The World Race is preparation for "real life" - whether that's returning to the States and working a 9-5 or moving longterm overseas to serve in a foreign country... and everything in between. Jonathan Francis of January 2014's Y Squad shares this week about how the World Race has inadvertently prepared him for marriage - even with the no dating policy.
While looking for new contacts in Cambodia, Natalie Weyand of third generation L Squad discovered the humbling beauty of God's desire for her to serve him - simply because he loves her.
Sreyneang's father was broken, hopeless, and desperate. Paralyzed for over a year, sick and stressed out, one night he brought an altar in the house. The next day, Sreyneang asked Kathy Woods and her team from September 2014 L Squad to pray for her family.
On 11/11, join us in celebrating the World Race by sharing your favorite moments from the field.
When future World Racer Kyle Harper went to Waffle House with his friends one Friday night, he just expected a meal. When his friend Rebecca met a prostitute name Lacy, his world flipped upside down.
Training Camp for 3rd Generation MNOPQ Squads just ended and Austin Shugart of January 2015 N Squad was one of the 240 racers preparing for his launch in January. In the cold, wet, uncomfortable week that followed, he found a family in the 60+ racers on his squad.
Ask any parent of a Racer, the World Race is a journey racers take alongside their families, communities, and churches. When Paul and Ginny Greenwood, parents of Racer Chelsea Greenwood, (January 2014 C Squad), travelled both to Launch and then to Thailand on a Parent Vision Trip, they found this journey was as much for them as for their daughter.
As children crowded around the empty bins of food with plates, bowls, and cups still waiting to be filled, Gap Year participant Drew Stamey cried out for a miracle and heard God speak directly to his heart.
The five new September 2015 World Race routes are live on the website, so you can apply now!
Caroline Ritchey of September 2014 J Squad woke one morning in Haiti to the sound of the electricity going out. As the heat of the day began to build, so did her distress over a thought she couldn't shake - that she only deserved leftovers in the Kingdom of God.
Maureen Gray sees God's vision to share honest, raw stories to show the truth of who God is and how he works in the world today. No manufactured drama. No trumped up competitions. No voting someone off the team…just welcoming new brothers and sisters to the family of Christ.
The Race is an incredible experience and one that's completely unique for every participant. When newsfeeds are filled with Instagram photos of hanging out with tigers, riding on elephants, and jumping off giant cliffs and blog posts about healing and prophesy and incredible life transformation, it's easy to begin believing the Race is some greenhouse for adventure and spiritual growth. But the Race is really what you make it. Nathan Hauser, of our third generation B squad, fleshes out five myths you probably believe about the World Race.
On September 9, we launch seven incredible World Race and World Race: Gap Year squads, sending them out to the nations for the next 9-11 months.
For a lot of people who feel called to the World Race, their first hesitation is money. Nick Shear, of our third generation I squad, is one of many Racers preparing to launch next week. Short of funds on his deadline, he prayed and God showed his faithfulness, once again.
You can feel it, that call from the Lord to go out on the mission field. But why is the Lord really calling you there?
At the age of 14, Kayla Schmidt visited her first Spanish-speaking country and immediately wanted to go back. Little did she know, the Lord had already developed the perfect World Race route for her.
The five new July 2015 World Race routes are live on the website, so you can apply now!
It's been 11 months since we launched four more squads into the nations, and now it's time for second generation U, V, W, and X squads to come home.
For many Racers, their time on the field is one of figuring out who they are, in more ways than one. Clay Holst, of our July 2013 S Squad, learned a lot about being a man of God — how it is and isn't what he thought.
World Racer Joey Willis, of January 2013 N Squad, shares what he’s learned about the ultimate miracle: the miracle of God’s sacrificial love.
At Adventures in Missions, we are called to bring the nations into the World Race family and to help Racers from around the world experience God as they serve in community throughout the world. With World Race Fusion, we are stretching forward toward that call.
Training camp can be a little intimidating, especially since Racers don't quite know what to expect. We want to reassure everyone that it will be a great week, so we thought we'd offer a few tips about how Racers can make the most out of the week.
If you're in Atlanta this week, you may experience an unusual sight — nearly 200 young adults walking around in Chacos, travel attire, and their entire life on their back.
When Bill and Katie first met Daniel, they thought he was dead. He was lying, passed out on the dirty cement in front of a small vegetable shop. When they gently tapped his shoulder, his 70-pound body slowly staggered to his feet. He looked like the walking dead.
Michelle Euperio, of the January 2010 L Squad, shares a story of the responses she received when preparing for her eleven-month journey around the world. With launches and training camps quickly approaching, we thought this story would be a great way to celebrate Racers!
On June 15, our September 2014 routes officially close. That means you have less than two weeks to say "YES" to the adventure of a lifetime, less than two weeks to say, "Here am I, send me."
Last July, we sent out nearly 200 Racers on second generation Q, R, S, and T squads, and now we welcome them home.
This past week in North Georgia, our new July 2014 DEFG Squads trained for their 11-month adventure around the world. We thought the best way to tell you about their training camp was to show it to you through their eyes.
Helena Jordao, of the January 2012 E Squad, and her teammates served in Kenya at Challenge Farm. One of Helena's roles was to counsel some of the young girls who had experienced immense pain in their lives. She heard many sad stories and prayed for many children, but this day was different. This day Helena learned what the reality of a spiritual battle is like and whose authority she walks in...
Sometimes we focus our prayers for miracles here and now, and lose focus on the eternal. We will all die. And when that day comes, Jesus is the only miracle that matters. Adventures' social media manager, Stephanie Bernotas, knows this firsthand. And we thank her for sharing her story with us.
