If I had to sum up HYC Philippines in 5 words, it will be: Growth, Maturity, Spirituality, Gifts and Gratefulness.
This past youth corps has been an emotional roller coaster. I spent the first half of the year saving up for this trip and the other half, imagining its sights and scenes.
I went for my first youth corps when I was 17, in Chennai, India.
At that time, I was not very mature. Though I had much zeal, I was lacking in knowledge. I went there with a few of my best friends, expecting a good time, not expecting the way this trip would impact my life, more than I could imagine.
Moving on 2 years later, I thus decided to go on another youth corps. This time, alone. I was not with my best friends, and I made the choice to step out of my comfort zone. It was exciting to prepare for the trip, as I read the book of Luke, putting my heart through several rounds of hard questioning. I wanted to make sure my intentions were right and pure. I wanted to be able to give my 110% and leave Philippines without any regrets.
The first few days of the trip was tough as I battled insecurities of leading my own d-group, striving to be a servant as Jesus was, and being outwardly focused. I remember doing my quiet time on the first day about Jesus calming the storm in Luke 9:22, and I was reminded that on this boat through the stormy seas, Jesus is in it with me.
There are many things I have learnt on this trip but I would like to emphasize just one.
We were tasked to build a house in 3 days. Yes, a house.
It was cool to actually pick up a nail and a hammer and attempt to hold it all together. I say attempt, because half the time I was failing miserably, and needed to call for reinforcements. But Amen, God looks at the heart.
We had the privilege of spending three and a half days with Kuya (older brother in Tagalog) Renaldo, and his family (His wife, Ate Gazelle and his 3 children Jairo, Micky and Meljohn). We cooked with them, ate with them and set off for their home as early as 8.30 in the morning, leaving only when the sun had begun to set.
Kuya Renaldo’s family was one of the many families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon had swept away their entire home. They had nowhere to go, living in the streets for a period of time, eventually settling at Renaldo’s mother in law’s place, already home to 5 other family members.
I spent a huge amount of my time playing with the kids and it was hard not to choose between favorites. The one kid that completely stole my heart was Ginny Rose.
Ginny, Ate Gazelle’s niece, is the most joyful 2 year old ever! She has the sweetest smile and I grew attached to her immediately. Her father was a cheat and had left her, her mother and her 3 month old brother for another woman.
I was drawn to her as I felt empathetic, instinctively desiring to protect her and making sure she grew up well. She would always run towards me when she saw me and fell asleep in my arms during lunch.
We had to say goodbye to Kuya Renaldo’s family on the 4th day, and we bought them presents because it was Christmas. We got all the children toys, a few clothing items as well as groceries for the rest of the family. I have never seen happier kids, literally screaming at the sight of their new toys, opening their eyes wide as they smiled from ear to ear.
The family was extremely grateful for the groceries and Ate Gazelle even cried when she received our gifts.
The most heartbreaking yet comforting thing to hear from Kuya Renaldo’s son, Micky, on the last day was “Ma, we have a house! Our house is so beautiful”
As I think about this experience, I feel extremely emotional. It was hard to say goodbye to this family, who trusted us with building their house and their children.
Going for this HYC was truly a stage of growth for me as I reevaluate my priorities and the things in my life that make me happy. So many times on the trip I caught myself being self-righteous and prideful. Back home I take my family for granted and complicate life.
It comforts me to know that as much as I do worry for Kuya Renaldo’s family, and love them to bits, God loves them more.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I love that God’s grace renews for me daily because I know that I need his grace so badly. Through this HYC, my biggest take away is that it’s not the big steps that matter most but the baby steps that help you progress.
2016 is upon us, and I don’t know what God has in store for me. What I do know is that He loves me and will take care of me.
As I sit comfortably on my queen size bed and type all these things I am forced to remember that my journey is just about to begin. I want to live every day and do everything that will bring glory to God, where my treasures are stored in heaven. Even if these treasures in heaven do not exist, I will still seize the day, and make the days count! Carpe Diem!
I am still as imperfect as before. But I know that I’ll be living out the spirit of HYC daily, no matter where I am. I will love my family and do my best not to take them for granted, and I am back to be the change I want to see.
