5 to 10 young people with 3 or 4 leaders take a few weeks out of their summer holidays. 14 to 16 year olds take 2-week trips to eastern Europe (Euro Crusoe) and those aged 16+ go further afield, usually for 4 weeks (World Crusoe). The aim is to stretch and challenge them, to enable them to find resources in themselves, which they didn’t know existed, and to help them to rely on God, to see his answers to their prayers in very real and practical ways.
This summer one group went to the Gambia for 4 weeks in August. This is part of the report from one of the team members:
“My four weeks spent in The Gambia were probably the best four weeks of my life. It was an amazing experience for me, which I shall never forget. I saw God work both in me and through my team, blowing away any previous expectations I had had for the trip. I also learnt a lot: I learnt more about God’s character, more about myself and I discovered more of my giftings and what I really had a heart for.
One of the main projects that our team was involved in was the decorating of a guesthouse for the school. Each morning our team would work on the house, painting or cleaning, and it was great to see the house at the end of the trip and the difference we had made to it. It was during those mornings of hard work that I really learnt what it means to serve the Lord wholeheartedly with JOY.
Another part of the work we did in The Gambia was running a children’s club for the local children. This was another great experience and I loved just being able to have fun and laughter with the children. We would play games and run crafts with the kids as well as building up a creation board, which we would add to as we went through the story of creation and at the end of it we used the board with the puppets. There was also one day when it was raining really heavily and we had to do the club outside, so we prayed about it and the rain stopped and then as soon as we finished it started again.
My 2006 Crusoe trip was a life-changing experience. I saw God plant seeds in many people’s hearts there, whilst also working in me. It was so great to work and live with such an amazing group of Christians. I am so glad that I applied for Crusoe!”
Written by Lyn Ellis, Service and Mentoring Manager, Crusaders