Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Serving in Poland and Ukraine

Name: Grant Thomas Conner
From: St. Petersburg, Fl
Grade: I was in 10th grade 2015-16
School: Keswick Christian School
Votes: 0

Because I was blessed to have a loving home and family, I wanted to serve in
Eastern Europe with children, and people that have been displaced
because of war. In June of 2015, I was given this opportunity by
going on a mission trip to Poland and Ukraine for a whole summer. In
Poland, I was able to go to a Pastor’s Conference where I listened
to amazing pastors from around the world. I also helped in the
Children’s Ministry. We taught them a Bible lesson about David and
Goliath, colored with them, played with them, ate with them. It was
amazing that the children couldn’t understand us, and vice versa,
but we were still able to get our point across! Being around the
Polish people was a wonderful experience as I was able to experience
their culture and environment. We actually lived with a Polish
pastor, so I got to see first-hand their daily life, walk through the
countryside, gather eggs from the chickens. Poland is a beautiful
country. The Poles are a happy people who cook amazing food and have
a positive attitude. I have such wonderful memories of going there

Another place we visited wasAuschwitzNazi Germany’s largestconcentration
and extermination camp. Auschwitz was actually three camps in one: a prison camp, an
extermination camp, and a 
slave-labor camp. Roughly 1.5 million people died at Auschwitz. About 90 % of them were

We took the overnight train from Poland to Ukraine. When we got there,
we fed and shared the Gospel with refugees that were displaced by the
Ukraine War. Most people fled their Eastern homes quickly, often in
the middle of the night, with only the clothes on their back. We met
in a City Hall, fed them, and told them about God. After we left, we
heard these people were continuing to meet at the same location and
had assembled a church. We were happy to know we had started
something good!

During the mission trip, my family was going through a challenging time. My
oldest brother was making poor and unhealthy choices in his life, and
he had to go to a rehab center. Although I missed him terribly, I
knew that he was getting healthy while being away. From this, I knew
that I always wanted to make the right choice in life and be healthy.
That is why I chose to go to the Citadel Military Academy. After
graduation from the Citadel, I will be making a career in the
military, serving my country and others.

By looking to the future and making a change in someone’s life I feel
I am being “forward looking.” I want children and homeless people
to know they are loved and cared for.

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