A Wonderful Opportunity
Are You Interested in Foreign Cultures?
Do You Have a Heart for Missions?
Do You Love Practicing Christian Hospitality?
Video from 2015 (Updated Info Below)
Dear family and friends,
We want to share with an exciting opportunity coming up this summer, in July and August of 2017.
Hello, my name is Stephen Kurkinen. I grew up in Oregon, but currently live with my wife Christy, and our four daughters Adeline, Bethany, Joanna, and Elizabeth in Miaoli, Taiwan (off the coast of China). I have been teaching English here for the past 12 years.
This summer our family is planning on bringing two groups of Taiwanese students to Oregon for our annual Summer English Camp in America. The first camp runs from July 1st through July 21st (roughly 3 weeks), and the second camp starts on July 23rd and goes through Aug. 12th (roughly 3 weeks).
We are on the lookout for awesome Christian families willing to host the students for either 1 or 2 of the summer camps, and give them the time of their lives!
Most of these Taiwanese students come from families which hold to Daoist, Confucian, Buddhist beliefs. Taiwanese culture values academic and financial success. And there is much pressure from early on in life, to be the top of the class, get good grades, earn a lot of money, and bring honor to the parents. Because of this, Taiwanese students spend most of their waking hours in school, evening cram schools, taking exams, and doing homework. For most of them, schooling is their life.
This summer camp is wonderful opportunity for the students to get a fresh perspective on life, and to experience Christian family life in an American context. Treat them as a part of the family, let them join you in your daily activities, and share meaningful conversations over the dinner table. Hosts and students alike will make memories and friendships that last a lifetime.
Hosting is also a great opportunity for your family, as you bring the world into your home, and learn about Taiwan and Taiwanese/Chinese culture. This is a great opportunity to reach out to people from different nations, while in the comfort of your own home. Yes, there will be challenges and possibly some communication issues, but that’s what makes hosting such an exciting and unforgettable family experience.
Location: Portland, Oregon
1st Camp: July 1st-July 21st (Approximately 3 weeks)
2nd Camp: July 23rd-August 12th (Approximately 3 weeks)
Student Nationality: Taiwan (An island off the East coast of China)
Student Mother Tongue: Mandarin Chinese
Student English Proficiency: From Beginner English all the way up to Advanced English. We have interviewed all students to ensure that their English is good enough to communicate with the host families.
Age Group: 5th Grade – University (10-19 years old) / 2 students stay with each host family.
Compensation for Hosting: We will provide host families a$600/student stipend for either camps to help families pay for some basic necessities during the duration of the camps.
Camp Daily Schedule:
8:30am– Host family drop students off at daily meet-up spot (Corbett+Gateway Fred Meyer Parking Lot)
4pm– Pick up students at meet-up spot.
Monday-Friday follows the calendar schedule below. Saturday and Sunday are spent entirely with Host Families. Please see the Daily Activity calendar below for a list of each week’s activities.
Camp History: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
Camp Director: Stephen Kurkinen
Telephone: (will be given to you once we arrive!)
This year we are looking for Christian homes to host the students. We try to pair up the students, 2 with each host family. However, if you have more room available and are interested in hosting more than two students, we can set up an interview time over Skype to talk over the details and see if it will work out. We are looking for families which meet the following criteria:
Must be a Christian family- A husband and a wife (children are a plus but not necessary to host), where the family faithfully attends a Christian fellowship, and agree to the statement of faith found Here.
3 Meals a Day
Provide 3 meals a day (Sack lunch to bring for daily outings).
Must be able to drop off and pick up the students at our drop-off/pick-up point (Currently- Gateway FredMeyer Parking Lot).
Hosts must provide a bed for every student that stays in their home.
Provide other basic necessities- laundry, Adult supervision during evenings and weekends.
We will take the children Monday-Friday, from 8:30am-4pm’ish. During the evenings and weekends the children will stay with the host families.
How You Can Help
There are different ways you can help us out this summer.
- Host With Us– Host 2-3 students during the 1st and/or 2nd camp.
- Join us On Activities– You may join us on any of the daily outings, regardless if you can host or not. We would love to have you join the fun!
- Spread the Word– share this post with other Christian families you know that might be interested, or let your church body know about this opportunity. (If you are available, but have a very important event during this time period in which you might need to be away from Portland, or cannot house the students, please let us know the details, and we will try to see if we can make other arrangements for the time you are unavailable. However, the stipend amount that we give you will be piece-rated in order to pay other families to care for your students during that time.) Please click the share icons below this paragraph to spread the word to others who might be interested. You can also download this “Hosting Flier” to pass out to your Christian friends, family, or fellow church members. Much obliged!
- Pray For The students. We always need prayer for safety. We also want the students to a have a positive experience living with the Christian hosts. Please pray that their hearts will be ministered to during their stay in the U.S.
Thank you so much! And hope to see you all this summer!
From Across the Pacific,
Stephen, Christy, Adeline, Bethany, Joanna & Elizabeth Kurkinen
Sign Me Up!
Frequently Asked Questions
We will send out a series of explanatory emails prior to the camp which will give you all the necessary information regarding your students, their family background, flight arrival and departure times, contact numbers, daily pick up times and locations, our latest Activity Schedule, cultural background info, safety, and more.