Go Do Good – Do It

by Angie Klooster

SERVE 2019 was one of the most influential weeks of my life. Seeing the broken state some people live in is one thing but having the opportunity to help them and change their way of life is entirely different. We made a difference, even if all we did was weed a few rows of a community garden or paint the walls of a non-profit organization. And making a difference made a difference in me.

I was cautious to go on this trip. It was very out of my comfort zone. Then, when I found out no one from my church was in my SERVE small group, I was even more discouraged. However, as soon as I met my small group and spent one day with them, I knew I was here for a reason. The people I worked with and got to know were some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and I quickly realized God sent me on SERVE to do good.

God sent me to a small church in Muskegon, Michigan both to help people and to grow, myself. I learned more about myself in those seven days than I have in my entire life. I learned to not take things for granted. I learned that God works miracles in the strangest of ways. I learned to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people. And I learned to make friends, even if it’s just for a week and I might never see them again.

With each service project – every time we handed out yogurt at the church or cleaned a lot – we made a difference, and I was so encouraged. It might not have been much, but it was something, and it was hopefully enough to encourage others to follow our footsteps, too.

One little nudge can make a change in someone’s life, like the way my life changed at Muskegon SERVE. If the people of Muskegon saw us planting a garden and growing food, it shows them that it’s possible. If the kids at Muskegon Heights High School saw that people were willing to help them, it shows them they can help people, too.

Muskegon SERVE was just one week, but the people I worked with have been doing this for years. They have dedicated their lives to helping their community and are very passionate about what they do. They work so hard with so little. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to see, and talk to, and help these people. It’s changed who I am, and I hope everyone gets a chance to have a similar experience. If you ever get the opportunity to go do good, do it. It will be beyond worth it.  

[This is an excerpt from the Fall 2019 Magazine. To read more stories CLICK HERE]

A Time For Reflection

This magazine is probably landing in your mailbox in the midst of the beginning of a new ministry year. Youth groups are meeting after summer breaks, fall programs have started back up and summer can seem like a distant memory. As a result, the section of this magazine that might appear to be the most interesting is the preview of the SERVE 2020 theme. Let me encourage you to resist the temptation to jump straight to those sections that focus on next summer and instead, begin by spending some time reading the stories and testimonies from SERVE 2019.

This past year, over 1,400 individuals participated in SERVE at 23 sites across Canada and the United States. Students spent the week considering Paul’s message in Titus 2:14 to “Go Do Good.” They were challenged to reflect on how this verse could impact their life beyond their SERVE experience as they return to their homes, churches and schools. Now, they’re back in their communities and our prayer is that they are trying to discern how a SERVE experience impacts their day-to-day lives.

Many of you know one of these students. You may have encouraged them to attend SERVE, prayed for them before they left, organized a church fundraiser or written a check to cover registration costs. Their experience might not have been possible without the support you provided before their SERVE week.

Now that students are back home, the tendency might be to let their memories of summer 2019 fade into the background. You, too, might spend some time with this magazine, reading SERVE reflections, but the tendency may still be to shift focus to next summer and a new theme. Before that happens, let me encourage you to continue to support students you helped hear the challenge to “Go Do Good.” There are two articles in this magazine that can be used to help students reflect on how their summer mission experience might impact their lives. Look for ways to connect with a 2019 SERVE participant and use these resources to begin a conversation that helps them consider how their experience might deepen their faith in Jesus Christ and his call on their lives.

If no one asks a student about a significant experience in their life, they might assume it doesn’t matter and move on.

Rick Zomer

Executive Director

This is an excerpt from the Fall 2019 magazine

What’s New In 2019?

Registration for the SERVE 2019 teen mission trip season is about to open NOW OPEN and we wanted to let you know about some new things!

If you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. New SERVE Youth Mission Trip Sites for 2019
  2. New Background Check Policy
    • In year’s past, we have required that all Adult Leaders (21 and over), as well as host team members, have a background check on file with their church. This year, in order to have better accountability and peace of mind at our sites, we are requiring that a copy of each background check be sent directly to our office.
    • We are also changing our definition of “current” to three years instead of five. (For the 2019 season the background check must have been completed after June 15, 2016)
    • For more information and details on how to get a background check CLICK HERE.
  3. The Cost of SERVE
    • For many years, we have been able to keep the cost of SERVE steady at $360 USD. Because the cost of living continues to increase we have raised our price to $375 USD* for 2019 youth mission trips. This price increase will allow us to continue providing you with quality experiences as well as increase the amount our host teams receive in order to cover their costs for the week. *These reflect the cost of a high school SERVE site before April 1st. Please double-check the site description page of the site you are attending to confirm the price.
  4. Revised 3 Step Registration Process
    • Step One: Save Your Spots!
    • Step Two: Complete Your Online Paperwork. This must be done by March 31, 2019, or there will be late fee charges.
    • Step Three: Payment Due. Payment in full for all SERVE Sites is due on May 15, 2019.
    • Learn more and complete step one HERE.
  5. Sending Leader Training
    • We are excited to be piloting a sending church leader training program for the 2019 season. These short videos will help your Adult Leaders prepare for the SERVE week, covering topics such as what it means to be a small group leader, leading with integrity and modeling a safe culture.
    • More details about this program will be released later. Make sure to follow along with our monthly newsletter and social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for details.