By Hannah Rueber
Rebecca (UK, 18) has attended TeenStreet (TS) since she was 13 years old. Now that she’s past the age of participating, she served as a coach for the first time this year.
“I wanted to come back to serve,” she said. “I wanted to give back all that I’d received as a teen.”
Giving and giving back are strong themes in Rebecca’s TS history. Three years ago, she took fundraising for the RAG race to a new level. “Almost as soon as I arrived, I decided to raise as much money as possible for this project in Bosnia. I walked around for a couple of days, talking to as many people as I could. In the end, I raised about €900 for the Bosnia project.”
The TS staff sent Rebecca to Albania for three and a half days to make a promotional video for the next year’s RAG race recipient. While filming with the ministry, she got know the project and the people. She was touched.
“When it came time for the RAG the next year, I really worked to find sponsors because I personally knew the project and the people. I knew how much they needed the funds,” she explained. “I ran in the race, as most of my sponsorships were being donated per lap. I ran about 28 RAG laps, which is about 1km laps. In the end, I raised nearly €3000 for the Albania project.”
Especially after TS, Rebecca wanted to go into missions. As she remembers, “TeenStreet was the only sector in my life telling me that I was capable of doing this at age 16. Without TeenStreet, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity or felt confident enough to go.”
As a teenager, Rebecca went back and spent eight months in Albania, working with the same ministry she’d been filming for. Through the Immanuel Centre, she met with teen Albanian gypsy girls to mentor them, teach them French and study English with them. She also saw a lack of Sunday school programmes for younger youths.
“I made it my own project to start up a Sunday School class for them.”
Rebecca is giving back here at TS, and she’s hoping to continue giving to Albania. “I want to go back, but so far I’m not hearing God telling me ‘yes’ yet.”
TeenStreet’s RAG race first connected Rebecca with the Albanian project. Hopefully future RAG races will connect other teens with worldwide missions, too.