HYC BLOG

Hope Worldwide. Bringing Hope. Changing Lives.

HOPE Youth Corps

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 HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 16 Sep, 2017

My name is Michelle Charon. My husband and I have a full house with four teenage daughters.

Our older three girls are disciples of Christ, and the youngest one is on her way to making the

same decision to have her own relationship with God, and become a disciple herself. We are a

busy household, and love serving in the Kingdom of God. My husband is a deacon and

together, we lead our local Chapter which helps serve with Hope worldwide in our local

community, as well as helping to lead our Youth and Family Ministry. We have strived to raise

our girls to love serving, and pray that they are drawn to those in need. We also pray they

continue to use their lives to serve those less fortunate than themselves, to show Jesus’ love

where hearts are hurting and in need of the truth, to show people that God loves them, is

paying attention, and will give them comfort through disciples who are willing to show His love.

We have been so fortunate to have made the decision to send our girls to HOPE Youth Corps

every year. Our older three have been on a total of seven trips between them, and our

youngest cannot wait until it is her turn to go and serve when she is old enough.

 

In sending our girls on these trips to Denver, Philadelphia (twice), Mexico, Vancouver, Dallas,

and Bolivia so far, we have seen changes in them that only God can provide. Once their eyes

were opened to serving in such a deep and powerful way, and how much good it does for their

hearts and characters, they were hooked on serving with HOPE worldwide!

 

They have seen things that we could not possibly have shown them while we live in the suburbs

of Massachusetts in our comfortable home with our easy lives. They so look forward to

traveling each summer to a place where they learn something new and challenging about the

people they serve, as well as the spiritual lessons they find, as they give their hearts to the

people and each other, rely on God, work harder than they thought possible, give more of

themselves than they knew they had, and gain so much more as they exhaust themselves to

meet all of the needs.

 

My girls have come back from HOPE Youth Corps completely different from these experiences.

They love how spiritual the whole crew can be, the new friends they make that love God as

much as they do, the discipleship groups they attend where they can be real, learn to be more

giving, open up about how much it hurts to know they can’t do it all, or make everything better

in one trip.

The bond they form with the people they serve alongside is a very powerful thing. They make

friends that become best friends, closer than they could ever imagine, by having gone through

the same serving experiences. They meet future college roommates, learn to love people they

never would have thought would be a good friend, laugh until it hurts about the memories they

make, skype with their new 20 best friends after the trip is long over, cry because they miss the

bond they made in that new place, fly across the country to visit those new best friends, and

thank God every day for these experiences.

 

We will forever be grateful for the experiences that HOPE Youth Corps brings and the blessings

that come from serving and bonding, as well as hard work. We have seen our girls cry about

the people they meet that are so in need. They have kept in touch with the children they

mentored, sent packages to the orphanages they’ve left behind, prayed for the families and the

lives they’ve touched, and smiled from so many good memories of times that only they can

understand.

 

If there is one major thing that we think has been the most powerful in helping shape our

daughters into the strong, faithful women they are today, outside of our family, hands down it

would be the spiritual growth they gain from serving and the amazing job that HOPE Youth

Corps has done in making these trips possible.

 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the volunteers and leaders who work with

HOPE Youth Corps. Your work is not in vain, and your sacrifice is changing the lives of the other

volunteers like my girls, as well as changing lives all over the world of those who benefit from

these service trips.

 

We cannot wait to see our lives change once again as we look forward to joining in as a family

on one of the many opportunities to serve on one of the Volunteer Corps open to families.


By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 15 Sep, 2017
Zionn Bill (London, UK) shares his about his experience on the Zambia HYC 
By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 05 Sep, 2017

Allison Reynolds from Manchester, England shares her HYC experience:

I had a lot of fear going to the Philippines Christmas 2016 HYC.  For someone who has barely flown at all, four eight hour flights were scary enough.  And then, what about all the diseases and dangerous animals?  Would I be of any benefit?  How safe were the slums to take a typically English twelve year old boy?  What if he got lost? And what about the finances – just think what else we could have done with all that money!

