 Will the group have the opportunity for sharing the gospel? Do people need to have their testimony ready?We generally spend 2-3 hours at each ministry and for the most part are observing or serving the poor. Plunge participants spend one-on-one time with many people; sometimes they get to briefly share their faith with the people they serve. However, Plunge groups find that most of the time, they are either “planting” or “watering” the Gospel seed. We teach Plunge participants that serving the poor is often a critical component to sharing Christ.
17. Photographs?Because many people we will meet are concerned about having their picture taken, we ask that you don’t bring any cameras. Our facilitator will take pictures and give a copy to your leader to distribute.
18. What do we do in case of weather emergencies?Team Leaders will be given flashlights, weather radios, keys, and directions to the tornado shelter in the building, and instructions for handling fire or other emergency situations. Every effort will be made to keep your team safe. We will also reschedule your group if bad weather prevents you from traveling to the Urban Plunge.
19. T-Shirts?T-shirts are INCLUDED in your Urban Plunge price ($15 value). Please pre-order, at least 2 weeks in advance, and we'll have them ready when you arrive.
20. What cities offer the Urban Plunge program?Omaha, NebraskaDallas, Texas (summer 2013)Des Moines, IowaFort Worth, Texas (summer 2013)Kansas City, Kansas/MissouriLincoln, NebraskaSioux Falls, South Dakota
21. Optional , but highly recommended Get your entire church behind your team by having them fill zip lock bags with a bar of soap, wash cloth, tooth paste, candy bar, etc. Your team can then hand these bags out to the homeless. This activity can get the whole church involved in your Urban Plunge Mission trip. If the weather is cold, bring extra blankets, gloves, coats, and hats to hand out to the homeless.
22. Sponsoring Organization:
Christ For the City International
5332 S 138th Street, suite 200
Omaha, NE 68137