“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” -Rabindranath Tagore
One of the most fantastic concepts that Life Leadership has wrapped its mission around is to reward those who do good, with the opportunity to do even more good in the world around them. Recently, the Life on Life Initiative finished its biggest project to date–by far–by raising over $100,000 and helping a deserving family’s dream come true. You can go back and follow the story from the beginning with the following links:
Because of the enormity of the PA Project, AGO Spokesman Chris Swanson, along with the Founders of Life Leadership, put their heads together to find a way to raise the funds needed to carry it out. The first-ever Life on Life Push-Up Contest was born and consisted of three different challenges in one–Who could raise the most money total, Who could raise the most money per push-up, and Who could do the most push-ups–in both a guy’s and a girl’s division. The overall winners in both divisions were then awarded an all-expense-paid mission trip to the beautiful capital city of Chile with Chris Swanson and CWE Ministries! The following thoughts come from Chris Swanson, the two winners–Haley Frey and Joe Tullis–and the few other Life Members and Founders who had the privilege to join them on this life-changing journey to South America last month.
“When heading to a different country, you always go with a certain perception of how it’s going to be. Often times though, after being there, you find yourself feeling the exact opposite of what you started with. You realize that the people there appreciate you more than their words can describe. In the United States, it’s rare to see a lot of grateful people–and sometimes that makes you forget what it looks like. But when you go somewhere where they have been needing this church building that you are going to help build in four days–for ten years–and they are too amazed for words, and tears flow down their faces as they give you hugs and kiss your cheeks; you gain a whole new understanding of what Jesus was here to show us…why He came to teach us how to live and how to serve. Love and gratefulness is not supposed to be superficial or expected or forced. We can all learn a lesson from some of the most humble children and adults who have close to nothing…but give everything.” -Haley Frey (Life Member from Pennsylvania)
“When the Life on Life Initiative PA Project was announced at the convention in California, Joe and I both knew we were all in! A push-up fundraiser was right up our alley, and we immediately committed to training for it. We both share a passion for helping others become stronger each day in our careers as personal trainers, so we knew that this was something we could literally put our heart and soul into. We trained together at the gym and became stronger both physically and mentally throughout the next few months. We both had a strong desire to win the contest because we knew what the outcome would be and how many lives we could bless in the process.
We are forever grateful for the opportunity we had to be a part of not only the fundraiser, but also building a church for the beautiful people in Santiago, Chile. It’s amazing to think that our efforts were scattered to touch various lives and families!
It’s hard to put into words and describe our trip to Santiago. We met so many incredible people from not only the Life Leadership community, but also from Chile, Haiti, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New York. Twenty Americans traveled from the United States to Santiago to build a church for a community that had been praying for ten years to receive it. Together as a team we placed over 2,800 cinder blocks to set up the four outside structural walls as well as one inner wall. (There truly is ‘Strength in numbers!’)
In a little over four days, we completed week one of the project. Each day we made new friends, developed stronger relationships, and got to know some incredible people. We are grateful to have rubbed shoulders with some of Life Leadership’s own Bill and Keisha Lewis, Haley Frey, and Chris Swanson who was accompanied by his son Riley. We always knew they were inspiring people, but to work side by side with them and really get to know them forever changed our hearts. We came back from Chile with gratitude in our hearts and an increased desire to go out and serve others in our local communities. Thank you Life Leadership for this opportunity to serve and give back! Together, we can change the world!” -Joe and Linnea Tullis (Life Members from Utah)
“It’s amazing how easy it is to think that we are just going to ‘serve someone else,’ but then we end up always getting something more out of it. Originally, I thought I was going to go on this trip and give 100% of myself with no return. Man, was I wrong. I was blessed so much more than I could have imagined by the process, peace, hard work, great friendships, and being completely unplugged from the world and in fellowship with other Christians. This was truly a priceless experience.” -Bill & Keisha Lewis (Life Founders from Michigan)
“Several things were impactful for me about this mission trip to Chile. The first would be that the Church group we were building that church for had been waiting for that building for 10 years. What a feeling to know that we were one of the crews that got sent in to fulfill that dream. Second was the gratification of building something of lasting significance that will stand for decades and perhaps centuries and impact thousands of lives in a positive way with the Gospel. Finally, it was great to go there with a bunch of strangers and come away with a bunch of great new friends that you worked hard with for a fantastic cause. What a great trip it was!” -Shaun Denman (Life Member from Michigan)
“The mission trip was great. There were a lot of awesome people in Chile. We worked very hard and finished our task in three and a half days. The most impactful part for me was that the Chilean church members had such grateful hearts. Our team showed up late to church, and the Chilean people waited three hours for us just to give us a standing ovation. That was pretty incredible. Another part of the trip that I enjoyed was when we came together to talk more about God.” -Connor Denman (Son of Life Member from Michigan)
“During a week out of the country, many things happen that affirm the importance of serving in the mission field. What never ceases to amaze me is the impact made on the people there. On one of our drives back to the compound from a long day of work, our driver turned to me and said, ‘You know we will never remember your names once you leave…But what we won’t forget is what you’ve done for our people.’
We see it as one week out of our life, what they see lasts a lifetime. We came, we served, we left. But for the Chileans, we came, we served, and we left a legacy. All Grace Outreach left its handprint 4,000 miles from home and did what it’s called to do by showing how to love your neighbor as yourself–even when your neighbor is the closest country to the South Pole.” -Chris Swanson (AGO Spokesman from Michigan)
Out of all of the businesses in the world, Life Leadership boasts some of the top servant leaders on the planet. All Grace Outreach and the Life on Life Initiative were represented so well by the few world-changers that were able to be a part of this trip. After helping build a house in the States for a family in need, this group got rewarded with the opportunity to serve–yet again– by helping build God’s house in Chile for a community in need. We are so proud of their selflessness, and the challenge is for every one of us to decide to make our local community our personal mission field on a daily basis. Millions of people are hurting, and it is our responsibility to help set them free in whatever way they need. Check out the awesome slideshow below of some of the highlights of this amazing trip!
Life Leadership Life on Life and AGO Mission Trip to Chile!