Tonight, I was prepared to watch a woman die. Instead, I watched God HEAL a woman. That's correct. H-E-A-L-E-D.
What happens when conflict between two teammates starts to eat away at the team?
World Racers Justin Marshall and Zach Cobos of January 2012 E Squad collaborated to tell a beautiful story of revival that they got to be part of in India.
World Racer Steven Reed finds unexpected healing after 10 months traveling the world with a torn ACL.
Derek Spahr, of the July 2013 S Squad, discovered the importance of vulnerability on the World Race.
This month we're honoring our men. We've asked some mature men in the office to share their wisdom with other men in missions. Director of Field Leadership, Bill Swan, writes a letter to share his journey with God through failure and into manhood.
Are you 18-22 years old and wishing you could try the World Race for a month? Now you can! Current World Racer Christina Callegari shares her story of going on a World Race Exposure trip to Rwanda and how God used it to lead her to the World Race.
We have some amazing, creative men on the field, and we're showcasing some of the videos they've made as they journey around the world.
Chris Squalls shares a story of beautiful contradictions, the purpose found in inconvenience, the life found in death. He challenges us to let God ruin our plans, to forfeit what's good for what's best.
We've asked a few mature men around the office to write letters to young men. This letter from Deon Vanstaden, World Race Coach, is written to men encouraging them to love God, rather than just serve him.
Ruby Lopez, of the July 2013 T Squad, has found her voice on the World Race. This is her story.
Kevin Striegle, a member of the July 2013 R Squad, stood in front of an Indian church, hundreds of people waiting for him to preach. At a loss for words, he had no option but to let God speak through him. The effects of his words changed an eternity.
This month we're honoring men in missions, men like Joe De Leon of X Squad. In this post, Joe shares a story of freedom, fun, and forgiveness, complete with bike shows and hundreds of dancing Ethiopian prisoners.
We're honoring our men and sharing their words. We've asked a few mature men around the office to write letters to young men. This letter from Steve Basden, director of the World Race and Passport, is written to men who want more, who want to look like Jesus.
We are so excited to announce that starting this September, we are pioneering a new World Race Korea route that will send a multicultural squad of Korean and American* Racers together on an 11-month World Race journey around the world.
Danny Weiss spends Christmas in Cambodia where he falls in love with the children he is teaching. After watching their Christmas program, he knows what it feels like to be a father proud of his children, and he learns that God must feel the same way about him.
Sometimes, when we want to act, God calls us to wait. Grayson Fleetwood, alumni squad leader for the September 2013 V Squad, learned this lesson on his Race when he encountered a village overtaken by poverty. A year later, he was allowed the opportunity to revisit the village as a squad leader. What he witnessed was nothing short of a miracle.
Bruce Dawson, Director of Church to Church, writes a letter to young men in missions. Bruce goes back to the position he was in during his twenties, and encourages us to live those years to the fullest.
This month we’re honoring our missions-minded men! We're sharing stories of men who make a difference, men who change the world, men who look like Jesus.
Our experiences with women worldwide have taught us what womanhood really means. Women are wired for intimate relationships and deep, abiding love. We've shared stories of hope, stories of beauty, stories of pain, and stories of our women. But we aren't the only ones. You shared some pretty incredible #AdventuresInLove stories this month. Here are some of our favorites!
Kent Cranford, of January 2013's M Squad, imagines the life of a tuk-tuk driver who brings prostitutes to their clients. His story highlights the horrors of human trafficking and the disastrous results it has on every life it touches.
We're closing out our series with a beautiful story from Kacie Lester of the September 2011 A Squad. Kacie learned some lessons about jealousy and comparison that extend beyond the Race - they're truths we all need to hear.
While in Japan, Rebekah Burney of the September 2013 U Squad found herself in a Japanese bath house, surrounded by dozens of naked women. In the midst of a potentially uncomfortable situation, Rebekah learned an incredible lesson about beauty and comparison.
While working in the Red Light District, Kaleigh learned it's not her job to save the women in prostitution. She has to leave that up to God.
Ara de Torres, of July 2013 S Squad, spent the first months of her Race struggling to depend on God. A word from her teammate changed the course of her Race for good.
My heart twisted in grief for her. But not just for her, also for the man on the motorcycle who found love by purchasing it on the streets. For Uncle who was trapped in a world of anger and hatred. For the woman's husband sitting on a cold jail floor condemned as a criminal. Each of them living in a cycle of misery, being abused and abusing others.
Kent Cranford takes a look at the harsh decisions parents in Thailand must make in the midst of poverty. Human trafficking is an issue faced daily by these parents as they are offered the choice to sell their children to sex slavery.
Leading up to Valentine's Day, instead of highlighting romantic love, we want to celebrate the people and places we fall in love with on the mission field.
One day Tina Fey wrote an autobiography called Bossypants. It was hilarious. Then a World Racer read it and gleaned some important advice for improv acting, the World Race, and life in general.
Annie and her team got a glimpse of the girls' lives before trafficking. They got to see some of what causes human trafficking, and they saw the need for education in the hill tribes to prevent future trafficking. Ending human trafficking is not a short assignment or a quick solution. It requires prevention, intervention, and restoration, and you can help.
The five new January 2015 World Race routes are live on the website, so you can apply now!
While visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Kyla Hatcher, of September 2013 U Squad, met a woman who lives near the temples. The encounter left Kyla even more sure of God's love for her and for this woman.
Racers share stories from one of their favorite ministry sites: El Shaddai Children's Home in Swaziland.
Noe Rivera has played just about every role the World Race has to offer: Racer, Squad Leader, Squad Mentor, and now, World Race contact. Here, Noe talks about how a desire to get back to his Hispanic roots and learn Spanish led him on the greatest adventure of his lifetime: to Guatemala.