Recently, a member of our community challenged our supporters and friends to raise a total of $50,000 by December 31, 2017, for HYC Scholarships. That donor would match what we raise dollar-for-dollar! The money raised to meet this challenge will help students with limited resources to experience this fantastic program.
We are thrilled to announce that with your help we were able to raise over $62,000 for this amazing program! This means that together with the match we raised over $112,000 for scholarships! Thank you all for the amazing support and generosity!
Our fundraising Champion this year was Melina Cruz who successfully raised over $5,000 for the HYC scholarship by having her volunteer hours paid for by her company. What a creative and resourceful way to raise money! Additionally, she is paying it forward by gifting her full scholarship prize to her little sister. Amazing.
Among the many benefits participants receive from serving on HYC are lifelong friendships and memories, a heightened sense of purpose, greater self-confidence and independence, and a better understanding of the world and cultural differences. Many who volunteer through HYC go on to become nurses, doctors, teachers, counselors, or work with HOPE worldwide and other NGOs to bring much-needed attention and assistance to the developing world. Through their experiences with HYC, student volunteers deepen their compassion and gain a profound appreciation for what they have been given in their own lives. Fundamentally, HOPE Youth Corps builds a future generation of leaders who seek to improve the lives of those in need. We are so excited to be able to send many more deserving students on an HYC this year. All glory to God!
If you would like to continue to support this fantastic program, please click HERE .
The airport on the holiday island of Bali has reopened after tens of thousands of travelers were stranded for two days due to an erupting volcano, but Indonesia's President said the danger has not passed and urged anyone within the mountain's exclusion zone to get out "for the sake of their safety." Mount Agung’s hazard zone has up to 100,000 people that are called to evacuate the area around the crater, however only 43,000 people have followed the order. Villagers around the Bali Volcano are refusing to leave despite warnings of an “imminent” larger eruption, with the state of emergency extended to at least December 10. HOPEww is on the ground and is closely monitoring the situation for ways to provide relief.
Prayers for Indonesia!
Mount Agung on the Indonesian island of Bali continues to release volcanic ashes after several days of eruptions. Ash and debris are shooting as high as two miles high causing mass spread of hazardous pollutants into the air. As many as 40,000 residents are encouraged to take shelter away from the danger zone. The international airport has been shut down and many people are in need of shelter and essential supplies.
Our own Charles Ham, Disaster Response Coordinator, and the HOPEww rapid response team are on the scene. They rushed to deliver masks and assess the situation on the ground. Many of the residents need food, shelter, blankets and possibly health care depending on the severity of the upcoming days. We ask for your prayers for these individuals who are experiencing this displacement right now. Please pray for their safety, for their needs to be met and for our staff and volunteers to have the wisdom and the resources to help them in the best way possible.
Come join us in 2018 as we learn to walk “In His Steps”! We are excited to offer 27 life-changing trips all over the world throughout 2018! Many of our most popular sites fill up within the first month of registration so to increase your chance of getting your top choice, make sure to apply early! This year most of our programs are open to all – teens, campus, singles and families.
Click here to take a look at the detailed site descriptions to learn more about HOPE Youth Corps, HOPEww Volunteer Corps, HOPEww Medical Corps and HOPEww Agriculture Corps sites. Many of these sites are open to all! If you're single and want to learn more about our 2018 HOPEww Singles Corps sites - including our Houston Singles Disaster Corps - click here. Some sites have specific age restrictions. Most North America trips (Canada, U.S., and Mexico) are open to all teens 15 years old and above. The minimum age for U.S. teens is 18 to go on all other trips. Non-U.S. teens can travel internationally from the age of 15.
Our 2018 theme will be “In His Steps”, and our curriculum will be based on the book of Mark.
There will be scholarships available for teens and campus students who need financial assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As we travel to foreign countries to serve and learn, we encounter amazing individuals, whose lives have been transformed by the work of HOPE worldwide . We strongly believe in respectful service. On our Volunteer Corps, we assist existing programs, and provide additional help. We do contribute, but we also learn from the incredibly resilient individuals we meet. While serving in Africa these past few months, we met these courageous women…
Matching Gift Challenge!
Challenge accepted!! Recently, a member of our community challenged our supporters and friends to raise a total of $50,000 by December 31, 2017 for HYC Scholarships. Our generous donor will match what we raise dollar-for-dollar! The money raised to meet this challenge will help students experience this amazing program.
