It's long been a dream of mine to export the experience teenagers have at KIVU to the four corners of the globe. I feel so confident we can express our mantra, "Love God, Love Others" that the world would catch the spirit and develop ways to work through even the hardest of conflicts.
We've hosted students from China, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.
We've seen teenagers from England, Scotland, France, and Spain.
We've rolled out the red carpet for kids from Ecuador, Columbia, and Brazil.
And our latest venture is to see students from Israel, Palestine, and the greater Middle East.
How incredible would it be to lock arms with students around the world to help create a generation who can think about peaceful resolutions? We know how quickly bias sets in, and agenda takes over; so before long we have another decade full of violence. But what would happen if we could create relationships with kids from different backgrounds so if conflict does rise, we can handle it.
Maybe in the future there's a time when our first thought isn't to retaliate, but actually sit down and work through issues.
Maybe there's a place in the world where level heads prevail, and the good parts of compromise can be re-instated in our vocabulary.
Maybe there's a way...
But we don't know if we don't try!
I'm excited to host more students at our mountain retreat. Partly so American teenagers have a REAL worldview, and can contextualize the point of view of many others, but also to share any of the good we've discovered in the last 15 years of doing this.
In the next few weeks, we'll be working to host our friends from the Middle East. If you have any inclination to help partner with students to help make the world a better place, we're still looking to raise funds to help them get here.
I've started a Crowdrise site where you can donate $10, $20, or any amount online you can afford. And, you can be sure I'll keep updating you with breakthrough stories of reconciliation.
These are Exciting Times around KIVU. Thanks for your help.