ico and Haiti, engaging with local communities
at each place by helping meet various needs.
Last year, coordinator Marcus Martinez led a
trip to Haiti, where students visited an orphanage
and helped feed the children there, many of
whom were starving.
An ambitious service project takes VCS students
to India, where they help out a Christian
school in the slums of New Delhi. Part of the
$2,500 that each student needs to raise to make
the trip goes to support the mission projects
they work with. The WALK program commits
$10,000 each year to the New Delhi school.
The program is also raising money to build a
much-needed high school in the area they serve.
Although the WALK program has a Christian
focus, participants don’t have to be Christian.
“When you connect with people, share
with them and help them, but also learn from
them, you experience joy. You don’t have to be a
Christian to understand that,” Martinez points
out, adding that students of any religion can
find value in the trip through the relationships
they build with the people they’re helping, and
with their fellow students.
OFTEN AREN’T A S
While the trip is mainly focused on service, trip
organizers make sure to incorporate some cultural
highlights of each place into the agendas.
“If you go to Africa, you should go on a safari. If
you go to India, you should go see Taj Mahal,” he says.
While students on these trips put their energy, talent,
and hard work into making a difference by serving, he
adds, they come back with even more than they gave.
“I see their minds open up, their hearts open up, and
their perspectives change. I always tell them they could
be world-changers, but I want them to see the world so
they know how they can change it.” n
The Harker School students learn Tai Chi
during a 2016 trip to the Shanghai World
Foreign Language Academy (WFLA).
FROM TOP: COURTESY OF VALLEY CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS; COURTESY OF THE HARKER SCHOOL
August/September 2017 63
Valley Christian Schools students
participate in a s ervice trip to Grace
Public School in New Delhi, India.