A few weeks ago we announced the 2014 Best of Adventures Storyteller's Contest. We asked you to view our favorite pictures, watch our favorite videos, and read our favorite blogs. Here are the winners!
From having amazing adventures to impacting people's lives, Patrick Doty has learned a lot in the first half of his Race. We caught up with him to find out what he's loved the most, what's been the hardest, and what God is teaching him.
This weekend Stephanie Bernotas, one of our staff writers and World Race alumna, served at Passion 2014 here in Atlanta, Georgia. As someone familiar with ministry, she thought she was ready. But this is her story of how God rocked her with truth she had forgotten.
Austin Ulsh, of January 2013 C Squad, was in his final months of the Race when he went to India. He spent the month with Sarah's Covenant Home, a ministry that gives a home to over 100 special needs children. One of them, Winnie, stole his heart.
Passion 2014 starts this weekend, and we're excited to hear what this year's group of students learns and see the impact they make in the world in the next year. Today we're pulling a post from the archives from one of our staff writers, Emily Tuttle. At Passion 2013 Emily learned how important short-term missions are to the long-term goal of social justice.
This month we're celebrating some of our World Race contacts – the real heroes who do the hard work of bringing the kingdom day in and day out. Together, we are the World Race. This week's post is from Leah Malone, a World Race alumnus who has moved to the Philippines and become a World Race contact. She offers some invaluable advice to current and future Racers about how to interact with your contacts. As someone who's been in your place, she knows what she's talking about.
We're starting off the new year by pausing to remember that the World Race is not just about the Racers. It's also about our ministry contacts, the servants who give their time, heart, and resources to advance the kingdom of God.
We're hosting the Best of Adventures Storytellers Contest. We've narrowed down our 15 finalists for the best stories from the last year—five blogs, five videos, and five photos. And now you get to choose the winners!
Megan Kennedy, of July 2013's Q Squad, finds herself face-to-face with children selling bracelets and realizes that not every child has a childhood, but all have a story.
When someone begins a race, whether it be on foot, bike, or through the water, they must begin on a certain mark. They must set their positions before they begin. World Race alumnus Erica Denton, of 2nd generation G Squad, is here to help our Racers begin their journey on the right mark. She helps them get set. And then Erica, friends, family, and staff collectively shout an encouraging "GO!"
Heather Reed issues a New Years challenge: to stop existing and to start living the abundant life.
Hope Mendola thanks everyone who has ever supported a World Racer and reminds us that none of us could do this alone.
This month we're celebrating parents, friends, family, and supporters of World Racers. Because we realize that the World Race — and life in general — isn't a solo act. We need each other to get through it, and we need you to do the Race. So here is some sweet advice from a Racer's best friend to all friends and family of Racers.
Today, as you're opening presents under the tree, one hundred orphans at El Shaddai Children's Home in Swaziland are joining in the celebration. All because of one little Instagram picture.
One of our best field photographers, Jonathan Garner, offers 11 tips for future World Race photographers to master the art of taking missions pictures on the field.
Racer Christina Garcia lost her father to liver cancer when she was young. While on the Race she got to lead an alcoholic man to Christ and see life come from the pain she'd experienced.
Today's post is for parents of future World Racers. We're sharing a guest post from a parent of a World Race alumnus — advice, encouragement, and wisdom from one who's gone before you.
One of our best field photographers, Jonathan Garner, shares his favorite photo from each of the 11 countries he visited on the World Race.
Annie Heathorn was nervous to have her parents join her Race for a week. However, in one week, God showed her something that changed the way she looked at her parents forever.
We seek to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and watch God show up. We've seen miracles both in our ministry as well as our own hearts. Those are the real reasons to go. But there are also some fun, practical reasons that make the July routes a particularly good option. That's why we created this list.
Most of our staff members are World Race Alumni, and we understand what it's like to adjust to life back home after the Race. We love welcoming squads home, and we've got a little advice for MNOP Squads as they come off the field.
The World Race honors Nelson Mandela – a man who made mistakes, ushered in justice, fought for peace, and loved his enemies. A man who showed us that flawed people can change the world.
Catch up with Pamela Galvin (O Squad) as she finishes the World Race and hear about the transformation and healing God has done in her life.
God's kingdom is advanced through worldwide community – Racers, prayer partners, and donors all working together toward a common goal. And God is leading us to invest deeper in this worldwide community. To equip people to take that next step in their faith, whether it's a step across the street or a step around the world. Are you ready to join us?
World Racer Meghan Tschanz talks about her upcoming adventure with the Kingdom Journeys women's team.
Anika Erickson, of the World Race M Squad, is one of over 200 Racers coming home next week after 11 months on the field. She wrote this letter on behalf of those Racers to the friends and family who will welcome them home soon.
Even halfway around the world, Racers find a way to celebrate holidays and remember their friends and families at home.
We've added some new countries to the July 2014 World Race routes, and we're pretty excited about them!
An experience like the World Race is something so big that you can't completely prepare for every situation you might encounter on the field. And it's supposed to be that way. We encourage our Racers to check their expectations at the door and be open to anything and everything God wants to teach them through their 11 months.
We caught up with Julian Williams in Romania to ask him some final questions about his World Race journey.
Jacob Smith, of the September 2013 V Squad, visited the homeless in Malaysia and was astounded by what he stumbled upon. Something that didn’t quite fit. Something really cool.
We could tell you why it's an awesome idea for you to do the World Race next July. Or we could just show you.
Adventures in Missions is sending teams to the Philippines to help in the disaster relief effort. You can help!
Today everyone is a World Racer. Because the World Race is made up of all of us. It takes the parents, family, friends, grandparents, supporters, ministry contacts, fans, and cheerleaders to fund, pray for, encourage, and send our Racers to the nations.
