A Video Blog
Connor and Alix Bruson, Founders of Acts of Adventure recently served abroad with underprivileged kids in Australia and refugees in Greece and Germany. They share how each of these experiences left them with a deeper realisation that travel is most fulfilling and worthwhile when we combine adventuring with acts of service.
In October of 2015, we took a huge step of faith and flew to Newcastle, Australia to begin serving abroad for 6 months with YWAM Newcastle. The first 3 months consisted of challenging daily teachings. This class time built a strong foundation for us to go out into the nations to show people who Jesus is through acts of service, intentional relationship, and selfless love. In the video, you’ll get a glimpse of our 3-month outreach to the impoverished community of Windale, AU, the refugee camps on the island of Lesvos, Greece, and Berlin, Germany where many refugees now call home.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
Just inland from the pristine white sand beaches and bustling hipster scene of Newcastle, the community of Windale was desperate to see the love and light of God. Our team of 12 took to the streets and befriended many locals and their kids. With drugs, alcohol, and fatherlessness so prevalent here, people just needed something to do. We provided a safe place for kids and teenagers to have fun at Summer Blast – a party at the local park filled with games, sports, and other activities. We also spoke at the local churches and grew closer as a team during this time. The true test of our hearts and minds was ahead of us in Greece.
Lesvos Island, Greece
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36)
The video depicts the calm and historic beauty of Greece, but don’t be fooled. Between our respite in the medieval port town of Molyvos, our 8-hour shifts at the Moria and Skala Sikaminias refugee camps were filled with disturbing sights and experiences. Due to strict media rules in the camps, we weren’t able to capture any glimpses of what life was like inside the converted prison’s walls.
In Moria, our team was in charge of a compound that specifically housed families. Depending on the time of our shift, we were cleaning out the rooms in the morning, admitting families back into the compound each afternoon, serving dinner, handing out clothes, making baby bottles and food, tidying, organizing and optimizing the volunteer areas. We also staffed the tea tent, which served up a familiar hot cup of chai (super super sweet tea) to cold and weary refugees. One story that we won’t forget is admitting a jam-packed line of refugees into the family compound one afternoon during a ferry strike. The camp was full beyond capacity, so we had to be extra selective in giving our warm bedrooms to only the most at-risk people: small children and their parents. This does not include extended family or even older brothers/sisters. Through thick language barriers, we had to deny some people entrance and split up some families. It was very difficult, but for each able bodied man we referred to another area of the camp, a small child got a warm room for the night. Our shifts in the Sikaminia camp were quiet due to poor weather making the channel crossing nearly impossible. God used that time to recharge and prepare our team for the next stop on our outreach.
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Berlin was not only the final location for our 6 months of service abroad, but it was also the final stop for many refugees now calling Europe home. YWAM Berlin graciously hosted our team, and their director gave us an in-depth city tour to get our grounding. We were in awe of how much important history the city has tucked in between its rows of rebuilt 1950’s apartment buildings. It continues to be a focal point in world events today. By the end of our time in Berlin, we had done a large list of ministries that included opportunities like “Encounter Night”, Chai & English, game/movie night, women’s painting night, speaking at a local church, volunteering at the homeless shelter, refugee house visits, a flash mob, prayer walks, street evangelism, and more. Whew!
On average, 20-30 Muslims from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere came to Encounter Night each week and got to see how Christians worship and hear exactly who Jesus is. We got to pray for Muslims, answer many probing questions about our religion versus theirs, and even see physical/emotional healings and salvations! Praise God for this historic opportunity. Our main focus was to show that Jesus is a relational, loving, caring God, not a legalistic, far off ruler. I believe we mainly accomplished that by showing the refugees that we, as Christians, wanted to have a relationship with them, that we love them, and that we care about them, their families, their stories, and their struggles, just like Jesus.
Hey! We're Connor + Alix Bruson
Most days you can find us either up in the mountains trail running or biking, or at our favorite local coffee shop editing videos or dreaming up our next adventure.
We started Acts of Adventure to document our travels both near and far, and also to tell the stories of those who are doing good things in the world. Check out more videos and articles on our blog. Our hope is to inspire others to live and travel purposefully and intentionally.