St. John Center Lutheran Church

Called by God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ

There will be no program for December 2018 - January 2019

The following descriptions of activities are based oh previous year's events.  Not all activities are guaranteed to happen.  Weather, lack of driver's, and student arrival dates can all play a factor in whether or not an activity occurs.  This is especially true when there just a few host families and just a few students.

Please know that every effort will be made to ensure that you have a program filed with activities.

Volunteer Day

This day starts with a visit to the MCC Material Resource Center where a tour of the facilities will reveal the awesome wo​rk done by the volunteers involved with this organization.  This center is responsible for sending all kinds of kits (school kits, health kits, sewing kits, etc.) to areas of the world that are experiencing natural disasters, hunger or other extreme situations that impact the quality of life.  We will volunteer our time to help pack school kits or health kits...or whatever activity they can find for us to do.

There will also be an afternoon activity, making this an all-day event!

Cost:  You are responsible for purchasing your lunch plus any personal purchases you wish to make.

All Day Trip to Philadelphia

The trip to the City of Brotherly Love begins early in the morning.  The first stop will be the Independence Mall Visitors Center where tickets can be purchased for the Big Bus tour of Philadelphia.

The 90-minute tour is narrated and takes you all over the city, from the waterfront to the Art Museum. The best part about taking the bus tour is that your ticket is good for the entire day.  You can use the bus as free transportation to get around the city during your afternoon free time.

After the bus tour, we visit the Liberty Bell - the symbol of Freedom around the world.

After lunch, you are free to explore the city on your own or with a new friend who has the same interests as you.

There is lots to see in Philadelphia:

  • The world-famous Philadelphia Art Museum and the "Rocky" statue
  • The Philadelphia Zoo if you love animals
  • Philadelphia is home to some of our country's most treasured historic sites, such as Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House and Christ Church - which are a must-see for history buffs
  • South Street has wild and crazy shops, boutiques and eateries for those with an adventurous flair

Regardless of your interests, Philadelphia has something for you to do during your free afternoon.

In the evening, we will gather together for dinner in the China Town section of Philadelphia.  This is a great time to share stories and adventures of the day.

After dinner, we will visit a Chinese Market where you can purchase food items for International Night or just for yourself.

Then it will be back to Lancaster County and a night of rest and recuperation!

Cost:  $20 cash to cover transportation costs; $30 for the Big Bus Tour (this tour is optional).  You are also responsible for purchasing your lunch and dinner, plus admission fees to museums and any personal purchases you wish to make. 

A Day with the Amish

This day begins with lunch with an Amish family in their home. This is such a rare experience that most "English" folks (that's you and me) have never done this!! Miriam goes to great lengths to prepare a feast of homemade foods, such as Chicken Corn Soup and homemade bread and jam. She is such a wonderful cook and this meal is usually a great event for CIH.

In addition to not driving cars or tractors, the Amish do not have electricity in their homes. You will see the gas lanterns that they use in their homes to provide light in the evenings.

After lunch, you may be able to explore the barns to see the horses and other farm animals (and if you are lucky, there may be puppies or kittens.)

Then it is on to a visit to a one-room schoolhouse still used by the Amish and Mennonite families in the area. This one-room school is the center of learning for children in grades one through eight. While this school does use electricity, you will not find computers of any sort here. Math problems are still worked by means of pencil and paper.

And lastly, there will be a horse and buggy ride with an Old Order Mennonite family and their horse, Jack. This is another opportunity that few English folk ever experience.

Few outsiders ever have an opportunity to interact with member of an Amish or Old Order Mennonite family, let alone be invited to their schools. You will come away from your CIH experience with a new appreciation for and a better perspective of this religious community.

This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Cost:  There is no cost to you.

All Day Trip to Washington DC

This trip is not guaranteed to happen during the 2017 Lancaster County CIH program.  If a driver/host is not found, this trip will not be available to you.

The day is yours to explore our Nation's Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian Museum(s), or the monuments, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial.

You may want to consider buying a trolley ticket for $40 when you arrive in DC.  The trolley will give you a narrated tour of the Mall area which might help you decide what you want to see.  An app for your phone is available that will give the narration from the tour in different languages.  

After the narrated tour, you can hop on and hop off the trolley wherever you want and whenever you want all day long. It is your transportation to get around the Mall area for the day at no additional cost.

Cost: $45 cash to cover transportation costs; $40 for the Trolley tour (this tour is optional). You are also responsible for purchasing your lunch and dinner, plus any personal purchases you wish to make.

International Night

This activity is not guaranteed to happen during the 2017 Lancaster County CIH program.

A fun night that includes great food, fun games and all kinds of surprises.

Each student is asked to prepare a favorite food from their home country to share with other students and host families.

Host families always bring their favorite foods, which may be anything from Italian lasagna to German sauerkraut!  It's an International Feast!!

We will spend the evening playing games and laughing!  There will be the group photo and some other surprises for the evening.

Cost:  You are responsible for purchasing the food to prepare your recipe.

What our customers are saying

I really, really, really enjoyed this program.  My choice to go to Lancaster is right instead of New York.  

I experienced a lot of things I cannot experience other place!!  

I am very, very happy and lucky 

to come here. 

Yuri - from Japan