With the world slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, international travel has been able to return as well. Travel and in-person interaction are just some of the many things that we all took for granted before that experience. Being able to connect, celebrate, and disciple together is an irreplaceable blessing!
In today’s blog, we’d like to highlight some of the recent trips our HopeChest Friends and Partners have been able to participate in. You’ll also be able to learn about the different types of trips that HopeChest facilitates. Just like on a trip, there’s lots to see, so buckle in!
Vision Trips are the first step in our Community-to-Community partnerships. It’s unlike any traditional mission trip. By going on a vision trip, community leaders can visit potential partner communities, and envision how their partnership could transform not only the lives of the vulnerable, but also their own community back home. It helps a potential partner gain a deeper understanding of HopeChest’s unique Community-to-Community partnerships. Finding the best fit involves being able to visit with local leadership, learn about community assets and the future vision of long-term change. Most importantly, we will discuss the difference a partnership can make in transforming the community. It’s an exciting process! At HopeChest, we believe that relationships are the currency of the kingdom. Relationships between community leaders will help community members develop their own relationships with each other that strengthen the overall relationship. Those relationships that are built on a Vision Trip will set the foundation for a community-to-community partnership that will flourish for years to come.
Recently, Faith Lutheran Church from Appleton, Wisconsin made the decision to take a Vision Trip to Guatemala to visit several different CarePoints! They visited Cuyotenango, El Oregenal, Operation Rescue, and many others. Faith Lutheran Church decided to partner with a newly established CarePoint, the El Oregenal CarePoint! These are some of the gorgeous photos from their trip- the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the El Oregenal CarePoint and the community it serves!
A Partner Visit is a trip that an existing partnered community takes in-country to see their partnered vulnerable community! Partner Visits are one of the most exciting aspects of being in a partnered community. Members of both communities get the life-changing experience of building and strengthening meaningful relationships with each other. Both sides of the partnership get to learn and experience new cultures. Partners gain a broader view of the world and the impact they are having with their partnership. They get to meet and encourage community leaders and members, and see firsthand the progress the CarePoint is making. While on a partner visit, you will be guided to “be” instead of “do.” In regards to travel, this means relationship-building is at the core of each visit and activity. And the best part- partner visits are encouraged between communities at least once a year, so there are lots of opportunities to travel and visit!
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church from Houston, Texas took a partner visit to the Ochuloi CarePoint in Ongongja, Uganda! In the community where the Ochuloi CarePoint is located, there is no public school in the village, so many children walk for 5 kilometers to reach school. Due to hunger, domestic violence, and an inability to afford scholastic materials, many children drop out of school to work. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and HopeChest’s partnership with local leadership allows nutrition, medical, and educational support to be distributed at the CarePoint and in the greater community. Here are some photos from their most recent partner visit!
Virtual trips are available to take both as a vision trip and a partner visit- no airports, passports, or suitcases needed!
For a Virtual Partner Visit, partners get to have unique two-to-three hour experience with their partnered community! They see a new video from their CarePoint; learn important updates from the CarePoint community; hear live testimonies from children, guardians, and income-generating activity participants; and have a live Q&A with CarePoint leaders.
For a Virtual Vision Trip, the experience is an immersive, five hour experience over the course of two days! On day one, for about three hours, participants learn more about HopeChest’s work in the country, hear from country leadership, learn about several communities, and “visit” each available CarePoint. On day two, for two hours, participants join a prospective community for a virtual live tour, where they meet the children who would be impacted by partnership and speak with the local leaders.
Periodically, all the stakeholders in a specific country where we work will have the chance to join a Country Call, a virtual meeting to hear from in-country leaders and HopeChest staff and to ask questions about operations and progress. This is a great opportunity to “check in” with big-picture operations that extend beyond just one child, community, or CarePoint. This is also a great way to hear from in-country staff when there are current events that may impact a CarePoint’s operations.
This is a photo from the most recent Country Call with Russia partners!
Interested in getting your community traveling with HopeChest? See what trips are coming up soon!