Frequently Asked Questions

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. — 1 Peter 3:15

BFC: General

How do you select churches to help?

Through prayer and networking with Baptist organizations.

When is your next trip?

We are prayerfully considering options for our June 2020 trip. We typically announce the destination for our trip in January.

I don't attend any of the listed churches, can I still volunteer?

Of course! We welcome anyone who is willing to help to further God's Kingdom.

How does my church get involved with your group?

Please contact us.

How do I register?

Use our registration form.

Volunteers: Planning

What are the trip fees used for?

Most of the trip fee is used to cover food for the week. The Kitchen Team prepares breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. In addition, the cost covers a group dinner at a local restaurant on Wednesday evening. The host church typically provides a dinner on the Saturday of arrival and a lunch on Sunday.

The trip fee also covers other miscellaneous expenditures, such as building up a scholarship fund for volunteers who have difficulty in paying their own way, purchasing miscellaneous tools and supplies that are needed and cannot be obtained by alternate means, etc.

Travel costs are not included, but housing is often provided by the host church.

Are there any hidden costs?

In addition to the trip fee, volunteers may have a few other expenses, depending on their circumstances; the most significant tend to be travel, clothing, and tool costs.

The trip fee does not include travel to/from the site. Most volunteers choose to drive, and many will go as a part of a caravan. You may be able to share a ride to help defray costs or bring your own vehicle. In addition, depending on the location of the host church, driving may entail a night in a hotel that is not included in the trip fee.

Volunteers are also strongly encouraged to wear appropriate attire during the week. This includes sturdy shoes/work boots, work gloves, work clothes, etc. Volunteers are also encouraged to purchase a BFC golf shirt so that we can all wear them at Sunday worship and for the Wednesday dinner, as this helps the host church members to recognize who we are. This shirt generally does not change from year to year, so if you have been on a previous trip, you may be able to reuse your old shirt.

BFC does have some tools for volunteers to use, but not enough for everyone. For a list of items that you are encouraged to bring, see "What should I bring with me?"

Finally, some volunteers choose to bring their RV, in which case, there may be costs associated with the camp site.

Is the trip family-friendly?

Very much so. There are people tasked with interacting with the younger kids during the day and getting them to help out on various tasks like delivering refreshments to the workers. Older kids, starting at 16, are able to help in the actual construction activities.

Does your team include medical personnel?

Yes, our team usually includes at least one nurse who is able to administer first aid.

What are the housing arrangements like?

Typically, you will be a guest in someone's home. On occasion, if there are not enough church families, you may be housed in other facilities that have access to a bathroom and shower.

What if I have food allergies?

Let our Kitchen Team know and they will do their best to accommodate your needs.

How large is a typical team?

Each year is different according to who God has planned to attend, but a high percentage of our past attendees return each year. We often end up with a group of about 50.

What if I can only work part of the week?

No problem; just let us know in advance, and we will work to meet your schedule. You might also want to consider whether you'd like to join one of the other BFC teams this year if their trip schedule works better with your calendar.

Do I need to buy the shirts and cap?

You are encouraged to wear the golf shirt for the Sunday morning worship service and the Wednesday night dinner. This helps identify us as a single group. We try to keep this shirt the same design from year to year so that you do not have to buy a new one each year.

One T-shirt is provided as a part of your registration fee and this may be worn on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening if you do not have a golf shirt.

The caps and additional T-shirts are entirely optional but are great ways to advertise who we are both on the trip and when you get back home and volunteer on other jobs (e.g., hurricane recovery). Some volunteers like wearing the shirts on the job site and find that having multiple BFC T-shirts for the week is useful.

Volunteers: Preparation

What is the normal schedule for a trip?

We generally plan to arrive on Saturday evening in time to have a dinner with the host families. On Sunday, we attend worship services, eat lunch with the church, and have a free afternoon.

On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, we are on site most of the day. We start with coffee and stretches and discuss work assignments for the day. After roughly 2 hours of work, we stop for a full breakfast and fellowship. We then work for about another 3-4 hours on the site before breaking for lunch and our afternoon devotional. After another 3-4 hours of work, we have dinner with a final relaxing devotional period for the day. Refreshments are also available all day long, which is important on those hot, humid, summer days.

Wednesday is a day off for rest and to get to know the local church members and community. Activities are often planned, but are optional. Wednesday evening is a group dinner.

The Friday schedule is similar to the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule, except that after lunch we generally focus on cleaning up the work site and then break early so that we can all get changed and prepared for the evening dedication ceremony with the local church.

The final Saturday often includes a breakfast with the host family followed by the return trip. The host family is often preparing to receive the next group of volunteers that evening.

What should I bring with me?

All volunteers must wear closed-to shoes. Sandals are not allowed on the job site; work boots are optional. Volunteers are encouraged to bring the tools they think they will need, which will vary somewhat based on the work we are expecting for that particular trip. In general, the following tools are generally useful to have:

  • Work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Ear plugs
  • Hammer
  • Box cutter / sheetrock knife
  • Carpenter pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Tool belt
  • 1-Gallon plastic bags (useful for work shoes after a muddy day)

Volunteers are often encouraged to bring other items that are dependent upon the tasks that we expect to perform. Volunteers do not necessarily need to go out and buy these items, but if you have access to these items, they often can be put to good use.

  • Cordless drill
  • Sheetrock jab saw
  • Tin snips
  • Level
  • Large T-square
  • Pliers
  • Screw drivers
  • Portable battery-powered or AC lights
  • Pry bar
  • Ladder

What does the host church provide?

The host church secures and pays for the land, site work, slab work, building materials, design work, permitting, etc. We only provide one week of labor. In addition, the host church typically provides a light supper on the Saturday of arrival and lunch on Sunday.

What do host families provide?

Host families provide basic lodging. The host may also provide breakfast on the mornings that the Kitchen Team is not working and/or other snacks in the evenings (but as the Kitchen Team is quite generous, very little if any extra is needed).

Volunteers: Work Week

What will I be doing on the trip?

Our trips include a variety of tasks, and we give volunteers a lot of flexibility in choosing which team they want to be a part of. On the construction side, the tasks are largely dictated by the stage of construction and might include:

  • Light-gauge steel framing
  • Wood framing
  • Roofing
  • Electrical and plumbing rough-in
  • HVAC ductwork and piping
  • Insulation and drywall installation
  • Door and window installation
  • Cabinet and carpentry work
  • Painting

In addition to construction, we also have people involved in the kitchen and making sure that everyone stays hydrated. On some trips, we might also assist the host church in other activities, such as outreach to the community.

Host Families

Do host families need to provide meals?

In general, no. All meals are provided by the BFC team, except as follows:

  • Saturday evening arrival dinner, which is typically a group pot-luck meal provided by all host families together
  • Sunday lunch, which is optionally hosted by the church as a whole
  • Sunday dinner, when volunteers are on their own; if a host family wishes to have a meal with their sponsored volunteers, this is the best time to do it. But they should coordinate in advance to ensure that the volunteers do not make alternative plans and to make sure that any food allergies are considered
  • Saturday departure breakfast, which is often picked up on the road

Can I host if I have pets?

Yes, but we do need to be aware of any pets or other issues that may impact allergies so that we can properly assign volunteers to host homes.