SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World
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SERVE 2018 Theme | Love God, Love The World

This summer at SERVE 2018 our Theme will be Love God, Love The World. Below are our Key Passage and Key Thought behind this curriculum. >> Key Passage: Luke 4:18-19   “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”   >> Key Thought: Jesus begins his ministry in Luke’s Gospel by going to the synagogue where he reads from the book… Read More

How to Plan a Mission Trip
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How to Plan a Mission Trip

The following is an edited excerpt from the Youth Unlimited Magazine (Fall 2015). 6 Things to Do When Planning a Mission Trip for Teens If you’re planning a mission trip for a youth group (and especially if you're planning to bring your group to Youth Unlimited’s Serve), here are 6 things to do: Check dates with parents early in the process. Even before October 1 of the year before the Summer mission trip, begin asking parents if they have a family vacation planned or know of camps/activities in the summer you should plan around. Don’t just ask the students to ask their… Read More

Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!
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Hurricane Relief: St. Thomas SERVE!

As I’ve heard it said many times, God’s timing is always perfect. I found this true once again through an email from Nicole Jackson, the Youth and Retreat Center Coordinator at St. Thomas Reformed Church (STRC) in the US Virgin Islands. Their church has just completed building a retreat center and they are excited to begin hosting groups. Having received SERVE postcards in the past, she sent an email earlier this summer to explore the possibility of hosting a SERVE in St. Thomas,   Through several emails, Skype conversations, and prayer, we feel God has brought us together… Read More

SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer
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SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer

by: Jenifer Buikema For me, SERVE was the highlight of every summer. In my life I have been on four Youth Unlimited SERVE trips; Sioux Falls, Port Perry, Brighton, and Gallatin Valley. I have also helped host two trips at my home church in Holland, Michigan. I love to travel, so hopping in the 15-passenger van with my youth group and driving to Canada or across the country was always a great start to the week! Then, when you arrive, the host team is always super excited to welcome you and invite you into their community. Being welcomed that warmly really sets you up to have a great week. The… Read More

The Year I Went To All The Canadian SERVE Sites
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The Year I Went To All The Canadian SERVE Sites

By: Ron deVries The summer of 2017 will forever be etched in my hard drive (and human brain) as the year I thought it would be a cool idea to visit every Canadian SERVE site. I knew it would be a lot of traveling and although some things prevented me (I am reminded of the two and half hour delay waiting somewhere in the seemingly far reaches of highway between 427 and 403) from spending more time with each of these incredible sites. Here are a few highlights for me. Watching our host teams in action made me swell up with Christian pride. I witnessed Kingdom people doing Kingdom… Read More

The Many Benefits of a Service Trip for Your Church Youth Group
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The Many Benefits of a Service Trip for Your Church Youth Group

If you have ever been on a SERVE trip or really any kind of service trip you can testify that it is a life changing experience. But, have you ever tried to explain that to someone who hasn’t ever experienced a mission trip themselves? It’s hard. You want to tell them all about the feelings you felt and the gratitude you received and all the lessons you learned; however, sometimes it’s too difficult to put those things into words. So, what do you do when you want to take your youth group on a service trip and you need to convince some of those critical people in your church why… Read More

Stepping Up
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Stepping Up

by Don Koops, Youth Unlimited Board Member During my years of youth ministry, I helped take groups on 12 SERVE trips to the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Virginia, as well as three trips to Ontario, Canada. I’ve also coordinated seven weeks of SERVE at my own church. The church I attend is a relatively small fellowship, so when we have hosted SERVE we have enlisted the services and assistance of churches in a broad range of denominations within a 25-mile radius. This has brought us all closer together for a united purpose and opened our… Read More

Spread Shalom
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Spread Shalom

by Annika Bangma, Whitinsville SERVE Host Team Coordinator In June of 2014, our town of Northbridge (of which Whitinsville is a village) had just voted down a hefty tax override that would give the local public school additional resources. Although there are many reasons why the override failed, a writer in the opinion column of our local newspaper argued, “The major obstacle we continually face is that an “organized” subgroup of voters does not feel the civic need to invest in things that enhance our public school system and town services. This subgroup of voters isn’t the… Read More

Park Rangers
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Park Rangers

The following is an excerpt from our Youth Unlimited Summer Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. The opportunity to have been part of the “Park Rangers” group at my church has drastically changed the way I look at and interact with my church today. Planning to host a SERVE trip with a congregation of our size didn’t seem possible, but I was amazed to see the abundance of support from the members of our church and community. People were signing up to lead games, cook meals, help out with job sites and be a part of the main Host Team. The Park Rangers group, in… Read More

Seeing Jesus In the Brokenness
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Seeing Jesus In the Brokenness

by Laura, High River SERVE Participant, 2014 In the summer of 2014, a group of students from my church, Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, Alberta, embarked on a SERVE mission trip to High River, Alberta. High River had been hit with a disastrous flood one summer earlier, and as a result, the entire city had to be evacuated for 10 days. Our mission on the SERVE trip was to assist the town in cleaning up any damage that had come from the flooding… and there was a lot of it! We painted battered fences, rebuilt decks and houses, landscaped, built gardens, etc., but… Read More

Christian Community
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Christian Community

by Adrianna Wimmers Stress is mental or emotional strain caused by demanding or adverse circumstances. Stress can come from many different situations and can be overwhelming, leading oneself to not know where to turn to or what to do about the stress they are experiencing. Balancing school, friends, relationships, extra-curricular activities, jobs and everything in between can add unnecessary and often unwanted stress. Stress and being overwhelmed can blind us to many things like the people who can and are willing to help us get out of our hole that we have stressed ourselves into.… Read More

Pray Like it Depends on God
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Pray Like it Depends on God

The following is an excerpt from our summer magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here. I’ve heard the saying, “You work like it depends on you and you pray like it depends on God.” I’m not sure about the theology of that statement, but it sure does reflect the past nine months of activity for Youth Unlimited. The Youth Unlimited staff and our 28 SERVE teams are in full preparation mode for SERVE 2017. 1,500 students and leaders will converge at 28 host churches to serve their communities on behalf of God and that local church. Throughout their week, students will… Read More