(Left to right) Claire, Faith and Griffin with Dario and Bianca from Riviersonderend.

This year’s International Youth Ambassadors are all amazing lights!  Left to right, pictured above, Claire Fowler, Faith Thalacker and Griffin Peck joined us this year on our trip to South Africa.  With our adults, Martin, Kelly, Robin and Richard, we were a large group this year!

Claire comes from Cleveland, Ohio.  She is a talented artist, creating unusual works of art on vintage vinyl albums and on compact discs.  They are really beautiful and unique.  She shared this talent with YOUers at the International Youth of Unity event this summer, an event which she played an important part in planning, creating and facilitating.  She also brought this talent and many other artistic and creative ideas to camp in South Africa!  Some of her ideas had us saying, “Why haven’t we thought of this before?”

Faith comes from San Francisco, California.  She is a dance major, and brings energy to whatever she does.  She connected quickly with the teens from Riviersonderend at camp and made so many friends!  Faith played an important role in the planning process, teaching Martin and I new methods for planning events (who knew that deciding on the theme could come last?).

Griffin comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Griffin is great at planning, analyzing and organizing.  I swear he had already memorized every airport’s layout ahead of time: we’d get off the plane and Griffin was like, “It’s this way.” We had great discussions about so many things about South Africa, and he asks great questions!

Martin and Richard and all the leaders of the camp! From the left: Martin, Claire, Bianca, Emile, Lauren, Breyton, Richard, Faith, Denise, Dario and Griffin.

What a great team!

We are so blessed to get to witness the interactions of these youth with one another.  As we watch, as we hold space, lives are changed, on both sides of the world.  We are all learners and teachers!  No matter how many times I travel to South Africa, I learn more each time, and my life is changed, my eyes are opened further.

We are so blessed and grateful for the joyful opportunity to do this with our lives and with these people.  What a gift.