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If academic classes are the brains of the Around-the-World Semester, service is the heart. Right at the center of the trip, around which all adventures and experiences are organized, is a carefully constructed itinerary of thoughtful service. It is through service that our teams have most fully engaged the various cultures and customs of each country. It is through service that the academic curriculum takes on flesh and comes to life. It may be said that the ATW students read, write, and learn in order to better serve our hosts in each country.
In 2009, Concordia Student, Sam Bretzmen, went to Kenya on a missions trip. After meeting a young boy living on the street, he was inspired to found an organization that helps educate thousands of kids in the same situation.
Partnering with already established organizations is very beneficial. The work they are doing the Around-the-World Semester teams partner with church communities, non-profit organizations, and Christian missionaries in each country. The ATW goal is to learn from experts and to provide support where needed.
The following is a list of friends and organizations the ATW family has been grateful to learn from and serve alongside:
Luchemos para una Infancia Feliz y con Esperanza
(We Strive for a Childhood with Happiness and Hope)
We are a nonprofit, civil society organization that works with youth living in socially marginalized and extremely impoverished areas of Argentina. We carry out a number of programs and activities with the goal of providing for the healthy development, happiness, and a hopeful future for the children we work closely with.
In the Fall of 1992, Paul Lossau closed his law practice in the Chicago area to serve God in Russia with his wife and three children. Two years later, in June 1994, the Lossau family moved to Vladimir, Russia. With limited contacts and no previous language skills, Paul and his family slowly found ways to build relationships and reach out.
We work with those whose need is the greatest—street youth 5-25 years old. Many can’t even remember life before the streets. To the world, they are the orphaned, the fallen-through-the-cracks, the runaways, and the hopeless. But to God, they are adopted children, in need of being lifted up out of despair and given the chance to fulfill their purpose. Our call is to care for them—the least of these.
Sjaki-Tari-Us has the aim to share knowledge and experience with teachers and parents in counseling and educating children with a mental disability in Bali, Indonesia. We wish to contribute in their development and participation to society, under the motto: Not less, but differently gifted! At two locations in Bali we provide: a teacher program, play learn groups for about 55 young children and their parents, and practical skill groups for about 17 young adults.
MIU is a vibrant community where students have every opportunity to complete studies in various academic fields. Throughout their undergraduate years, they will be prepared with the skills and knowledge they will need to communicate in their respective disciplinary fields. Helping them achieve these scholarly levels, MIU has outstanding faculty and staff who work in a close-knit environment as instructors, mentors, advisors, and family to students.
LCMS World Mission - Vietnam.
The Concordia Welfare and Education Thailand (CWEFT) aims to improve the capacity for the underprivileged in urban slum communities, ethnic minority hill tribe groups, and refugees and minority groups in border areas. These groups are unable to access mainstream education due to family problems, poverty, physical disabilities, or natural disasters.
The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center is a non-profit organization established and directed by the religious family founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity. The Center’s aim is to serve as a centralized and authoritative source of information on Mother Teresa, to facilitate the spread of authentic devotion to her, and to safeguard her words and image from misuse or abuse.
The EECMY Mission is to actively participate in God's Mission. She has been called by the Triune God to Proclaim Christ to His people in diverse social and cultural contexts. The EECMY believes and professes that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments are the Holy Word of God and the only guiding source and infallible method/doctrine of all the Church's principles and practices.
School in Hungary.
Cup of Cold Water Ministries was born in Bolivia. As a result of their relationships with ordinary people in the U.S., American missionaries Odell and Margaret Kittelson began this work decades ago. Incorporated in 1978, Cup of Cold Water Ministries now has its Bolivian focus on education. Because of our relationship with the people of Caranavi, we also assist the poor with medical needs and play host to occasional medical teams that travel deep into the jungles of Bolivia to bring medical care to the very poor.