The first phase of the project lays the foundation for later success. Team members seek for guidance, complete the application process, and take care of the many administrative details with an experienced preparation coach. Project funds are raised by developing a network of financial supporters. Lesson preparation for the camp begins, and a personal life story is developed. Team members read and discuss several training texts, as well as keep up an active correspondence with other teammates.
The next phase, Briefing, continues to prepare team members for a successful ministry in China. The team converges on Richmond, VA for a couple of days of orientation and awesome fellowship. Team members are further briefed on how to stay healthy while traveling to and living in a foreign culture, the importance of team unity and how to resolve conflicts, and what it means to cultivate meaningful relationships in a cross-cultural environment. We also take time for some fun as we get to know each other before travelling to China.
We then travel to China to tour some of the world’s most incredible landmarks and become acquainted with Chinese culture. A scenic pedicab ride through ancient neighborhoods, a dynamic acrobatic performance, and some of the most amazing cuisine anywhere are just a few of experiences we will enjoy. In the evenings, we also continue work on preparing for our lessons, begin personal life-training, and continue forming bonds with each other.
The fourth phase is the CONNECT Program, and this is where the fun begins as we teach interactive lessons and spend time with our Chinese students in the afternoon. With lessons like Birthday Party, Unconditional Love, American Leaders, and Christmas Party, we not only teach American culture, but also introduce concepts that spark great one-on-one conversations in the afternoon. Every lesson is team-taught, battle-tested, and designed to make even novice teachers look like professionals.
This is the phase of the project where we often see tremendous personal progress in our students. After the conclusion of the CONNECT camp, we schedule individual appointments with the students from our small groups. Meeting in their homes or doing special activities (like making pottery – pictured at left), we deepen our friendships and solidify the lessons and skills we’ve shared throughout the camp. During this time, team members also enjoy some precious free time and deepen friendships with other teammates.
The final phase of the project finds us returning home to Richmond, VA and concluding our month long experience with a few days of fellowship and reflection. Every team member is guided through “cultural re-entry” and is prepared to return home, adjust back to American culture, and share this transformational experience with family and friends. Team members really treasure this time as it allows us to celebrate our successes, remember all of our collective moments of hilarity, and spend some time reflecting on how we’ve been challenged and transformed.
we build bridges to connect a world of three haves