YISS' high school Guardians Outreach Education & Service (GOES) program sent three teams to serve in various locations throughout Korea during Spring Break this year. Each team had a different purpose, but all of the teams came away from the trips with a desire to continue loving and serving those in need.
Geoje island started its spring a little earlier than Seoul, so as soon as the team arrived at Aikwangwon, a facility for children and adults with severe mental and physical handicaps, they were greeted by fully bloomed cherry blossom trees and wide smiles from friends who recognized returning members from last year’s visit. Everyone, including the new members, quickly kindled friendships with the people at Aikwangwon, and the week was busy with activities like fan dancing, sketching scenery, hiking, fishing, and visiting the Prisoner of War Museum with Aikwangwon friends.
For a tourist day, the YISS team traveled to Tongyeong and enjoyed the annual visit to the cable car and Admiral Yi turtle ships, as well as new experiences like the Forest School and luge rides. Overall, spending time with the Aikwangwon friends was an unforgettable experience, and YISS hopes to continue this special trip.
Leaders: Dr. Baniszewski, Ms. Larsen
Members: Irene G. (12), Jayden K. (11), Jane L. (11), Pascal A. (10), Joonho C. (10), Caleb H. (10), Noah J. (10), Kailey K. (10), Sophia L. (10), Kai M. (9)
In the 16th year of running the trip to Kunsan, this year’s trip involved the most students that YISS has ever sent to the mojawon, the mothers’ and children’s home in Kunsan. The theme for the week was based on Jesus’ words that the greatest commandment is to love God and love others. Each of the students was amazing in how they served others during the week.
For the five days that the team spent in Kunsan, team members lived out Jesus’ commandment. From leading English camp for kids at the mojawon to cleaning up a farm to dancing, singing, and playing games with the residents of a disability center, the team poured out themselves in serving others. They brought a lot of smiles and joy to the people with whom they interacted and witnessing the number of cheerful kids increase each day was encouraging. The folks at the mojawon cannot wait until next year’s team arrives.
Leaders: Mr. Fisher, Ms. Nelson
Members: Jay B. (12), Ann K. (12), Tayne K. (12), Jenny K. (12), Brigitte L. (12), Katherine L. (12), Eric L. (12), Lina P. (12), Julian R. (12), Jiyu S. (12), Danny S. (12), Amelia T. (12), Jasmine C. (11), Moon C. (11), Collin K. (11), Tae Hyun K. (11), Paul O. (11), Simon S. (11), Aimee P. (10), Amy P. (9)
The focus of the Taebaek trip was playing concerts and holding music and English camps. The children of Taebaek stole the hearts of team members as they played, laughed, and built relationships with each other. The YISS team taught sports, hand art, tone chimes, worship dance, interactive drama, and English through storytelling plus Bingo.
The YISS students also performed multiple concerts at preschools, the Miner's Home, Dongjeom Elementary School, and Dongjeom Church. During these concerts, some students performed solos which they had prepared independently. The team also performed two dramas accompanied by an exciting live "soundtrack" performed by the YISS students. It was beautiful to see them share their love of music with the preschool and elementary students as they let them try to play their instruments with guidance. It was a great week, with a great team of students and leaders who loved singing “10,000 Reasons” every night during the debriefing time called “Decompression.”
Leaders: Dr. Harding, Mrs. Harding, Mr. Swinger, Mrs. Swinger
Members: Rebecca K. (12), Eric K. (11), Erica C. (10), Ian C. (10), Pete H. (10), Joshua K. (10), Daniel K. (10), David L. (10), Kevin L. (10), Tyson P. (10), Genie K. (9), Alexis K. (9), Jonah K. (9), Ryan K. (9), Ryan SW K. (9), Conan L. (9), Ryan Y. (9)