UKRAINE MISSION TRIP
June 26-July 5, 2020
GRYM is headed to Kiev, Ukraine, with YoungFriends (a ministry of Let's Start Talking)!
What is YoungFriends?
Let's Start Talking sends hundreds of short-term missionaries every year to sites all over the world to spread the gospel through the offer of free English lessons.
YoungFriends is the teen branch of this ministry. It allows teens in other countries to learn English, while also having fun and meaningful interactions with Christian teens from the U.S.
Who Can Go?
This mission trip is for current 9th-12th graders of Garden Ridge Youth Ministry who are willing to share their faith and set a godly example.
The group will be led by Trane and Tamara Wyatt (with their kids tagging along), a handful of adult volunteers from Garden Ridge and most likely a representative of Let's Start Talking.
The group will fly out Friday, June 26, 2020, and arrive in Kiev sometime Saturday. Sunday begins the interactions with the local church and teens, which will take place each day, Sunday-Saturday (with one day having some sight-seeing time).
The ministry will consist of activities, small group English reading times, and Bible studies. Most of this is GRYM student-led.
The group will return Sunday, July 5, probably very late.
A Word about Safety.
Garden Ridge and Let's Start Talking take the safety of all participants very seriously. Garden Ridge has selected Kiev among many options partially due to information that suggests Kiev would not be particularly unstable or dangerous for U.S. citizens.
Let's Start Talking has resources within the U.S. government and with locals in each of their mission cities to monitor conditions. If there are changes in the political or social climate that would make it unsafe for groups to visit a certain site, LST will have back-up locations to send those groups to at NO further expense to the participants.
All major cities (at home and abroad) have crime as a concern. GRYM enforces policies and practices when in such places to minimize risk.
There are some parts of Ukraine and out-lying areas with specific dangers. Political unrest, demonstrations and violence are present particularly in Crimea (far south), as well as Donetsk and Luhansk (far east). These issues, however, have remained far enough removed from Kiev (north center).
For information about travel advisories, as well as tips for safe travel outside the U.S., go to this U.S. Government site.
The cost per participant is $2900.
> There is a $200 out-of-pocket deposit for each student.
> Garden Ridge is contributing $1000 to each student after the first half of the funds are raised (see below).
This means that EACH STUDENT SHOULD END UP PAYING $200 AND RAISING $1700.
(Note: Adults wishing to go will not be able to receive the $1000 from Garden Ridge, so adults will pay $200 and pay/raise $2700.)
PHASE 1: Deposit and Commitment
Deadline: Sunday, December 8
Amount to Deposit: $200/person (paid fully by participant)*
A completed registration/agreement form AND "Share Your Faith" assignment are due at this point, also.
*Note: If paying the deposit online, forward the confirmation email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
PHASE 2: Half Balance
Deadline: Sunday, March 22
Minimum Amount Reached: $1400 ($200 deposit plus $1200 raised/paid fully by participant)*
*Note: This does NOT include the $1000 contribution from Garden Ridge. That will be applied AFTER the first half is raised.
PHASE 3: Final Payment
Deadline: Sunday, April 19
Minimum Amount Reached: $2900
> $200 deposit
> $1000 contributed from Garden Ridge*
> $1700 raised/paid
*Note: Adult sponsors must raise this portion also.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to tax laws and Let's Start Talking policies and procedures, a participant who cancels their participation will not be able to receive much, or possibly any, of their money back.
Fundraising should begin IMMEDIATELY after deciding to participate. Ideally, Thanksgiving Break would be the first major effort with other efforts continuing into the Spring.
Once you are registered, LST will create a fundraising page for you with a link for people to use to donate. Include this link in every online post and letter.
Here are ideas for raising the money (though you are encouraged to get creative with other ideas):
1 | Online Post: On every social media site you use, add a post as soon as you are registered and receive a fundraising link.
An idea for a post could be:
Hey, friends and family! I have the opportunity to be a missionary for 10 days next summer in Kiev, and it would mean a lot if you could help me reach $1900 to make that happen! Click this link for the info and a way to donate: (insert your link here)
2 | Letters: A majority of the funds could be raised with a thorough letter-sending effort. Letters should be sent to ANYONE you can think who might be moved to support you. For instance:
. Family, including distant family
. Current friends (and/or their parents)
. Former friends, teammates, etc.
. Former teachers, coaches, directors, mentors, etc.
. Current teachers, coaches, directors, mentors, etc.
. Former Bible class teachers
. Other adults you look up to
. Other churches, Scout troops, organizations, etc., that you have been part of
It's not easy to ask for money, but YOU ARE GIVING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A BLESSING AND DO SOMETHING POSITIVE. Obviously, we are humble and non-judgmental if someone is unable to give, but they would be honored that you thought of them as an important person worth asking.
For an idea how to write this letter, see this sample letter.
3 | Donations as Gifts. Let your friends and family know that, instead of Christmas or birthday gifts this year, you'd like donations to your trip.
4 | Participate in Group Fundraisers. The group will work together on projects such as bake sales, work days, babysitting nights, etc. Those who participate in the event will get a portion of the money, so make it a priority to help.
5 | Facebook Job Postings. A Facebook site will be set up for people to request help in exchange for donations. Keep an eye on the page, and claim a job quickly when it's posted.
6 | Personal Jobs. Find other ways to raise money on your own. Rake leaves. Mow yards. Walk dogs. Set up lemonade stands. You will serve others while also achieving your trip goals!
IMPORTANT NOTE: According to tax law for non-profits: (1) no deposits may be refunded; and (2) all donations will become the property of Let's Start Talking, meaning that neither Garden Ridge nor participants will have rights to any amount of money that is raised above the goal.
READY TO JOIN THE ADVENTURE?
HERE'S WHAT TO DO:
1. Fill out THIS ONLINE FORM (all participants: adults and teens) by Dec 8.
2. Also do THIS "SHARE YOUR FAITH" ASSIGNMENT (adults and teens) by Dec 8.
3. Pay the $200 deposit by Sunday, Dec 8. (Remember, if paying the deposit online, forward the confirmation email to: email@example.com)
4. Begin fundraising! Once you have received a link for your fundraising page, start posting online and sending letters.
5. Begin the process of getting your passport. This may take a long time, so don't wait!
(If you have a passport already, make sure it is good through 01/05/2021, six months after our trip.)