JOY Teen USA
JOY Teen is an English immersion program for Basque students to travel to the USA and live with an American family during the month of July. Students will arrive on July 1st and leave on July 30th. The program is designed for students to improve their level of English, participate as a family member, make friends with American teens, explore American culture and faith while having an unforgettable experience.
- Students will not only live with a family but will become a member of their family.
- Students will make friends with American teens.
- Students will have fun and adventures with their family and Home Base Church activities and attend a 5-day Outdoors Adventure Camp. Activities may include hiking, climbing, zip line, rafting and more.
- Students will improve their English by engaging with English speakers on a daily basis.
- Students will experience Christian community through your family and the local body of believers.
Recruiting families is the critical step in the summer. The family is the most important piece . Almost all families come out of this experience feeling purposeful and stretched. It is a positive experience.
WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES?
Successful families defined
A successful family is one that understands the call and executes hospitality under the Lordship of Christ. Some successful families make a fantastic connection with their Basque child. Some successful families never make the connection. The success of a family is not determined by the connection made with the child. A successful family believes that this experience is God’s will and faithfully experiences all that He offers in that call.
Successful families have similar gifts
As believers God blesses us all with gifts to use in ministering to the world. The gifts and family characteristics that work best in this program are:
- Flexibility: the ability to go with the flow; the ability to listen to different opinions; the ability to accept a broad range of people.
- Hospitality: by this we do not mean the ability to entertain but the ability to invite others in and make them feel welcome.
- Missional: by this we mean families accept that what they are doing is part of a greater whole. They are not participating in an independent one-time getting to know someone from another culture but are desirous of seeing their faith work out in the summer relationship with the Basque student.
Successful families cannot be categorized
- Do not let economic status, family status or theology limit your choices.
- Families do not necessarily have kids. Some of the best families we have had have been grandparents or childless.
- Families do not have to have teens. While teens can be a great asset if they understand the mission, if they don’t or are uncomfortable participating, it makes for a long month. Often the best “at-home” kids are elementary age as the Basque student feels comfortable socially and linguistically and someone from another place fascinates the elementary age student.
Also, empty-nest couples, especially with young adult children or extended family, work well.
- Families do not have to have all the bells and whistles. A Basque kid needs a family that has a place in their heart for him or her. They need a bed in a room that can be shared; they don’t need a swimming pool, a vacation house or to be escorted in a fancy car.
- Families are theologically defined by the following: unity on the essentials (there is a God; Christ is the son of god who died and was resurrected for the sins of individuals) freedom on the non-essentials (how to baptize, how to worship etc) and love over all.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES
Below is a checklist of things to look for in a family:
- Involved in the Christian faith (committed to a church)
- Recommended by someone you know and trust
- Recommended, if you ask, by their pastor
- Have been or are willing to be run thorough the fingerprint system
- Can safely and comfortably house students
WHERE TO FIND SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES
Below are some suggestions for places and ways to look:
- Start with prayer!
- Move to people you know
- Take recommendations from people you know
- Talk to youth ministers or children education directors
- Ask for a mission moment in church. Put a note in bulletin and ask for responses
WHAT TO TELL THE FAMILIES
Families need to understand that what we do with our English immersion program is different than a typical summer hosting program. They need to understand that you are calling them to a mission and the mission you are calling them to is a pioneer mission. No one has attempted to reach an unreached people this way. Below are some of the principles to emphasize.
- We emphasize a relationship not a roof.
- This is a mission to unreached people instead of a scatter shot hosting experience.
- We are calling families to be missionaries; the only difference is that the mission field comes home.