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 year I felt God was calling me to take a break from University and serve him abroad, at the time I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like but I ended up volunteering with two great organisations which were Tearfund and Stand by Me.

Stand by Me are an incredible organization who help many children and young people around the world to be able to get an education and have a safe environment where they receive the love and care which every child should experience. I went to their home in Hetuada which is in Nepal for two months and I had the most incredible experience.

In the home there are approximately 110 very beautiful and hilariously funny sponsored children (many who still need loving sponsors). I was working along side the sponsorship coordinator helping with daily tasks as well as trying to help improve methods of working to ensure the job is done as best as possible to benefit the children.

A lot of my work was office based however I always had plenty of hours in the day to fit in lots of play time with all of the children who never seem to run out of energy! I got to know the children really well and they have become like an extension of my family, I even miss their early morning wake up calls to come out and play!

I learn so much from everyone I met during my time in Hetauda and even the youngest of the children at 5 was such an inspiration to me and they have completely changed my outlook on life. I didn’t expect to be so encouraged and motivated by such little children and I guess it just proves that God can use anyone of any age and will use them in incredible ways which most people won’t even realise!

I really wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this place even half as much as ended up happening and despite my mosquito ‘kisses’ as all of the children called them I hope to return to Nepal in the near future so I can see all of the children’s brilliant smiles again and hopefully be able to help Stand by Me in their future plans for the hostel.

The carers of the children are incredible people and from them I learnt so much about looking after the children as well as how they are trying to show God’s love in everything that they do. It is so evident that God is at work in this place and the carers bring such fun to the hostel as well as being incredible witnesses for the children and the wider community.

The work that Stand by Me is doing in Nepal is making such an incredible difference to the children’s lives. All of the children know how important and valuable education is and I have never met children who work so hard and are so grateful for the chance to receive such a good education.

I ask that you continue to pray for the work of Stand by Me all over the world but in particular Nepal where I know your prayers are very much valued.

I will never forget my time in Nepal and God certainly used it to help me to readjust my priorities and to see his precious children in a different light.