Last month, we sent Racers to the Chinese province of Tibet for the first time. As we spread our influence and explore ministry in new places, we're excited to see just how God shows up. Check out these beautiful photos of this new location from our Racers on O Squad!
Next Monday is November 11th – 11/11. This year we want to invite everyone to be part of World Race Day. On this November 11th, everyone is a World Racer!
Two years ago, we watched as World Racer Jenn Watson met a little Chinese boy with Down Syndrome named Zi. Jenn took a leap of faith when she asked her family to adopt him, and God opened every door to make it possible. After months of brainstorming, strategizing, traveling, filming, editing, and polishing, Zi's film is ready.
Recently, there's been a lot of buzz about Asia in the World Race community. Our recent announcement of an all Asia route launching in September 2014 has stirred up conversations among staff and alumni about how much they love and miss Asia. We've put together a collection of Marina Razumovsky's photos to show you why.
All month we've been sharing stories of orphans and children at risk who our Racers have met and loved. We've told you about how you can pray for them, sponsor them, advocate for them, and even adopt them. And now we want to share a final story that has become close to our hearts. And make sure to check out the very end for a glimpse of something exciting that's coming soon!
The upcoming January 2014 Y, Z, A, B, and C Squads gathered to prepare for their 11 month journey, and God showed up in big ways. Here's what they had to say about it.
What started as a joke turned into Aimee Luallin of M-Squad buying three goats for their team's translator in Rwanda.
Next week we'll tell you an amazing story that's close to our hearts, but for now, here is a little glimpse of what's to come on November 5th. We can't wait to show you the rest!
Adventures in Missions is launching an All Asia World Race route!
Kari Williamson, of U squad, took a moment to take in the reality of travelling on the Race, and how just a few months ago, she was just a normal college student. When she did, she began to ask what "normal" is supposed to look like.
Today's story is from Justin and Kristan Gibson, a married couple who left on the World Race with the January 2011 T Squad. Most of the stories we tell are about how God uses people to do amazing things when they choose to go on mission trips – but this one is different. This is a story about what it's like to quit a mission trip because God asks you to.
If you've ever wanted to go on the World Race but were too young to do it, the World Race: Gap Year is for you.
Tomorrow five squads of Racers will arrive at a campground on the Georgia/Tennessee border, decked out in their squad colors and ready to begin this crazy journey called the World Race.
A World Racer met a special little boy his first time in Swaziland, and over the next year and a half he got to see how extravagantly God cares for orphans and answers our prayers.
The five new September 2014 World Race routes are live on the website, so you can apply now!
Here at Adventures, we love to celebrate the unseen. You are cordially invited to Epoch 2013, a night celebrating unsung heroes around the world. On Monday, October 28th we will gather at the Fox Theater for this black tie event and a night of celebration.
To kick off our series on orphans and adoption, Megan Kennedy, of the July 2013 Q Squad, shares how her team got to change one little boy's future in just ten days.
We'll be announcing our September 2014 Routes on October 7th. Here's a little bit of what you can expect (we've got some surprises up our sleeve).
Parents joined the World Race for a week to serve along side of their children in Kenya.
Adventures in Missions announces its black tie, red carpet awards event -- the Epoch Awards.
When World Racer Megan Kennedy changed her prayer for a paralyzed woman in Cambodia, God showed up and changed the hearts of the entire village.
Jolene Campbell of January 2013 N Squad became the student when God used a Thai boy to teach her about him.
Katie Stoddard, a World Racer, tells the story of meeting Susu, an Unsung Hero in Cambodia.
Adventures in Missions launches Venture Magazine, a place for stories that celebrate life.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this is a long blog post. But we think you'll love every moment. One of our best photographers currently on the field, Jonathan Garner of the January 2013 O Squad, captured these beautiful moments last month while his team was in Kenya.
We searched Bangkok, Thailand, for unsung heroes and found two women who are being Jesus to their community.
Many people choose to go on the World Race because they want to encounter human trafficking face to face and make a difference in the lives of girls who are being sold for sex. Some Racers get to see God do amazing things while they're in Thailand, but most have to trust that he will be faithful to water the seeds they planted.
Ali Bruce began the Race asking God to make her willing to change. She left for the race fully expecting him to reveal himself to her. She however was shocked at how personal God made himself known, among the widows of Romania.
This month we’re dedicating Wednesdays to sharing stories from our awesome Unsung Heroes campaign. We’re bringing you stories of regular citizens who saw a need in their country and decided they could do something to help.
Epoch 2013 honors the unsung heroes; the people who cross the boulevard or the world to serve where poverty, drought, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, homelessness, and fear reign. For these heroes, this is more than planting churches and discipling – this is life. And we want to give them a lot of money to continue doing what they do.
This week we're closing out our Behind the Scenes series with a look at the World Race leaders you're probably most familiar with - Squad Leaders. They're the amazing World Race alumni who come back for round two.
The World Race is a life changing experience, and our alumni use what they learned for years after the Race. Bethany Waddell, of the January 2012 E Squad, recently reflected on her Race and the way it showed her what life is all about.
Our Featured Racers, Josh and Jen Mendenhall, are discovering what God has for them after the Race, as a couple and as children of God.
We have people whose job it is to make sure you’re well cared for on the field. These are the voices on the phone providing guidance as a squad grows, mentorship for the leadership on the field, and comfort in the midst of crisis. Meet our Squad Mentors.
In honor of the boy who awakened passion and dreams in so many people, we are proud to introduce the Anthony Lives Fund. Anthony Lives is a fund created to financially support the college education of Nicaraguan youth - Anthony's friends and classmates. We want to see them get the education Anthony dreamed of.
