HYC Philadelphia: Growing in Leadership as a GSI

  • By Hope Worldwide
  • 10 Aug, 2016

Cameron Taylor’s story of how being a GSI impacted his serving experience

Helping to lead an HOPE Youth Corps (HYC) for the first time was an experience that led to incredible growth for myself. At the time it felt more like being stretched beyond my limits, but looking back on it now I see that what I viewed as limits in the moment were simply opportunities for God to work in ways far greater than my faith. When I was insecure in myself, I had to be wholly secure in God. When I was at my end, God was just getting started. When I was uncomfortable, the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) was able to work wonders that would have been impossible otherwise. I learned very quickly where my comfort zones were and were not, and I learned that God was going to take me to where those comfort zones were not. Through the opportunity afforded me in helping to lead an HYC, God took me beyond my comfort zone and allowed me to realize that the cross of Jesus is all about going beyond comfort zones.

There were many areas on the HYC which were beyond my comfort zone. One area was leadership. I prefer to be delegated to rather than being the one delegating. Similarly, I prefer to follow a plan rather than being the one who comes up with the plan. Preparing and delivering lessons was also beyond my comfort zone. It usually takes me several weeks to prepare just one lesson for the campus ministry back home, so having to deliver six lessons over the course of two weeks most definitely stretched me beyond where I was comfortable. Another area that stretched me was cold contact evangelism. Reaching out and inviting strangers to study the Bible on campus is not a strong point of mine. I find it awkward and uncomfortable, so having to lead others who were equally if not more awkward and uncomfortable with the whole idea was certainly even further beyond my comfort zone. The area of drama was also beyond my comfort zone. Seeing as the HYC was an American site, there were predominantly high school aged teens on the trip, and several of these teens were not disciples of Jesus or were fairly young in their walks with God. Therefore, understandably, issues such as gossip and flirtation came up as we served on the HYC. I wasn’t comfortable with such things when I myself was a high school student, and time had not helped to make it any more comfortable for me. In all these areas I was forced to go beyond my comfort zones.

Apart from the feelings of discomfort on the HYC, there was also feelings of inadequacy as I attempted to help lead the program. There were plenty of people more qualified than me on the trip. There was an evangelist who had helped with the program for the last ten years, a ministry couple who lead a campus ministry, and an HYC coordinator who was able to pull off the first ever under-budget HYC for that site in eleven years. Meanwhile, I was feeling that the opportunity to help lead had been handed to me rather than earned. I didn’t even know what the acronym “GSI” (Global Service Intern) meant until after the deadline for applications had passed, so although no one else ever called into question my adequacy as a leader I most certainly did. Being given something rather than earning it was not a new feeling for me as a disciple of Christ though, for that is exactly what grace is all about.

The inadequacy and discomfort I felt on the HYC pales in comparison to that of the cross of Jesus. On the cross, Jesus showed me where I was inadequate in my sin, He was more than adequate, and the discomfort that he bore is the source of all my comfort as His disciple. The cross is all about going beyond comfort zones. For one, Jesus was not entirely comfortable going to the cross. Why else would He have cried out to His Father in Gethsemane “take this cup from me” (Luke 22:42). At the cross, Jesus went beyond His physical comfort zones with the flogging and crucifixion, beyond His emotional comfort zones with Judas betraying him and the others denying or deserting Him, and beyond His spiritual comfort zones with the separation from God the Father. Yet, even in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus continued on to say “Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Although the cross was not comfortable, it was necessary.

The necessity of the cross is that it allowed for us to move beyond our comfort zones. In Ephesians 2:1-10, it becomes abundantly clear that our comfort zone, apart from the cross, was sin. Sin is what felt good, was gratifying, natural, and comfortable. What God has called us to is righteousness, heavenly realms, grace, and the kindness of Christ, all of which are uncomfortable and foreign to our former selves apart from the cross. Following in Jesus’ footsteps as His disciple is all about what is uncomfortable but necessary. Leading an HYC was no exception to this.

