Inspiring generations and communities to let their light shine
Inspiring generations and communities to let their light shine
Welcome to YouCan Missions
Allow us to share our story with you. We’ll tell you how we got started, who and what our organization stands for, and why we do what we do. Then we’d like to invite you to join us! Please read more about us and contact us if you’d like to be part of this exciting team!
How we got started…
The work that YouCan Missions Inc. supports sprouted from a few cross-cultural friendships formed during a high school youth mission trip to Belize in 2006. From the very beginning, we’ve been committed to following God’s directives and promoting cross-cultural and intergenerational mission opportunities. Ascension Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac, WI, especially its Youth Ministry, provided the soil in the early years for this ministry to take root. As interest grew in the work that was being done in Belize and more youth and adults from the U.S. and Belize served together on short-term mission trips in Wisconsin and Belize, we realized the need to formalize our efforts and create YouCan Missions.
What started out as a couple ways to support a church youth group going to Belize on mission trips has grown into something incredible and truly unique. God gets all the credit; only He could have brought together this special connection that exists between Wisconsin and Belize. Our partnership with a local church and the Santa Elena Jaguar Scouts #27 connect us to the Cayo District of Belize. Hundreds of volunteers on the U.S. side (mostly from Southeastern Wisconsin) also team up each year in their local churches, schools, service groups, and communities to contribute to this cause. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when a large group of people unite for a common purpose, and resources are channeled in a way that fulfills God’s Plan.
In recent years we’ve helped build a school in Santa Elena, provided scholarships and supported other educational causes, distributed thousands of pairs of shoes to those in need in schools and villages in Belize, and organized short-term intergenerational mission teams comprised of Americans and Belizeans serving together.
Who we are…
YouCan Missions is an organization that is dedicated to sharing God’s love and delivering hope to the people of Belize. We support and provide cross-cultural and intergenerational mission opportunities that promote education and youth leadership development by helping those in need. We’re a group of youth and adults from a variety of backgrounds and faith traditions. Our desire is to follow God and use the gifts He has provided to be a blessing in our community and world.
Our organization’s name, logo, and tagline are a combination of a few different ideas. First, the toucan is the national bird of Belize. Second, Matthew 5:16 (“Let your light shine”) has been a favorite Bible verse of many of the mission teams that have served with us. Third, our belief that in, with, and through Christ we can make a difference in the world.
What we do…
Each spring, YouCan Missions sends a large amount of donated items from Wisconsin to Belize to be distributed by one of our mission teams. These important contributions not only bring much-needed aid to students, families, and schools in Belize, but they also serve as a tangible message of God’s love. They bring hope to the people of Belize. Although the cost of shipping to Belize is expensive, we’re truly blessed that one of our partners in Belize owns a shipping company and makes sending these gifts possible for our organization.
Our goal each year is to send approximately 2,500 pairs of new and gently used shoes to Belize. Last year, this was accomplished through the efforts of 50+ schools, churches, service groups, and businesses coming together. Beyond financial contributions for shipping, we are seeking donations of new socks, school supplies, classroom/teacher supplies, backpacks (for school), and new travel-size hygiene items.
YouCan Missions is open to shipping other items to Belize. As long as the need exists and the donations fit with our organization’s mission, community leaders in Belize are willing to assist with distribution. Please contact us if you have ideas or resources to share. We truly believe that you can make a difference. God has expanded these efforts because people like you network and share how you can make a difference.
Our organization also hopes to continue to support and expand the school we helped build in Belize, provide education scholarships for students in need, support the Jaguar Scouts (Belizean student leaders), and be able to offer assistance to future charitable projects that God leads us to for and in Belize.
What we believe...
1. We believe in one Triune God who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26; John 1; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19)
2. We believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. (John 17:17; Romans 15:4; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12)
3. We believe the statements made in the Apostles’ Creed. (This creed is a brief summary of Christian beliefs first written during the 1st or 2nd Century and widely known and accepted by Christian churches today.)
4. We believe that all people have sinned and are messed up by sin. It shows up in our lives and in our world in many different ways. (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:7-9; Galatians 5:19-21; James 4:12)
5. We believe God loves us more than we can imagine and came to the world in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us from sin and show us how to live. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; Isaiah 53:5-6; Hebrews 2:17; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 22:37-40)
6. We believe that all who trust in the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ are part of God’s church that reaches over the entire world. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 10:8-13; Ephesians 4:4-6)
7. We believe God empowers us through the Holy Spirit to live and be the people He created us to be; and to share His love and the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone. (John 14:26; Acts 1:7-8; Colossians 1:16; 1 John 4:19; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 5:14-16)
How “YouCan” make a difference…
You can help in several ways.
First and foremost, please pray for the work we’re doing, our volunteers, and the people we are serving in Belize.
Second, please volunteer. Lots of people are needed throughout the year to collect, sort, and pack the supplies heading to Belize. Our big packing event(s) happen in April at Ascension Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac, WI. We also have spots available for those interested in serving in Belize on a summer mission trip.
Third, please donate to the cause. We’re in need of financial gifts and new or gently used items appropriate to send to Belize. Know that your contributions are not only greatly appreciated, but also tax deductible.
Executive Board of Directors
Kris Best, President
Mark Kultgen, Treasurer
David Westphal, Secretary
Julie Boelter, Director
Joe Maramonte, Director
Legal Name: YouCan Missions, Inc.