Dale Puckett, Director of Global Youth Awareness and Mobilization, YouthHOPE
Over the course of two weeks in May, I had the opportunity to serve on a short-term project to Kherson, Ukraine with a team of 5 other men, one of those being my 16 year old son, Tyler. We had the privilege to serve with NMSI affiliate Alys West. Our goal was to assist in a building project called, Stephen’s Home. This home (along with a sister home called Naomi’s Home) will allow special needs orphans a place to transition into once they age out of the system. Both Stephen and Naomi’s Homes will house 10-12 men and women, respectively.
Personally for me this was an awesome opportunity. This was Tyler’s first international mission trip. So to have the opportunity to serve alongside my son was something very special. We worked hard. We shoveled dirt and clay, tore down an existing home and saved reusable resources such as bricks and wood, cut and tied rebar, and mixed and poured cement. On our “off” days we visited one of the special needs orphanages (where Alys serves) and 3 governmental institutions for men and women with special needs. As much as the labor was physical, these visits were just as emotional. Meeting some of these individuals who will have the opportunity to live and thrive in these homes was encouraging. I am excited for them as they anticipate the end of their exile in these institutions and look toward the hope and future that is to come.
Being a part of this project was a staunch reminder of how youth can be overlooked and marginalized. Our desire is to see youth invested in, regardless of mental or physical capabilities. There are many opportunities for those of you reading this to be a part of this hope and future. You can pray for global youth. You can go on a short-term project with us. You can give to projects and programs that have the potential to see youth developed holistically. We are grateful for your support as we fulfill the calling to see the lives of global youth transformed.