So you may be wondering a little more about our youth mission trip...this trip is kinda a "joint-venture" so-to-speak, between TVC, the church i belong to, Fusion 412, TVC's Youth Group, Living Laura's Hope, which i will explain more about later, and World Vision (http://www.worldvision.org/).
TVC stands for Thornapple Valley Church (http://www.tvcweb.com/). It is a non-denominational Christian church located in Hastings, MI. TVC's vision is "to demonstrate authentic Christianity from the heart in an atmosphere of acceptance". Fusion 412 is the name for the Youth Group at TVC, headed up by Joel, who will be leading our youth mission trip to Zambia. World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. They are involved with work world-wide as their name indicates. Living Laura's Hope started from the foundation of Share Laura's Hope (http://www.sharelaurashope.com/). Share Laura's Hope was created in honor of Laura Dickinson. Laura, (the girl pictured to the right), was a 22 year old from Hastings, MI. Laura's life was taken from her in her dorm room at Eastern Michigan University, where she was attending school, back in December of 2006. Her parents, Bob and Deb, started Share Laura's Hope in honor of their daughter and her passion for wanting to support AIDS victims in Africa, most specifically the orphan children who are made vulnerable by the disease. Bob and Deb have partnered with World Vision and to date have raised $26,600 in honor of their daughter for the organization.
Bob and Deb Dickinson attend TVC as well. When the idea first got under way for the mission trip at TVC it was suggested by some staff that Share Laura's Hope be incorporated into the trip. By including Share Laura's Hope into the trip it was then decided to use World Vision as the organization we would go through for the trip because a relationship was already established between Share Laura's Hope and World Vision. As I said before, Share Laura's Hope was started in order to raise money for orphans in Africa. Living Laura's Hope was then created by Laura's parents as a result of the decision to move forward with the mission trip. The thought behind Living Laura's hope was that Bob and Deb Dickinson and the selected group of TVC members would be going to Africa to "Live Laura's Hope". We would actually be carrying out what Laura herself hoped to have done one day.
Bob and Deb decided they wanted to go on the trip. They want to do this for Laura. Everyone else going on the trip had to proceed with an application process. The trip was limited to TVC members only, as well as, limited to teenagers who were in grades 9-12. After the applications were reviewed, we ended up with a group of 10 teenagers, 6 girls and 4 boys. As well as 10 leaders. Four leaders have since decided not to continue on with the trip which leaves us with a remaining 6 leaders.
Our first meeting was back at the end of July and since have had monthly meetings and actually have our next meeting on Saturday. We get together to do some team building activities as well as work on fundraising ideas. I am so excited! I am so excited for everything. This whole trip has brought so much joy and excitement into my life. I really feel like I can't even begin to put into words how much passion i have for this trip. it is amazing!!! it excites me and everyday i can't wait to get things done that make it that much closer for us to be able to go on this trip.
As far as fundraising goes, we have to fund-raise all our own money. If you don't fund-raise your $5,000.00 you don't get to go, it's that simple. We are responsible for ourselves going. The church isn't covering for any of us to go. Which leads to some anxiety along the way hoping all the money we need to raise will be raised. That's where my prayers come in as well as my belief that God will provide for us to be able to carry through with the trip.