Get Involved

If you think you’d like to go on the trip, read about the Travel Team! Or if you’re more comfortable supporting us from home,  you can jump down and read more about the Home Team.

Travel Team

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.

Organization

Travel Team members are placed in a Color Group, each led by a Color Group Leader. Each Color Group leads a particular activity for the Friendship Camps and serves as the home-base for its members.

Transportation

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.

Housing

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.

Preparation

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
Cost

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.

Applications

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)

Home 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:

Prayer Support

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 camps this summer.

Financial Support

Friendship Camps
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.

General Financial Support
It is also possible to give money to the Bosnia IST General Fund online or by mail, which will help offset the overall cost of the trip.

Sewing Project

Each year we make hand-made sewn gifts as soft, tangible reminders to show the children 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 sew or have any questions (be sure to check off  “Sewing Project” to get 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 need up to 1,200 each year.  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.

Sports Equipment

Each year we take 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, Youth Group or Scout troup. If you’re interested in donating some or all of these items, get more details and contact our sports equipment coordinator  (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.