What makes Operation Barnabas different from other mission trips?

OB has a much different dynamic than the typical local church mission/ministry trip. Operation Barnabas is a ministry training program because there are guaranteed experiences and practical training that will be included and can be taken back home after tour. Students will meet like-minded teens from all over the country, will be poured into by quality leaders, will travel to several different states, and will see ministry in urban and cross-cultural settings. At the end of the tour, each “OB” member will have experience with sharing his/her faith, public performance, preparing a testimony and team relationships. He/she will have memorized a number of key verses of scripture, been a part of a discipleship group, have intentional focused time with God each day, and learned the meaning of working hard thru manual labor projects.  Lessons on 15 Godly character traits such as integrity, thankfulness, and purity are emphasized. Each young person also receives a personal evaluation from leaders while having an opportunity to learn about the joys of serving in local church ministries. He/she will know what it’s like to sleep on both a floor and a bed … eat church carry-in dinners and McDonalds … work in inner-city as well as rural settings…

And, students will make friendships that will last a life time! Ask anyone who has gone on Operation Barnabas and they will likely tell you that some of their closest friendships started with fellow team members on their OB team! It is a summer that is life-changing for most students, as they work together, learning, serving, and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

When do I apply for Operation Barnabas 2020?

There is an early application deadline of November 20, 2019.  Students who meet that deadline will know their status before the Christmas holiday.  The final application deadline is January 24, 2020.  After that date, we only can continue to take applications as space is available.

Where are the OB teams going in 2020?

There are two separate teams with two separate orientations: one team will start and tour in California and one will start and tour in the Mideastern US.

What are the dates for OB 2020?

The dates for orientation and then tour for the Mideast team are June 13 – July 6, 2020.  The California tour will begin orientation on June 20 at the Urban Hope Training Center in Los Angeles, ending tour on July 13. After the California tour, students can either fly to Momentum Youth Conference (July 14 – 19 at Indiana Wesleyan University), where they can join their youth groups, or can go directly home.

Can we apply for the team we want to go on?

We will be asking students which team they are interested in and that will be taken into consideration by the selection committee during the acceptance process.  Much will depend on when students apply, ratios of guys and gals, and a variety of other factors we use to make teams as balanced as possible.  If you have strong feelings about one team or the other, APPLY NOW!

What is the cost for OB 2020?

We are pleased to be able to keep the OB support total for 2020 at the same level of last year’s tour cost of $2325.  Keeping costs low is very important to us and there are many opportunities and ideas given to assist students in knowing how to raise support.

What does that cost include?

Included in the OB support cost is the confirmation deposit, all food, lodging, and laundry expenses.  It also includes tour travel and fuel on Operation Barnabas vehicles (buses and vans) and complimentary airport transportation to designated airports on specified dates for those flying to orientation or home after tour debriefing.    An Operation Barnabas syllabus and numerous discipleship resources are also included.  There is scholarship help available–we have never known a student who tried to raise their money not be able to go on OB simply due to finances.  God does provide!

What is not included in the OB cost?

A Team t-shirt (approx. cost $15) and transportation to orientation and back home or to Momentum after OB tour is over.  Also, for students who wish to attend Momentum 2020, that cost is separate from the OB support total, but students can check with their sending church about including the amount for Momentum in the OB support that they raise.

Where do the OB leaders come from?

Our OB Leaders are experienced in youth ministry and love working with students!   All of our leaders have to apply, receive positive references and each has a background check. Also, all of our bus drivers have their CDL, are part of a drug-testing pool, and are legally certified to drive.

Students will also receive training from CE National staff, including Ed Lewis, President of CE National.

How many are on a team?

Each year is a bit different, depending on the amount of applicants, where the tours are going, and leadership needs and ratios.  A typical size team is around 25 students and 5 adult leaders.

What do you do to safeguard students on Operation Barnabas?

All leaders go thru an application process with required references and submit to a background check.

All leaders go thru standardized training regarding safety issues and wise decision making. No student is ever left alone, whether in a host home situation, out canvassing the community, or assisting the church with ministry. There will always be at least two students together.

Each team has one leader who is designated as the leader responsible for the health issues on the team—leaders travel with health information that parents/guardians provided on the health form of the application. Should a health issue arise with a student, leaders will do their best to contact parents/guardians to see how they would like the situation handled. All of our bus drivers are part of a state required standardized drug and alcohol testing program and have their Commercial Drivers License.

Is there a luggage limit and how much can I pack?

A packing list will be posted online in the spring to guide you in what to take on Operation Barnabas. You are limited to one suitcase, one overnight case or gym bag, a backpack, and one sleeping bag and pillow.

I have dietary restrictions – can I still go on Operation Barnabas?

Absolutely.  Whether the student is diabetic, gluten free/celiac,  lactose intolerant, or even allergic to certain food items like nuts, we are open to working with the student/family as far as what they may need to bring with them on tour and what we can provide.  We would ask that if you have any questions about this, you contact Sherilyn at obmail@cenational.org

Am I able to bring my cell phone, iPod, or computer on Operation Barnabas?

OB students may bring a cell phone. Phones and chargers will be collected during orientation, and students will be given periodic access to their phones to call parents weekly and potentially update social media as applicable–students are encouraged and provided opportunities to call home.

iPods and computers should be left at home.

A blog for each team will be frequently updated with information and pictures so that parents and others interested in following the teams can know what is happening.