1)     To assist young people going on short term mission trips with Christian agencies, which are in agreement with the ethos of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

 

Criteria:

 

a)     The maximum amount available to any individual is £500.

b)     A young person may only receive one grant from the fund.

c)      The young person must be a member of a Presbyterian congregation

d)     The young person must be aged 18-25 years old.

e)     Only one application will be considered per team or project and the application must be signed by the team leader.

f)      In the case of a team application the maximum amount available will be £600 and must be distributed equally amongst all eligible team members.

g)     The fund is not available to help towards university electives, work experience placements or Bible college training.

h)     YAC Overseas teams will receive the maximum grant each year. The money will be transferred internally and used to reduce the cost of our teams to participants.

i)       The young person must apply for their grant before 1 March if they are going that summer (June, July and August) and if outside that time then they must apply 3 months prior to going.

 

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This summer i spent two weeks in the Dominican Republic with a team from Edenderry CE.  We were working with Stand by Me and were based in a school in a small town called Monte Plata.  Our task was to help the teachers run a camp for some of the children at the school.  The camp was a reward for the children who worked hard and were well behaved throughout the year, so it acted as an incentive for them to always do their very best.


Camp was an amazing experience.  All of the children who go to camp come from very poor families and often from very difficult backgrounds.  Camp is an opportunity to show them how much God loves them by providing for their physical needs as well as providing an opportunity for them to grow spiritually.  Some of the daily activites included games, crafts and swimming in the river.  We also took the children to the beach for a day, which was incredible - it was just how you would imagine a Caribbean beach to be! At camp, the children attended Bible Class every day and the theme was "God Almigthy".  They heard Bible stories such as David and Goliath and learnt memory verses each day.  In the evenings there was a gospel meeting, which included singing, a talk and a performance from one of the groups.  I loved working with the teachers from the school.  Their love for the children under their care and passion to teach them about the love God has for them is so encouraging and inspiring.  I also grew a lot in my own faith as a result of my experience.  I realised how much i need to depend on God for everything in my life insteading of looking first to the many other things in our lives that dstract us from Him.  There is an incredible work going on in Monte Plata and I pray that God will continue to bless it and the people who are serving Him there.

I went to Zimbabwe in the early hours of Saturday 4th May. After a long day of travelling I arrived in the capital city Harare, eager to get involved in the work and learn more about Zimbabwe Orphan Care (the charity led by Alan and Dorothy Graham – who I was staying with). An average day began at 6am. We would travel to schools in the city to take their assembly’s (they begin at 7.45am) or we would travel into the bush to visit farm schools; where we would play games, sing worship songs and teach children the stories of the Bible. Some of the schools have an attendance of over 2000 children so to see these numbers running out of the classrooms to great you is an experience I’ll never forget. The other side to the work of ZOC is the work of their own children’s home called Jabulani (which means ‘be happy’). They have 14 kids living there (including 7 babies under 18months, 5 children between 3 and 4 years old and 2 beautiful children with Cerable Palsy). It truly was a joy to play games, cuddle, laugh, cry and simply share the love of Jesus with these children and I thank God of every moment. Please pray for the work of ZOC, pray for Alan and Dorothy Graham as they continue in this work - often in very difficult circumstances – and thank God for changed lives through every child touched by the love of Jesus. Pray for me too – this 2 week experience has impacted my life thanks to God and I am going back to Zimbabwe on October 8th 2013 for 6 months! Thank you to PCI and the Concorde grant for this opportunity.