Megan Kennedy, of the July 2013 Q Squad, spent her first month in Thailand, working at Zion Cafe. While there, her team encountered a street girl trying to get home. Ministering to her with food, clothing and bus money, her team met tangible, physical needs as well as the girl's spiritual ones.
So you've been accepted to the World Race...what happens next? Go behind the scenes with World Race mobilizers - the people who take you from acceptance to launch.
It's 8/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus - Michael Sanders of the October 2009 L Squad.
Today, we want to give a shout out to a couple Racers who tell amazing stories through their lenses. Jonathan Garner, of the January 2013 O Squad, and MK Hill, of the January 2013 M Squad, both visited Honduras and these are their stories.
Go behind the scenes of starting the World Race. Meet our Admissions Department and get to know the people who make the World Race happen.
The July 2014 Routes are now live on our website. Check them out!
Joey Willis spent this month in Mozambique. Nothing seemed to go according to plan. Ministry wasn't what he thought it would be. Contacts weren't as great as he wanted. In the middle of a disappointing month, he learned that there was a catalyst for change: his attitude.
From the Caribbean to Africa, Ireland to Thailand, and Central America to Eastern Europe, you've changed the world. And we couldn't be happier to be the first to welcome you as alumni.
Annie Heathorn, of the September 2012 J Squad, is finishing up her Race in Ireland this month. This is the story of how God showed up while working in a clothing warehouse for the needy. How can you recognize God's love in the ordinary?
Meghan Tschanz, of the July 2012 H Squad, recently finished the Race. She decided to write a commencement speech - to those about to embark on the Race, and perhaps even to those who are returning home. People like Meghan who are beginning the adventure that is the rest of their lives.
This past week in North Georgia, our new September 2013 UVWX Squads trained for their 11-month adventure around the world. We thought the best way to tell you about their training camp was to do it in their own words and photos.
Sarah Sanders, of the September 2013 W Squad, wrote this letter about surviving training camp to the next generation of Racers who will come after her.
Kristin Phillips and Katie Wright of N Squad have joined in the story of how the Lord is working as they encounter spiritual warfare in very real ways in Mozambique.
In Guatemala, Racer Leslie Wakeland of S-squad leaned a lesson about finding joy from a malnourished orphan in a nutrition center.
Our newest Featured Racer KJ Blair is a World Race video rock star. No, but really. We've compiled a few tips, inspired by KJ's videos, of things every Racer can do to tell amazing stories through their lenses.
This weekend we have 200 Racers from UVWX Squads heading down to Georgia for their Training Camp. Past training camp participants share about how we've seen Jesus work - and how we're expecting him to work this week.
It's 7/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Racer Tamica Sloan of August 2009 Squad 1.
World Race teams were sent out to different areas around our hotel to - as the Race culture calls it - "ATL" or "Ask the Lord." Just ask the Lord where he wants us to go, who he wants us to serve, and take a risk on what he places on our hearts.
Chelsea Miller of the September 2012 J Squad, found herself near the end of her World Race completely numb to the reasons she came on this journey in the first place. Why did she leave her home and go to the world?
If you happen to be in Atlanta this week, keep your eye out for crowds of young adults with giant backpacks, head lamps, and Passports in tow. Our fantastic Q, R, S, and T Squads are getting ready to go to the nations.
$15,500. Sometimes, when you apply for the Race, that number flashes before your eyes, and it's all you see. You're blinded to all the joy and challenges waiting down the road because the $15,500 hurdle seems too big for you to jump.
One of the best things about the World Race, and mission trips in general, is the face to face connection you get to have with people around the world. Whether you're the first Christian someone has ever met or you're visiting a thriving church in another country, being a missionary means loving individuals.
Life on the Race is like nothing you have ever experienced before. Jeff Tyner, of the January 2013 M Squad, wrote this list of ways to know your weird life is that of a World Racer.
Ever wonder what it's like to be a World Racer? Well, now you can see what it's like for a day. Emily Chant, of the September 2012 L Squad, compiled this list of steps to trying out World Race life anywhere you are.
Just because you do the World Race, doesn't mean you'll thrive. Andi Moore, of the January 2013 O Squad, tells how to not just be a Racer - how to be an embRacer.
God does not only care about your support raising process, it's not at all daunting to him. He's Jehovah Jireh - our provider. And lately we've had front row seats to how he wants to provide for his kids as they set out to change the world. Click here to read our latest story.
Featured Racer Jenifer Jones of F squad has lived a life full of challenge and heartache. She felt as though these tragedies robbed her of a childhood and her dream of being a missionary was out of reach. But God uses difficult circumstances to show his power and mercy.
In less than 24 hours, our September routes close. That means you have less than one day to say, "I'll go." Sound like a difficult decision? Take it from us who have gone before you, it's eleven months that will change the rest of your life — go.
It doesn't matter if you're in the middle of school, or the middle of life, God can and will use your Race to help you become who you're supposed to be. Need proof, check out what some of our Racers are saying about their experiences...
It's 6/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Noe Rivera of the January 2010 M Squad.
You've realized there is more to life than empty traditions and the 9-5 routine. You're attracted to the idea of adventuring around the world in a backpack, sharing about Jesus near ancient temples, and loving on street kids. And it's all a little scary to you. But it's really gonna be okay. The time is now, just go.
Child Sacrifice. It’s real, it’s happening today, and most of the world believes it is just a gruesome ritual of the past.
Children who can't hear. Children who don't know if you play the right chords or not. Children who don't care if you hit the right key or not. Who's to say they needed healing of their deafness, because they were hearing God more clearly than I have my whole life.
