a collection of thoughts, memories, and testimonies from past students.
Kristen // '18 Grad
"Coming into this year, I was living in a broken state and looking for a way out. I came to Pack Your Bags looking to “fix my brokenness” and so much more than that has happened. Throughout this year, I have opened my heart to what God has for my life. From all of the different trips to the mentorship, to the many relationships that have developed; God has spoken life, He has spoken worth, and He has began to speak freedom over my life. Coming to Pack Your Bags isn’t what changed my life, I came with my heart open to what God has for my life. Through the leadership, the places, the people I’ve encountered, PackYourBags is what has gotten my attention on God’s plan. If you’re looking for something, or a way out, or a change, or really great opportunities by all means come to Pack Your Bags! But come with your heart open, and ready for God to take over."
Zach // ‘14 Grad
Rachel // ‘16 Grad
Tim // ‘16 Grad
"Spending a year in PackYourBags has changed my life. This program has taught me so much about myself, and also more about God. I have had countless memories throughout this year that I will never forget! I will truly miss Pack Your Bags, but I know what this program has taught me will leave a lasting impact on my life!"
Rachel // ‘18 Grad
“When people ask me about my trips and how they went, I never know where to start. Our team saw poverty, culture and the many ways people lived their lives. It was much different than anything I have ever seen. Although some things were heartbreaking to see, God did not let our broken hearts go to waste but he rebuilt them in his image. There were moments of sadness and there were moments of happiness. Through all of it, God was with us every step of the way. Everywhere I went whether it was a church service, a children’s feeding program, or the Jordan River, God filled me with more joy than I could ever imagine. He gave us the experiences of a lifetime and let us see the world in a different perspective.”
Ethan // ‘18 Grad
"I learned that little things like a thanksgiving feed, and just providing a free meal that people can come have and have a good time of fellowship can be a very good thing even if it doesn't seem like a big outreach. Because sometimes that’s all that people want, a place to come and hangout and have someone to talk to and listen to them talk, it’s small but it fills a big need… As iron sharpens iron, I would come out of this year a dull blade without people around me. Trinity is an interwoven tight knit group of believers that are held together by their love for Jesus. A chain of hearts, each sparking on the next."
Kayla // ‘14 Grad
Shannon // ‘15 Grad
"This year has been amazing. PackYourBags took me places literally and metaphorically. I grew so much with every trip we took, every class I sat in, and every relationship I made. I am so thankful for everyone that loved me through the process of this crazy year. God used PackYourBags to challenge me in ways I could have never experienced otherwise. God taught me how HUGE He loves and how great His plans are for my life. Thankful for this incredible year. I am officially a PackYourBags graduate!"
Jenna // ‘17 Grad
After seeing and experiencing the moments I have in the past month, there’s no way I can be comfortable living a selfish life. There are too many people who don’t know they are worthy of a life of light instead of darkness, and restoration over brokenness. Carrying that promise of His light and His wholeness is all I ever want to do. I have loved this nation and these people who have shown me real joy. Leaving it all is sad, but it only means that there’s a pretty big world out there filled with people who need to know they are loved.
- Shannon // ‘18 Grad
“Our trip to Standing Rock Reservation was very enlightening and impactful. For me, this meant something important, in that there is a desperate need for Jesus in a community three hours away from where we are studying...I am trying to hold on to the things that I have learned and experienced thus far, and make them be meaningful and life-changing like they were in the moment… I never knew I could have so many jarring and learning moments in one week.”
- Josiah // ‘18 Grad
“This semester has been one that has stretched, challenged, and made me grow in a way that is indescribable. I have begun to learn how to balance my spiritual, emotional, and physical health. I have built relationships that I hope will last a lifetime, and have finally started to make future career plans that I am excited and happy to begin.”
- Minda // ‘18 Grad
"Every single day I was reminded of God's authority and provision and He has not stopped showing me that since I have come back. Life is exciting and wonderful and a crazy adventure, but in South Africa I learned that contentment is a choice. I have to make a choice every day to follow God with a good attitude and a thankfulness for life that rises above any possible worry I might have. “
- Michelle // ‘17 Grad
“Everything was worth growing with my team, doing good works, and transforming myself. I feel challenged to make a difference in Billings – my hometown. God has done a lot to me throughout this trip. I feel a lot more open minded about poverty, and I would recommend this experience to anyone that has the opportunity."
- Chandler // ‘16 Grad
"During this trip, I realized how good God is. When He pours out His Holy Spirit upon us as a team, it's just amazing to see us work in unity. I am so glad God has blessed me with a fantastic family and life, so that I can bless people in return. Serving people is the highest honor, it's what Jesus did, and that is what I love doing and it's what we should all be doing!"
- Elliot // ‘16 Grad
“I was hungry and no one offered me food. I was cold and no one offered me warmth. I was helpless and all I could do was cry out to God for help. I simply had to endure this for forty hours, but what about those who live like this? My eyes were opened. I can never go back to turning a blind eye, nor do I want to.”
-Noa // ‘15 Grad
“The past week we spent in Standing Rock gave me a whole new perspective to the words hope & love. This week was full of fun, hard work, and a longing to do more. While we were scraping carpet and hammering tile floors, we were preparing the physical building, but God was preparing the hearts of the people who could attend the church sooner because we helped the church. My week in Selfridge showed me the value of hard work and how to glorify God through that. I got to see how many people live without being encouraged or told they are appreciated. Standing Rock has taught me how to better love people as a follower of Jesus.”
- Sabrina // ‘18 Grad
“In PackYourBags I’m preparing for my future life. I’m building my character, learning more about God, and realizing the closer I get to God, the more I want of him.”
- Jonathan // ‘14 Grad
“I have become much more confident in my gifts and abilities. I have established a really good spiritual foundation and I have started to discover more about myself and God’s plan for me.”
- Anita // ‘14 Grad