Frank and Kristina, Young Life leaders in Chicago offered their students the opportunity to learn about service through an Expedition to Ethiopia.
Kids were excited about the opportunity and knew this experience didn’t just happen to anyone. But Frank and Kristina knew raising support for the trip would be immensely challenging. Kids completed scholarship applications and shared their story. They also had to make commitments to work together as a team to fundraise and prepare spiritually for the Expedition. Several of the kids shared how difficult their family life was many of them work part time to help support their families.
One student said she felt called to serve and wrote,
“I think being able to go on this trip is one of the biggest opportunities for me. I’ve always been the type of person to do my best and help other people. Given the chance I will go with an open mind and with arms open, ready for what God would have for me.”
Another student wrote:
“I want to go on a YL Expedition because it would be a wonderful experience that I can come back and share with peers and other people involved in YL. Being from an urban area it’s everyday that I would get to go on a trip out of the country to help people.”
Through the generous support of donors and various fundraising campaigns Young Life Expeditions was able to offer scholarships to help offset some of the costs. When they finally arrived and connected with Ethiopian kids halfway around the globe and served them and shared stories and laughter, it quickly became clear that their hard work and sacrifice was worth it!
One young man told Frank in the midst of their trip with a deep sense of awe,
‘God is the same God everywhere.’
Lives were changed and hearts were moved. Kids got to see Jesus in new and unique ways and have their worldview shifted.
Upon returning one of the team members wrote,
“This is the kind of trip that changes a boy into a man.”
Each year we are hoping to give more opportunities like Frank and Kristina to get kids out their challenging communities and see how God is moving in a completley different place and in different ways.