1 – What will a community experience when they go on a virtual partner visit?
When you join a virtual partner visit, you will get to experience the country right in the comfort of your living room. We will take you on a tour of the CarePoint location, teach you more about the culture and customs, and introduce you to some of the staff, leadership, and parent guardians.
Of course the most important time will be spent with the children! We will dance, sing, laugh, and ask them questions. They will even have questions for you too.
2 – What have been some of the most impactful moments of the visit so far?
God has been moving in the unexpected moments in each trip.
In Ethiopia, we ended in a moving prayer from our head office staff member, Yared Ayele. The pastor from this church partnership had recently been going through chemotherapy. The Ethiopian staff were very close with him and his family so this was difficult news for them to hear. Yared cried out to the Lord in Amharic, and even through the language barrier, it was evident that the Spirit of God was at work. It was powerful to witness this exchange of true friendship from miles apart.
In Guatemala, we launched one of our first Friendship Model CarePoints. This is a sponsorship model that allows the child to choose their prayer partner. For a young boy who had just lost his father, it was very important to find a whole family. He was able to meet them live during our virtual partner visit and thank them for their support. He explained that he chose them because they looked like a unified family that he once belonged to. It was so touching and many tears were shed.
3 – You’ve hosted four visits so far. What is some feedback you’ve heard from HopeChest Partnership Leaders?
“It’s probably the best virtual experience I’ve been part of since COVID started!”
“I don’t know how we could have done it any better, without having gone there. It checked all the boxes and helped people see what going there would be like.”
4 – Looking to the future, how are these virtual partner visits going to continue serving partners and growing?
We want this to continue to be an opportunity for our communities to develop relationships with their CarePoints without the restriction of travel. While we would love to have all of our HopeChest Friends travel to their CarePoint, it is something that just isn’t accessible for everyone whether that be due to work, health, or just life. Virtual travel opens up the door for all of our HopeChest community to see the impact of their individual CarePoints. For the future, we would love to develop a hybrid option so that teams on the ground in-country can connect back with their communities back home and share their experiences together. Relationship and connection is so important for our friends here in the U.S. and abroad, and we look forward to creating more ways to connect!
Are you interested in going on a virtual partner visit to see your CarePoint community? Fill out this quick survey to let HopeChest’s Travel Team know you’re interested in virtual travel!
MEET THE HOPECHEST TRAVEL TEAM
Nina’s role at HopeChest connects North American communities to their partnered communities overseas through planning and managing partner visits as well as supporting sponsorship needs. She graduated from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. If Nina was stranded on a desert island with one album to play on repeat, it would be “Staying at Tamara’s” by George Ezra. An ideal day off for Nina would be spent fishing, hiking, and reading in Eleven Mile Canyon with her family.
Sami supports sponsorship needs and manages HopeChest partners’ visits to CarePoints for Russia and Ethiopia. She graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida with a master’s and bachelor’s in Exceptional Student Education K-12. An ideal day off for Sami would include being curled up next to the fireplace with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book (maybe her favorite book, “To Kill a Mockingbird”) while a blizzard swirls outside. If she had a superpower, it would be telekinesis which would allow her to stay cozy under a blanket on her perfect snow day instead of having to get up to turn off a light switch or grab more tea.