Double the impact of your gift by donating today!
Here is how you can get
Every year, hundreds of students volunteer their time to plant, rebuild, mentor, train and encourage. Thank you for making it possible for those with limited financial resources to share in this incredible opportunity to serve those in need.
Click here for our HYC Scholarship Fund Brochure.
Please help us SPREAD THE WORD and share with a friend .
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Churches in South Florida are continuing to bring hope to Bolivia through the 5th annual “Celebration of Caring Golf Classic.” The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, November 17 on Key Biscayne off of the Miami mainland.
The Golf Classic benefits HOPE worldwide Bolivia, providing funding for programs that serve Bolivia’s children and most vulnerable populations. Since HOPEww was established in 2011 in the capital city of La Paz, the country’s health care and social services systems have been positively impacted. The tournament has raised $157,000 since its inception!
There are six levels of sponsorships ($1,500 - $5,000), and individuals can golf for $225. All information is included on the website ( www.CelebrationofCaring.com ), including a registration portal and links to videos, stories and blogs about the work in La Paz. Individuals can also donate through the website.
The Crandon Park golf course is considered one of the most picturesque in Florida. Golfers are surrounded by tropical foliage, mangroves and breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay as they encounter seven saltwater lakes and challenging sand traps during their round.
Former Florida residents Dr. Kevin & Noelle Broyles lead HOPE worldwide Bolivia. The Duke-educated Dr. Broyles was behind the building of Centro Médico Internacional Hope Clinic in Bolivia, a cutting-edge sustainable social enterprise that will generate revenue to meet increasing medical needs in the La Paz community. CMIHope is the result of a joint effort between Foundation Arco Iris and HOPE worldwide that integrates high quality health services to the population of Zona Sur of La Paz with financial support to the charitable work of HOPEww and Hospital Arco Iris, who partner to serve Bolivia’s large indigent population.
“Celebration of Caring” welcomes all golfers to join in this “fun”draiser.
It’s taken me a long time to process what happened in Africa. I’ve been home for over a month. It didn’t help that two days after returning to the States, I was thrown back into the routine of starting a new school year, half asleep and still hungover from a three week adrenaline rush. And it didn’t help that as soon as I got back, people were asking about the trip – “How was Africa?” “Did you get sick?” “How was the food?” “Were you scared?” “We’ve been praying for you.”
I was overwhelmed and frustrated with their simple question. “How was Africa, how was Africa?” I didn’t want to diminish the effect this trip had on my heart by spewing out words that didn’t give it justice. I didn’t want people to ask, because I wasn’t ready to answer. My standard answer to people asking became “It was amazing!”. I tried to leave it at that, though in saying it, I felt both trivial and fake. It was amazing, but that wasn’t enough.
There is no perfect way to describe serving in Africa. I guess I can start by telling the story of how my family came to be there. After all, the ‘getting to Africa’ had a huge impact on my life, as well. January 1st of every year I choose a spiritual quality that I want to grow in, and I work on it for that year. This year, I decided I wanted to grow in my faith. Through the process of getting to Africa, I did grow in my faith.
This year I was realizing that it is very easy to be faithful when you have everything you need. I wanted God to test my faith, and to help me grow in it. I had no idea of how he would do this, but I fully believed he would do it.
Africa had never been on my bucket list (and I’d never heard of Zambia!). But I guess God had other plans, because a Bible study at our home led to an idea, which became a conversation, which quickly turned into a vision. And that vision was that Dru and I take our girls and go with the HOPEww Volunteer Corps to Zambia, Africa to renovate a preschool. The project was such a great fit for our entire family. It was obvious God had his hand in it. Dru is an electrician/plumber/handyman, who was perfect for building renovations. I am a teacher, able to help with teacher training and planning in the classroom. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It fit in a perfect window in our summer vacation.
We have 27 trips all over the world throughout the year.
Registration opens on December 1, 2017.
Apply early to ensure you get your top
choice. Some of our more popular trips fill up within the first month of
registration. The Houston Singles Disaster Corps will open registration sooner,
as the program will take place early in the year (February).
Our 2018 theme will be “In His Steps”, and our curriculum will be based on the book of Mark.
So start planning, and start saving! There will be scholarships available for teens and campus students who need financial assistance.