Although leading my first HYC had plenty of times where I did not feel comfortable or adequate, there was plenty of comfort in knowing that God was adequate and in control. As a disciple of Christ there is no certainty of our own security, only certainty of God’s sovereignty. He is in control on HYC, and He is in control wherever I may go, but most importantly He is in control at the cross where He took us out of our sin and into His righteousness. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that was afforded me through leading my first HYC to grow, to learn, and to draw closer to my Lord and Saviour through a deeper understanding of His sacrifice at the cross. Through Him, I was able to preach good news to the poor and proclaim the Lord’s favour (Luke 4:18-19) on the HYC. Lives were changed and hope was brought, not only for those I was able to serve and lead, but also for myself.

By Shane Engel 07 Dec, 2017


* Since 27 Nov 2017, Mount Agung Volcanic Eruption has dispersed about 40,000 residents from 10km from the crater.

* The government has set up several emergency camps for displaced residents.

* In the last 48 hours, the volcano has shown a slow down of seismic activities. Just like other volcanoes, it is a bit difficult to conclude whether the activities is slowing down or is the crater getting clogged.

* The volcano remains in high alert and residents are not yet cleared to return to the villages.

* Meanwhile, the city of Denpasar and many other tourism sites are not affected. Airport has resumed its operation.

* HOPE worldwide Indonesia continue to monitor the situation closely. So far, the basic needs are covered by the local government and residents. However, our prepositioned food supplies remains on stand by if there are needs for mobilization.

* Indonesia has also been experiencing several flooding and landslides as the rainy season is starting to be more active.

* As we serve the country, HOPE worldwide will continue to monitor the disasters that take place and provide assistance whenever there is a need in the community.

* Please continue to pray for the country as well as many other vulnerable countries.


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.

Please donate to our disaster response fund today to help with these efforts!

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 30 Nov, 2017

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 hyc@hopeww.org with any questions.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 14 Nov, 2017

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…

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 01 Nov, 2017

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 involved:

The individual who raises the largest amount will get a full scholarship to the HYC of their choice* for 2018 sites!   (prize does not include airfare).

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 .  

´╗┐Any questions please contact:

Mandy Goins

Cell: 610-608-7094

Email:  hyc@hopeww.org

By Shane Engel 17 Oct, 2017

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.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 01 Oct, 2017

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.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 30 Sep, 2017

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.

By Shane Engel 29 Sep, 2017
UPDATE:  We are happy to announce that we were able to successfully send 16 pallets of direct relief to Puerto Rico today!  2 pallets are scheduled to fly out Saturday, October 14 and the rest will be sent by cargo on Sunday.  Thank you to all who have contributed to these efforts and a special thank you to the South Florida Churches of Christ for their generosity and the lending of the Broward Church building for our staging area!  Please keep Puerto Rico in your prayers as the recovery effort will take months if not years.  
By Shane Engel 22 Sep, 2017

 "We are grateful that our twin Island Trinidad and Tobago has been spared this season and that we are in a position to help our brothers and sisters throughout the Caribbean.  We have joined forces with a local NGO called ITNAC an acronym for "is there not a cause' They are known here as first responders for providing assistance in disaster stricken Caribbean areas. We collect relief items and food and have had our volunteers there daily . Last night we got the assistance of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment who sent their large trucks and military staff to transportation water and clothing to the port to be taken to Dominica.

One of our sisters Kendra Blanchard, who lives on the Island of Grenada  (35 minutes flight from Trinidad) parents live in Dominica, which was badly destroyed by Hurricane Maria. They are alive but their home was damaged and they are staying with neighbours.  [Kendra] is attempting to go.  Together with ITNAC we plan to charter a boat from Trinidad which can carry supplies and relief workers to Dominica.

We are engaging local donors for housing and medical supplies as well as food and water to be taken on the chartered vessel.
I have been sending regular updates on t e HOPE w orldwide Trinidad and Tobago Facebook page. You can add me on both to keep abreast if you would like.

I am very grateful that you have made contact with us and for the support offered. I am attaching a few pics of the work and our progress."

Kirtia Arthur
HOPEww Trinidad and Tobago


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