International (MNN) — College students, do you ever get the feeling like your life hasn’t begun and you haven’t had any chances to start doing what you’ve always wanted to do: make a difference?
Buckner International hears you and wants to propel you forward with Project Go, a one-month summer program that enables you to help others internationally.
“What we do is we send teams to different countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Kenya,” says Project Coordinator Allison Bay.
The teams tend to be 4-8 college-aged students and typically serve with Buckner’s local family hope centers. Staff members guide students every step of the way, giving tips on how to serve families, children, and orphans.
Opportunities are available for students interested in teaching, medicine, social work, psychology, and careers in missions.
“But really, the ideal student is someone who is eager to serve in another country who’s willing to give up sort of the comforts of the American lifestyle for a month and just really get their hands dirty.”
While letting go of America for a month can be scary, Buckner has seen how students transform local families’ lives and communities, but also how students change.
One girl who had the opportunity to visit homes and schools in Kenya is an example of how Project Go threw a curveball and flipped her life upside down. Though she went into the trip as a business major, she came out and switched to social work.
“Something like this really can shake up the plans that you have for your life,” Bay explains. “But really, it’s so beautiful to see how you’re just transformed by experiencing a new culture, by experiencing people who live in such different circumstances than we usually find ourselves here.”
Bay just recently returned from Peru and says it’s life-altering to see how poverty-stricken an area can and “also to experience the joy of the families who live there, even though their circumstances are not ideal.”
A student, who had the opportunity to serve in Kenya, said in a Buckner video, “Go. Why wouldn’t you go? I mean that’s all God needs for you to do is say yes. So go, and it will change your life.”
If you’re not a student but you feel compelled to help, pray for next year’s team members to have open hearts and helpful hands. You can also support a student!
“It would just be a blessing for many of them if they had the opportunity to have someone who they didn’t even know who wanted to support them in this mission,” Bay says.
For the 2016 summer Project Go, learn more and start signing up here!