Looking Forward to 2018
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Looking Forward to 2018

It’s hard to believe SERVE 2017 is behind us and the planning for SERVE 2018 is under way! We are excited to unveil the theme for SERVE 2018, Love God – Love the World, in this issue of the Youth Unlimited Magazine. In Luke 4:18-19 it says, “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.” Through our SERVE sites next summer, we long with great anticipation to see students… Read More

5 to Thrive
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5 to Thrive

Matthew 14 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.   #GivingTuesday Giving… Read More

Faces of YU: Ron
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Faces of YU: Ron

Get to know Ron DeVries from Edmonton, AB What is your role at Youth Unlimited? I am the Canadian SERVE Director. Where are you from, and what brought you to Youth Unlimited? I am from Alberta, Canada. For the last ten years, I had served as the Youth Ministry Consultant for the Christian Reformed church, Classis Alberta North. Following many conversations with Jeff at Youth Unlimited, we could see how a Canadian Director could be a blessing for Youth Unlimited, who would be working alongside a US Director so we said, let’s try it. When you were a student,… Read More

Does SERVEant have a first name?
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Does SERVEant have a first name?

When we brought the SERVEant back we talked a lot in the office about if we should give it a name or not. We thought that some people might ask so we should come up with a plan. We decided that we would take all of our 2017 student registrations and find the most common name of the year and that is what we would pick for our ant.   However, before we tell you what that name is we have something else to say. The spirit of the SERVEant is that there cannot be just one. Ants live in community and so do we. That being said we are only naming our office SERVEant. What you call yours… Read More

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

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… 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