Testimonials

Life-change Stories

Jesus is changing lives every day through people just like you on Group Mission Trips.

tyler

Q: What are you most excited for in your time with Group Mission Trips as an intern?

As the Program Intern I am responsible for making sure all the different elements for program come together and the MC’s, staff, and participants have what they need to have a successful week. I am most excited for when the first week of camp happens this summer to see all of the hard work we have done come together with a successful week of programs!

 

Q: How did being on summer staff impact your faith?

Backpacks for refugees

Tent Schools International (TSI) partnered with Week of Hope and Bethany Christian Services to provide 69 backpacks for resettled refugee families in Grand Rapids, MI in August 2016. TSI encouraged young people traveling to Grand Rapids from across the nation on Week of Hope service trips to bring along backpacks filled with school supplies for refugee families in Michigan. The goal was to deliver the packs in time for the start of school in September.

Workers with resident

When youth and adult participants arrive at each resident's home, they bring far more than loaded tool belts and construction materials. The relational hope offered to each resident is invaluable, and leaves such a lasting impact:

 

Resident watching home repair

My wife decided in November that she no longer wanted to be married to me. I was forced from my home. I was homeless. The kindness of God’s blessings has provided so much love and loyalty, unspeakable joy, a movement only God could have provided. The teenage workers were respectful, timely, efficient, and effective. Their work was flawless. Each student was courteous, and the tasks were completed beyond my expectations. Without this help, I could not have moved into my home. It was such a change of perspective.

Child building wall

I am a blessed Workcamp recipient residing in the rural town of Dexter township. I was touched by some phenomenal young folks we worshiped together and bonded. My heart felt full and filled with joy comfort and deep soul healing. I don't ask or apply for help due to fear of ridicule pointing gossip and sport of local bullying. I took a chance with this body of grace and was forever changed. You all taught our small valley town what it means to be part of a solution and what it means to be part of paying it forward and help our community as a village. I am humbled and moved.

Kids in front of van

I have been blessed in so many ways this week at the Workcamp in Valdosta, GA. But one of the biggest blessings I received was being able to lead the youth of Mt. Zion. This was my first time being an "adult leader" and I could not have asked for a better experience. It was a pleasure watching these young people grow in their faith this week and I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. God is good!

man held by children

My cup is overflowing. A few short days ago, I was in a car full of complete strangers headed towards South Milwaukee to volunteer at a camp for kids our age with disabilities and/or special needs.

Although we knew nothing about each other at the start of the week, this crew pulled together as a unit to shower love over those kids who so desperately craved attention & human contact. We laughed, we played, we shared stories (Tim mostly), and most of all we experienced Jesus' extraordinary love for His Creation.

Skateboarders in Mexico

I got to serve for my second year in a row on a Group International Mission Trip in Pescadero, Baja, Mexico this summer.

This was an amazing year to be part of this trip. Getting to come back to some people who we had a chance to build some relationships with last year and see how that has grown was incredible.

Deno work on a rough looking house

This week in Grand Rapids, God began to work almost immediately. Each member of the crew has to choose different roles and usually this is or can be a somewhat difficult task - teens either being anxious or complaining about certain things. But this group slid right into the roles with no question and everyone was satisfied, even happy. We also bonded and laughed together almost from the get-go and it was obvious to me that this little crew really wanted to do something significant for Jesus. We talked about how we were willing to do whatever it would take to see it through.

Group smiling

I've always heard that international mission trips like this are life-changing, and I found that to be true in El Salvador. In addition to showing God's love to the people of this country through our service time each day, we learned so much.

 

Our leaders put great effort into not just bringing us here to work but also teaching us about the culture, history, and the issues people face. It has given us a better understanding of what is really happening here and the need. They have created an environment to develop personal relationships with the people here.

 

We served in Big Lake, Alaska during the week of July 17-21, 2017. The crew I was working with built a recovery building for the Alaska Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. There were three of us from Ohio and four from Colorado, four adults and three teen boys. Our crew surpassed expectation on the build and finished early. We then built a covered porch to the back of the main office where they kept the freezers for the birds' food. Nancy, who was with the center, was so surprised and pleased with our work. I cannot express my feelings on this project.

Group Mission Trips work has spread through the community of Norristown, PA, even after the Workcamp that took place here, empowering my church and me to continue to serve.

Over the past several months, I worked with the Code Enforcement office of Norristown and my church, Conshohocken United Methodist. This past weekend our church repaired three homes that had applied to receive repairs from Group Mission Trips but weren't fulfilled. About 20 volunteers from my church came together for a Day of Service and did all three houses in one day!

Child Pushing weeds

This was my sixth year volunteering as a Red Shirt and also my first official year as a site host. It's amazing to see what a difference the Week of Hope is making in San Diego.