ICMC West Volunteers Shine
On Saturday, July 4, in conjunction with the International Campus Ministry Conference (ICMC) West 2015 Conference, 1,000 HOPE worldwide student volunteers traveled by bus to a community south of Phoenix, Arizona. HOPE worldwide’s mission for this event was to beautify five school campuses in the Gila River Indian Community. The schools had suffered many years of deferred maintenance. In just three hours, the ICMC attendees transformed classrooms, bathrooms, teachers’ lounges, nurses’ offices and gymnasiums. In total, the volunteers painted almost 50 rooms and cleaned approximately 200. Everyone who served can’t wait until the teachers and students see how nice the schools look following this day of service.
On Sunday following the event, a reporter for the Gila River Indian Community attended the worship service and wants to study the Bible. One of the student volunteers cried tears of joy as she shared with me how this event and the HOPE worldwide class changed her life. The campus students demonstrated an amazing and sincere devotion in their service for the poor that shines for all the world to see.
I thank God for the opportunity to work with such amazing servants.
Georgi Stratton, HOPEww Phoenix Chapter Director
ICMC East Students Exceed Their Goal
At the same time in New York, 1,600 students were gathered for the ICMC East 2015. The aim of the HOPE worldwide service project at this conference was to change the first day of school experience for needy local students by handing them a new, backpack filled with school supplies. Knowing the difference this could make for a child, we pledged to donate 1,000 backpacks.
What happened next was a testimony to the power, passion and generous hearts of our young folks. Prayers were answered when we surpassed our goal by collecting over 1,100 backpacks! Through this amazing outpouring of love we saw these words of the apostle Paul put in action, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…’" Galatians 6:9-10.
A ‘Do Good’ Opportunity
Hosting the ICMC East in the New York Metro Area opened up an amazing opportunity for us to ‘do good’ for students in some of the poorest inner city schools. We learned from one principal that out of her 900 students, 300 live in homeless shelters. Unfortunately, her school is not the exception. In fact, 89% of the families in that school district are living below the poverty line. As a result, money that is earmarked for hiring teachers has to be reallocated for school supplies.
I want to thank everyone who participated, including the leadership of HOPE worldwide’s National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC), and the others who led in many other campaigns.
David Mitchell, HOPEww New York Metro Chapter Director