When I met Ayesha, she was laying on her death bed. Every movement brought her pain and tears. By the end of my stay in The Philippines, she was laughing and smiling, clearly alive.
We could tell you about how we think training camp went, or we could show you what Racers have been saying. This blog is a mash-up of photos, quotes, and videos from last week.
We're closing our series on community with a beautiful story from Kacie Lester of the September 2011 A Squad. Kacie learned some lessons about jealousy and comparison that extend beyond the Race - they're truths we all need to hear.
Ever wondered what training camp looks like? Check out our latest photo blog for Q,R,S, and T Squad's Training Camp experience.
We've compiled some of our favorite videos of World Race community over the years to share with you. So sit back, watch, and welcome to our world.
Adventures in Missions is sending relief trips in response to the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. As we determine the most strategic use of our teams in the affected areas, we want to hear from you. Tell us where, when, and how you can be a part of our team by filling out the posted form. We will contact you as soon as trips are posted.
Most Racers dream big dreams. We dream of making huge marks on the world. And we make those dreams real. But sometimes we also make marks that seem small but touch deep. Mikala Wiegand, H Squad, shares one of those moments.
If you're planning on going on the World Race in 2013, you've got 29 days to apply. In case you need more convincing on why exactly you should go, we've put together some reasons.
Daniel experienced something familiar to every Racer - team changes. It may not have been his favorite day of the Race, but it's one he'll always remember for the ways God has changed him because of it.
As summer approaches, many trips are heading out. Ruth Wilson of T-squad sums up here year in her blog “I have...” As you pack your bags and say your goodbyes, keep in mind that this will be one of the best experiences of your life. Take a deep breath, dive in and trust the Lord that's he's got you.
It's 5/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Dan Snyder of the August 2009 K Squad.
One year ago, Angelique Sturm, of our July 2012 F Squad, spent a week in the backwoods of Georgia at training camp to prepare for her World Race. In her blog, she spills the beans on the week long inten(t)sive training you go through pre-race. She lets you in on what you need to know, what you don't, and how to prepare your heart for what's waiting just around the corner! Training Camp for our July 2013 Squads begins one week from tomorrow!
When Hailey's team decided they couldn't imagine spending one more day together, their leaders gave them a tough choice that has changed the way they love people.
Facing death at a hospital in Haiti, Rebecca Coleman, J Squad Second Generation, was in bad shape. Realizing the doctors and nurses in Carrefour, Haiti could do nothing for her, she had to trust Jesus and wait for him to show up. And show up he did.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re tipping our sombreros to our first-ever Spanish route launching this January, and we’ve gotta say: Es tiempo por una adventura.
Ask any World Racer to talk about the parts of the Race that changed them the most, and you'll be sure to hear the word community. Community is an essential facet of the World Race - living and working with a team of 6-8 other people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 11 months. For the month of May, we'll be sharing a true story of World Race community - raw, honest, and uncut - every Wednesday. We invite you into our teams - our families - to experience life with us.
Christina Dombrowski of July 2012 G squad has had a veil taken off her eyes in recent months. Working in Cambodia, she believed in the power of prayer but more as a ritual and not a sense of power. She believed that miracles only happened back in Bible times. Much to her surprise, she came head on with a miracle... she will never be the same. Check it out.
India and Nepal and saturated with color and life, and steeped in rich history. Take a look at what our Racers experience in a week on the field, and share in their adventure!
After spending 8 months in summer climates around the world, F Squad entered Latvia in a frigid snowstorm, wearing only tank tops, shorts, and sandals. Through what we like to call a Latvian miracle, Christians they had met only the night before cooked them a hot meal and collected winter clothing for the Racers. F Squad came to bring the Kingdom of God to Latvia, but instead Latvia brought it to them.
Whether you're traveling on a bus, plane, train, boat, or donkey, making friends and choosing to have fun can make all the difference in your experience. Andi Moore gives us some tips on how to be outgoing and make new friends while traveling around the world!
The World Race is all about leaving the typical American lifestyle behind. We live on the edge and do what most people don't. As you travel around the world, there are numerous opportunities for exciting and risky adventures. The unknown begins as soon as you step foot on that airplane - so get ready!
Amanda Kerr, F Squad 2nd Generation, has learned a lot about community after traveling through Southeast Asia, East Africa and Eastern Europe with 45+ squadmates.
Last month we shared Featured Racer, Christina Young's story. A story of how finding authentic community changed the way she interacted with the church and the way she saw God. God has brought her through deeper levels of freedom and vulnerability in community and shown her what it looks like to surrender to him daily.
Jess Eischens, September 2012 J squad, loved life and was content with her job, but she knew the Lord called her to more. She trusted him and chose complete abandonment of her own plans for her life. With 8 months of race under her belt and a rich perspective, she gives advice on what future racers should expect.
It's 4/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Hollis Johnson from the August 2009 K Squad and the January 2011 T Squad.
With a disabled orphan in her arms, Cheyanne Hardy, from September 2012 L Squad, realized her own need to be held and the truth of who supports her. It's not enough to teach a child to walk, but to learn how we ourselves were chosen from the grave to walk with God...
Slavery is wrong. You know it, we know it. But here's something you may not know - slavery still exists. There are 27 million people trapped in modern day slavery today. Indifference is not an option.
Beginning April 1st, a group of World Race Alumni will have an opportunity to see their dreams become reality. We’re creating a place for these passionate dreamers to be mentored and taught by the wisdom and experience of the generation ahead of them, cultivating a process for these ideas to be curated and tended to, going from an idea to a reality. At the end of six months, we’ll invite this group of dreamers to Atlanta to pitch their best ideas, with the chance to win a $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 grant.
