Travel Team members are the hands and feet of the ministry during the trip. They lead the camp programs. They visit sites and cities around the country. They work with, live with, eat and drink with, walk, ride, swim, play, pray, sing and dance with the beautiful people of Bosnia-Herzegovina! Lucky them! It is hard, challenging, wonderful, life-changing work. We invite you to consider serving on the Travel Team and think of others who might serve well on the Team. You can also find the current and past Travel Teams.
Who Can Serve
Travel Team members are ages 16 to 86. Some 15-year-olds are eligible if accompanied by an adult relative. Team members must be physically and emotionally healthy, work well on a team, and have a passion for helping children.
Travel Team members are placed in a Color Group, each led by its Color Group Leader. Each Color Group leads a particular activity for the Friendship Camps and serves as the home-base for its members.
The Travel Team flies together from New Jersey to Sarajevo, Bosnia, and back. We coordinate the travel for out-of-state Travel Team members as well. In-country we travel from town to town in a chartered coach bus.
In some towns we stay in hotels (usually 1-3 per room); in two towns we stay in host homes (usually 2-3 per family); and in two other towns we stay with partner organizations in their guest housing facilities.
The Travel Team has lots to do to get ready for the trip! At our monthly meetings (January-June) we will:
- get to know each other, forming a close, supportive team
- prepare and practice the Camp activities
- learn more about the country and its recent war
- go over trip logistics (money, travel, communications, etc.)
- prepare to live in a different culture
- spiritually equip ourselves
The Travel Team fee is $1,900 plus airfare.
There are a limited number of $1,500 scholarships available for members of New Jersey Synod congregations who will be 15-25 years of age at the time of the trip. If that’s you, send us an application.
Travel Team applications for the next trip are posted in the fall. If you see nothing or only applications from previous years, please be patient (unless it’s November). If you have any questions regarding serving on the Travel Team please Contact Us. (select Travel Team)
Welcome to the Bosnia IST Home Team! There are lots of ways for YOU (the Home Team) to be a part of this ministry:
Please pray for peace and reconciliation for the people and communities of Bosnia, the Balkans and the whole world. Please pray for our Travel Team and Home Team. Please pray for our in-country Coordinators and Interpreters. Please pray for the children and teachers who will attend our Friendship Camps this summer.
Each summer we will host Friendship Camps throughout Bosnia. These camps are for children ages 10-13 (and anyone else who shows up!), and will work to bring Healing, Hope & Peace into their lives and their communities. Each camp has anywhere from 60-350+ students, with 10-20 teachers present. Each Friendship Camp needs financial sponsorship of $2,600.
Camp New Hope
We hold Camp New Hope, a special four-day leadership retreat for middle school-aged young people. Camp New Hope brings together young teens and teachers from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds to build relationships, explore issues of identity and practice peacemaking skills. Camp New Hope needs financial sponsorship of $14,000.
Each year we make hand-made sewn gifts as soft, tangible reminders that they are beloved. We need to make up to 1,200 of these items. Check out the sewing projects (make sure you download this year’s instructions and pattern) and please contact us if you want to make Pocket Heart Pillows or have any questions (be sure to check off “Sewing Project” to get Steve Smith, the Sewing Project coordinator).
Tote Bag Decorating
Each year the Home Team hand-decorates a canvas tote bag for every child and teacher that attends one of our Friendship Camps or Camp New Hope. We expect to need up to 1,200 for Bosnia IST 2018. If you would like to decorate some tote bags, please contact our Tote Bag Coordinator Rene Cherson (check off tote bags on the form) and download the instructions.
Each year we send sports equipment for the schools and youth programs who participate in our camps to use year round.
A full set for each camp consists of:
- 3 basketballs
- 3 volleyballs
- 3 soccer balls
- 3 jump ropes
- 3 beach balls
- 2 basketball nets
- 3 ball pumps & needles
Even if you can only donate a few items – that’d be great, we’ll take it!
This is a great project for a Sunday School or Youth Group. If you’re interested in donating some or all of these items, get more details and contact our sports equipment coordinator Rich Wantula (select sports equipment).
Home Team Captain
If you are looking for other ways to be a part of the Home Team ministry, or have any questions, please contact Home Team Captain Cliff Konnerth. (select volunteering at home)
This ministry provides the only visible Lutheran presence in this country – a country desperate to know the peace of the living God. Thanks be to God for this opportunity to work for God’s peace in the world.