In April 2016, Yobel took an Exposure Trip to Thailand. Two of these Exposure Trip participants were the first two recipients in Yobel’s new Exposure Trip scholarship program! Funded through the 2015 Indy Give! Campaign, these two attendees received the opportunity to join the Thailand trip to lead Yobel’s entrepreneurial business training and have their own lives impacted in remarkable ways.
We followed up with Hunter and Todd a few months after the experience to ask them how they were impacted by the opportunity to experience Thai culture, build relationships with Thai and hill tribes people, and facilitate Yobel’s entrepreneurial business training internationally.
1) How did receiving this scholarship impact your ability to attend a Yobel Exposure Trip?
Hunter: Not only did it enable me to attend, it encouraged me that God was calling me to go!
Todd: The generous support of the Exposure Trip Scholarship Fund was the only way I was able to go on this trip. It was an essential, and welcomed help.
2) How did attending this trip to Thailand impact you most?
Hunter: Mostly seeing the work that is being done was a real encouragement to me and an invitation to dream bigger! Also, seeing extreme poverty in a third world context was very enlightening.
Todd: This trip really helped to grow my global awareness about the realities of the developing world (education, business, poverty, social pressures) from vague perceptions into clear, personal, and poignant stories. As someone who is wanting to increasingly look outwardly with compassion, clear thinking, and action, this trip to Thailand was pivotal.
3) What is one or two ways you plan to live in response to what you observed/experienced in Thailand?
Hunter: I will continue to purchase fair trade and ethically made items that are made by people in marginalized communities. I plan to continue my research on poverty alleviation and act as an advocate. I also plan to be very present in my daily life, acknowledging the vastness of my God, and living in response to His faithfulness and love.
Todd: I love the Thai people. With this trip being my second time in Thailand, it solidified my desire to live in Thailand someday, for an extended period of time. While this was merely a distant idea previous to this trip, it has now become a growing priority for our family. Secondly, I have become compelled to respond to the issue of sex-trafficking in Thailand as well as locally, in practical ways. Through working with another local non-profit as a volunteer, I want to start working on the prevention/awareness side of the issue.
4) Why is this scholarship program an important one?
Hunter: The more people who are learning about the injustices of the world, the better. The program allows for more people to be educated and to pursue dreams, free from fear.
Todd: I personally believe that if every person who lives in a first world nation could spend at least a few days in the developing world (i.e. Exposure Trip), that our collective minds and hearts would change for the better, and our world would change in response. These trips are important. Yobel's stance is that if money is an issue in going on one of these trips, it shouldn't be. I have been a grateful recipient of this help, and know that many will benefit from it as well.
We are so thrilled that Hunter and Todd were able to join us on this Thailand Exposure Trip and to know that they are committed to pursuing continued growth now that they have returned and settled back into their lives in the US!