My heart twisted in grief for her. But not just for her, also for the man on the motorcycle who found love by purchasing it on the streets. For Uncle who was trapped in a world of anger and hatred. For the woman's husband sitting on a cold jail floor condemned as a criminal. Each of them living in a cycle of misery, being abused and abusing others.
On the World Race, we're all about empowering our participants to serve the Lord in unique ways. We're excited to announce our newest ministry...
Jesus pursued the “least of these” with fervor and grace. He touched those who were never touched – the diseased, the destitute, the dirty. After seven months on the Race, Emily Chant realized she still falls short of the love of Christ. Her human ability to love the hurting, the dirty, and the criminal is still not enough. She came to the end of herself, and that's when she found the faith she needed to love the untouchables.
Annie and her team got a glimpse of the girls' lives before trafficking. They got to see some of what causes human trafficking, and they saw the need for education in the hill tribes to prevent future trafficking. Ending human trafficking is not a short assignment or a quick solution. It requires prevention, intervention, and restoration, and you can help.
Joseph Johnson of the Sept 2012 I Squad was humbled and inspired when he met Errol, a Satanist-turned-Jesus-lover in South Africa. Born in Swaziland, Errol had a fierce determination that had allowed him to live comfortably and accomplish anything he set his mind to. But one day when he was 28, Errol heard the voice of the Lord. And what happened next wrecked Errol’s comfortable life.
We wanted them to see what we've been seeing these past 8 months and experience the truth of Jesus' love for them. We wanted them to see the work we were doing for the kingdom. They haven't just seen it, they've joined in. They've experienced it, felt it, and have been broken over it. They have been a part of the change in the nation of Kenya alongside their Racers.
This week we hear from Laura Meyers of the October 2008 G Squad. After the World Race, Laura did an apprenticeship to learn about human trafficking and educate others on how to fight it. She shares a list of lies and truths about trafficking from the Salvation Army.
Josh and Jen Mendenhall have been fundraising for the World Race for almost two years. But by the end of their sixth month on the field, the money ran out. They had tickets to go home, and then a miracle happened.
A group of Racers from H Squad (July '12) are among the many that are revolutionizing Ireland by responding to God's will and accepting their responsibility to love people.
Millions of people around the world spend their lives working in sub-human conditions to produce the goods we are accustomed to owning. We may not be elected officials or powerful lawyers, but we have a loud voice - it's called our consumer choices. What we buy determines the kind of lives many people live. So how do we shop responsibly?
It's 3/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Ashley Harris, of the January 2009 H Squad.
There are millions of people who have yet to hear the gospel. And many praying on their behalf. But what if, instead of just praying, we were the answer to that prayer? What if they are waiting for us? Will you go?
In cooperation with End It Movement, we're spending Wednesdays for the next month shining a light on slavery and human trafficking. Slavery is not OK, and our Racers around the world have had raw, firsthand experiences fighting it. Our first story comes from Adam Smith of the July 2012 H Squad. He watched a girl get sold in front of him in Moldova, and it changed him.
Our current Featured Racer, Annie Heathorn, is finishing up her sixth month of the Race. She's been to the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and is now in Malawi, East Africa. Annie walks in freedom. She trusts her heavenly father. She plays with the children and rides bicycles through the country. She dreams big dreams and tells great stories. And God is using her new freedom to bring his freedom to children in Tanzania.
We're in it to End It. Every Wednesday until April 9th, we'll be featuring blog posts about why human trafficking is not OK and how you can help end it.
Today we are DISAPPEARING from all social media and blogging in honor of the 27 million people who have disappeared into slavery around the world. Join us & END IT by downloading the action tool kits: http://enditmovement.com/
Storytelling is an art. But it's also one of the most basic, natural things we as human beings were created to do. And now, there's an app for doing just that. Check out how you can use Instagram as a ministry here.
How do you sum up 11 months crazy months in one video? Most people can barely edit it under 10 minutes. But Johnfrank Dieguez has a unique gift - he's told the story of his Race in 1:11.
Next January, we invite you on a unique journey - a journey of immersion and deep connection. Spend 11 months exploring all Latin America has to offer and investing your heart in the people, the language, the stories.
The January 2014 Routes are making World Race history with two new countries, a themed route, and more. Check them out.
Last week we asked you to share stories about how you fell in love on your mission trip - to post them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so we could showcase all that God is doing around the world. And you responded. We've been keeping track of your stories - and have been unexpectedly blessed by your hearts. So we wanted to share our favorites of #AdventuresInLove.
An update on Featured Racer Ashley Mueller as she recounts her climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
It's 2/11, and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumni Chris and Holli Scott, of the January 2009 H Squad.
Adam Smith didn't grow up with his dad in his life, and when he left on the World Race he never expected to find one in his squad coach. But God provided exactly what Adam needed.
Zi Ping is home. He arrived to his forever home last Thursday, and we were there to document his arrival. Check out our video of the beautiful moment when a family began.
Brandi Wilcox, of the July 2012 G Squad, is in her seventh month of the World Race. She blogs often, and we love reading her stories! As Brandi's been reflecting on seven months of blogging, she's come up with 11 reasons why all World Racers should blog as much as they can.
Many of our Northern Georgia neighbors recently lost their homes, and our community was torn apart by a string of severe thunderstorms and tornados. We are working now with local authorities and churches to determine where we can serve. Find out how you can partner with us to bring hope to our devastated neighbors.
Angelique risked her own legal status to follow God to a place where believers surrender their security everyday for a relationship with the God they love. Like the Malaysian Christians, Angelique understands that nothing - even home and family - is worth more than Christ.
We want to invite you to join the journey of Zi Ping's homecoming. Starting this Wednesday morning, join Zi's journey home by checking our Facebook page and following along on Twitter and Instagram (#11n11 and #bringzihome).