Having now been on the HYC I can honestly say that it was the best money I have ever spent and I would go again and again if it were possible for us.  It’s hard to describe how amazing the time was.  My husband described it as a taste of heaven.  Yes, we get to help the poor and have an impact, but for me that was just a drop in the ocean.  Spending two weeks with a group of young fresh excited disciples was so inspiring.  Hearing all their stories of how they became Christians was faith-building.  The depth of the friendships that were built in that short space of time is a true miracle from God.  

Before going, I was hopeful that the young disciples would spend some time with my boys and reach out to them.  They did far more than that.  I hardly saw them.  Every time I walked into a room someone was chatting with Jon (15) and someone was playing cards with Ben (12) or tickling him.  They had spiritual chats with them, shared bible studies and prayed with them.  Ben sobbed when we left.  “But I have made such good friends here mum, and I’m not talking about the children – I mean the grown ups!”

Half way through HYC, one sentence said by Jonathan made all the cost, planning, effort and overcoming my fears worthwhile.  He said “Wow mum, this is so much more meaningful than what we could have been doing this Christmas”.  My eyes prick with tears every time I write or share that sentence.

About three weeks after we came back, I had the best spiritual conversation that I’d ever had with Jon.  I was so excited.  His best friend in the church had decided to get baptised and I could see God working in lots of ways to open up his heart.  He started to take his bible studies more seriously.  I’d seen him take steps forward in his faith after the last two teen camps that he had attended and this was another big step forward but he still wasn’t quite ready.  I had it on my heart for some time to write this article, but I kept putting it off because I wanted to be able to end it by saying that Jon had become a Christian.

And now, eight months after our return from the Philippines, I can write this article with the ending that I wanted.  Jon was baptised at the London teen camp and it’s like a different person has come back!  If you are considering going on one of the HYCs that are open to families, I can’t urge you strongly enough to go.  It might just be the catalyst that is needed to stir your children’s hearts towards God.  

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 28 Aug, 2017

HOPE worldwide  is a phenomenal organization that has dreams of serving the poor and needy while going and doing likewise. This year, I went on a trip to Zambia for three weeks with a team of approximately 40 participants, ranging from teens, campus, singles, and families. This HOPE worldwide Volunteer Corps (a version of HYC open to all) was a great experience. There was a variety of ages to connect with and learn from.  This trip specifically hit me in a special way.

The Zambia HVC was simply a blessing. I have been so fortunate to have gone on three HOPE Youth Corps in the past, but none of them have reached me in the way this one did...

It is in my sinful nature to be negative, critical, and skeptical, however, I had an extremely difficult time doing so on this trip. The weather in Zambia was absolutely perfect, 60s in the morning/night and 70s during the day (their winter season)... delicious food... a group of mature people who wanted to be there to serve... cultural diversity... the interactions with the community... no language barrier... varied service work... lessons... the amount of free time... the times to connect with the Zambian church... worship... children... and countless other blessings.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 18 Aug, 2017

I had been studying the Bible for a few months before going on HYC. Over that time, I had been growing in my faith, at things like teen camp, midweeks, and teen devotionals. I had wanted to do HOPE Youth Corps, but didn’t think this summer was the right time. My parents encouraged me to work it out and I’m so glad I did.

There were a lot of things that helped me grow in my walk with God during HOPE Youth Corps. We had devotionals almost every night which were all very helpful for preparing us for what we were doing that day or in the days to come. The fellowship between all of the participants was amazing. I met so many people from all across the country, and a few from Canada and England. I was able to make so many deep friendships with my new family. Because we spent so much time together we truly did become like a family.

While we were on HYC we did a few different service projects. We did some clean up on the streets of North Philadelphia with ODAAT (One Day At A Time). We also did work around Camp Hope For Kids wherever it was needed. But one of the most important things we did during Youth Corps was mentor at risk inner city kids with Camp Miracles. They spend three days with us at camp. We went swimming, went to the waterfront, played gaga ball, basketball, and volleyball. One of the days we even went to the zoo. We tried to give the kids the best week of their lives by showing them how much God loves them, by us loving them wholeheartedly.

All these things helped me grow in my relationship with God and my faith in him. When I got back from HYC I had some great time with the guys that I had been studying the bible with. I was encouraged by how strong my faith had grown, and wanted to respond to all that Jesus had done for me. I got baptized on August 6th! I am so thankful for my time at HYC!

