Why Apply for a Discovery Experience?
Each year, Valor Discovery experiences take students all over the country and the globe to serve others in the name of Christ. Many trips are led by the same leaders and partner with the same ministries year after year, creating strong relationships and rhythms that benefit both students and ministry partners.
Bill Bufton, Athletic College Counselor, has led the same Discovery trip to Alaska for the last five years. The group travels to the Kenai Peninsula, where they work with Alaska Missions to run a sports camp for elementary students. Although the group of Valor students changes each year, they always leave the trip commenting on how they grew in their faith and were challenged by experiencing a different culture. Cata Colon ‘21 joined the Alaska experience in 2019 and was transformed by her experience. She says, “When the kids asked about Christianity, I had to dig into what I believed to answer them, and I tried to encourage them as much as I could.”
Each Discovery team prepares for their experience through team meetings in the months leading up to it. Depending on their destination, they discuss and prepare for a new cultural context. Most importantly, their growth together as a team lays a foundation of support for whatever they will encounter. Bufton emphasizes relational and spiritual bonding in their team training, saying, “A lot of it is getting to know each other and building some trust within the group. We also do some preparation on how to prepare your testimony or life story so they can share that with the kids.”
Discovery has experiences planned for locations all over the world in 2021, ranging from serving our neighbors in Denver to partnering with local ministries in Kenya and Uganda. Students should explore all their options and consider factors like cost and service prerequisites to see what could be the best fit for them.
Reflecting on her experience in Discovery, Cata recommends it enthusiastically to any other student who is considering an experience. “I would definitely recommend another student to apply for Discovery. Every trip, in some way, is a test of faith.”