Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beside Religion and Family, My Top Recommendation for Youth

video

Couldn't miss the girls more, when they leave home for good things. Couldn't be happier that they choose to serve. Tori-Laine just left this morning for her trip to Equador to work in an orphanage for two and a half weeks. I will have no contact with her, with the exception of a single email at some point during the trip. We don't know what kind of facility she will be staying in, she doesn't really speak the local language, and she doesn't know a single person in the group. How can I be okay with sending my 17 year old daughter to a third world country with complete strangers? 

The video above is Dania's experience with the same HEFY (Humanitarian Experience For Youth) Organization a couple years back. She went to Fiji to build toilets in a village without plumbing. Her trip to Polynesia wasn't as glorious as one might expect a Fijian experience to be, but it was beneficial, uplifting, and life changing for the volunteers as much as the locals. 

The trip fee is upwards of $2,500 but both of the girls were able to raise enough funds to cover 100% of the cost. So in short, they had (are having) an international and life-changing experience at no cost. The kids come home with an incredible perspective on loving and serving their neighbor. They stand up on their own two feet and make a real difference for real people that they come to know well, and shed a few tears for, during good-byes. Many leave much of what they had brought in their suitcase, with the locals--and wish they could leave more. But all take home, a bigger heart, an open mind, and a better perspective. 

Two cheers for youth leaders everywhere, that haven't given up on kids. I believe there is a special place in Heaven for all of them :) And might I suggest to parents of teenagers everywhere, take a look at this link: http://www.hefy.org/ 

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