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 18 Aug, 2017

My name is Louis Le Noan, and as a Global Service Intern, I led the HOPE Youth Corps in Haiti this July. The night we arrived at the orphanage in Les Cayes, where we would be staying for two weeks, the children greeted us with hugs and kisses, even though we had never met them before. They also had a song prepared to welcome us! We quickly understood that they were going to teach us a lot.

We went there to help rebuild disciples’ homes, to paint the orphanage building, to start a garden, to clean the beach, and connect with the kids. In the end, we also learned a lot from these children: how to love simply, how to share, how to be excited about friendships and new faces and how to appreciate and live as a family.

 We understood more deeply what Jesus talked about in Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’".

I believe that this is what HYC is all about: making an impact and serving a community but doing it together, as a family, and putting our trust and faith in God to see what he can do around us and in our personal lives.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 17 Aug, 2017

“Sometimes service is simply holding out your hand and showing others Jesus’ love…” 

While serving on HYC Jakarta I saw a lot of hurt and pain. I am originally from Indonesia, and seeing the lives of those around me – hearing the same language and stories! I learned that only God can heal the hurt and pain that I saw. In my pride I thought that it was up to me or that I had to go and fix things. But I learned that what I can do is to give love so that others can see God. It is not me changing the lives of others, but God working through me.

Something that also touched my heart is that we served at the same orphanage that my parents helped to start. I remember visiting it when I was a kid and how I donated the swing set that I had before leaving for the United States. When I returned almost 15 years later, I saw that the same swing set was being used! All it needed was a paint job but it still stood strong. The participants repainted the same swing set that I had received as a gift on my birthday while living in Jakarta.

Something that I also hold close to my heart is something that my mom taught me growing up. My mom had helped to serve with HWW Indonesia and had visited many of the slums in Jakarta. Growing up she taught me to never be afraid to touch the poor and hold their hand. I didn’t understand this truly until we served in one of the slums in Jakarta, where all the children just wanted someone to love them, hug them close and hold their hand. Sometimes service is simply holding out your hand to hold and showing others Jesus’ love.

By HOPE Youth Corps/ HOPEww Singles Corps 17 Aug, 2017

As I write this article, our family is en route back home to Canada from Budapest, and another successful HYC. Our 22-year-old son, Cameron Taylor, was one of the Global Service Interns who helped organize and lead this this HYC, and our 19-year-old daughter, Jillian Taylor attended as one of the HOPEww volunteers. We head back to our homes in Halifax, Canada, once again deeply impacted by the service and the love lived out on these amazing service trips.

This fall, our son will begin his medical school studies, and as I recently reviewed his essay that he submitted with his application, I am both grateful to God for opening this wonderful door of opportunity for our son, and humbled by the role that HOPE worldwide , its leadership and its service opportunities has played in shaping our son’s worldview and convictions to imitate Jesus by loving the poor. In short, Cameron’s essay had “HOPE worldwide ” written all over it. Let me share with you a bit of our son’s journey with selected excerpts from his medical school application essay…

A few hours after Cameron’s birth, I firmly believe that God played a role in our son’s life through the delivering doctor who acted on a hunch, and located a significant problem with one of our son’s main organs. We were transported from Toronto East General Hospital to Sick Kids Hospital where he eventually spent about half of his first year. Our son had major kidney problems and if this wasn’t taken care of, at best he would live a severely limited life, and at worse, we could eventually lose him. Those weeks and long nights spent walking the halls of Sick Kids, holding our son and caring for him as best as we were able, were a roller coaster of emotions and some of the deepest times my wife and I have ever spent in prayer. Our family eventually moved to Halifax, and after more treatments and surgery, we are so thankful that our son is living a healthy and very normal life.

Cameron’s essay excerpt: “One of my earliest memories is of an operating room. I was four years old at the time, and I can still picture the mask covered faces, silhouetted by the overhead lighting, as the anesthesia induced darkness crept in from the edges of my vision. A core belief of mine is that to those who are given much, ( Luke 12:48 “to whom much was given, of him much will be required” ESV), much will be expected. I have been given much by way of experiences that have shaped my desire to become a physician, a career which would allow me to do the much that I believe is expected of me.”


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