A picture blog celebrating the lives our Racer's live in the field.
On most World Race squads, there are a few married couples. They're just like other Racers, except they bring along their spouse for the 11-month adventure. Doing the Race married comes with its own set of challenges, but as Jen Mendenhall will tell you, it's worth it. Jen and her husband, Josh, are in their fifth month of the World Race in Thailand with the September 2012 L Squad. Here are their top 11 reasons why doing the Race as a married couple is a great idea.
It's time to celebrate our favorite photos from the Instagram challenge. While you look through some of the best ways we've been living 11n11, you may be asking yourself, "Am I living a good story?"
Can short-term missions actually make a longterm difference? Can you really change someone's life in a month? No, but God can. And he uses short-term trips like the World Race to make huge, lasting changes in families around the world when individuals surrender their plans to him. We've been following a story God has been writing over the last year of one such family, and it's time to share it with you. The pieces have come together from all over the world to weave something truly beautiful.
The most awesome fact about Sri Lanka? It's on one of our July 2013 routes - YOU can go!
It's 1/11 and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Brittany Priess of the June 2010 O Squad.
This past week some of our Adventures in Missions staff members attended the Passion 2013 conference in Atlanta. They worshipped alongside 60,000 college students from around the world and learned about practical ways to fight against modern-day slavery and human trafficking. This week on this blog and our Adventures updates blog we're sharing posts from each of them with their perspectives on Passion 2013 and how you can get involved to end slavery. Today's post is from one of our staff writers, Lacee Peloquin. Lacee did the World Race in 2011 on Y Squad and came on staff in October 2012. She's passionate about photography, storytelling, and the revolution of the American Church.
This past week some of our Adventures in Missions staff members attended the Passion 2013 conference in Atlanta. They worshipped alongside 60,000 college students from around the world and learned about practical ways to fight against modern-day slavery and human trafficking. This week on this blog and our Adventures updates blog we're sharing posts from each of them with their perspectives on Passion 2013 and how you can get involved to end slavery.
A great story requires you to step away from the things that bring you comfort and allow yourself to rely on something great. As we finish up 2012, we are celebrating the best photos, videos, and blogs from five different categories, celebrating grand stories and those who tell them. Join us by voting for your favorites.
Philip Cron is a World Race alumnus from the January 2011 T Squad. He spent 2011 traveling the world and loving everyone he met along the way. Right before his Race ended, Philip summed up his 11 months. Read his journey, and ask yourself if you're living a great story.
The World Race is a big adventure, but 13 Racers on the July 2012 H Squad decided to find an even bigger one. At the end of their month in Tanzania they set out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and it turned out to be even crazier than they were expecting.Meghan Tschanz shares the story here.
Jessica Francis and the September 2012 K Squad spent this Christmas in Cambodia. Jessica's team decided to make Christmas as extravagant and special as they could - but not in the way you might think. Thanks to generous donations they got to overwhelm a group of street children with gifts and blessings and to show them what it truly means to give.
Meghan Tschanz and the July 2012 H Squad are spending this Christmas in Mozambique and Malawi. There are no decorations to admire, no gifts to open, and no family traditions to celebrate. But the thrill of hope that makes Christmas special is just as present there as it is back home.
All month we've been sharing guest posts from parents of World Race alumni to parents of current and future Racers - advice, wisdom, and encouragement from those who've gone before you. Today we're wrapping up the series with a post from Rozy McCormick, a World Race coach.
Lauren Clement and the rest of the 2012 H Squad spent the fourth month of their World Race in Kenya. Lauren's time in East Africa was filled with lesson after lesson about God's power and the fact that miracles still happen everyday. She shared seven miracles she's seen God do.
When Racers, parents, and supporters hear they have to raise $15,000, it doesn't matter that in reality Racers live simply on the bare minimum - it just sounds like a lot of cash. Cash they don't have. But cash that God wants to provide.
Every Monday this month we're sharing guest posts from parents of World Race alumni — advice, encouragement, and wisdom from those who've gone before you. Today we hear from Cindy Ricketts, mother of Nicole Ricketts of the October 2009 L Squad. Cindy shares the three ways she and her family made the World Race a great experience for all of them — not just Nicole.
Stories are the tools that change the world. In honor of these fantastic stories, we are proud to announce our first ever Adventures Storytellers Contest. We have gathered the best blogs, photos, and videos from 2012 in five categories, celebrating the best storytelling of the year. Now it's your turn to pick your favorite.
When I Squad Racer Isaac Berg and his team were in South Africa, they found themselves fighting a raging forest fire. Isaac had been learning what it means to pray dangerous prayers, and he got to see what it feels like to be protected and stretched by God.
It's 12/11 and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day, we hear from World Race Alumnus Paul Iwanaga of the August 2009 K Squad.
In the second installment of our special series for parents of future World Racers, Bill Chestnutt shares how the World Race changed him without ever leaving home. He watched his daughter change, read lots of World Race blogs, and went on his own journey of growth throughout the 11 months.
Can one child make a difference? When one 12-year-old Indian girl followed three missionaries to a house in her village, she had no idea how her life was about to change.
We have some exciting news... You now have two more chances to go on the World Race in 2013! We have opened up two final routes for the year, and they're good ones.
Today we're kicking off our special series for parents of future World Racers. Every Monday this month we'll be sharing guest posts from parents of World Race alumni -- advice, encouragement, and wisdom from those who've gone before you. Today's guest blogger is Ellen Tuttle. Her daughter Emily is a World Race alumnus from the January 2011 V Squad who now works in the marketing department at Adventures in Missions.
Christmas this year doesn't just look different for our upcoming Racers. It's an interesting time for their parents too. Christmas is about giving, and they're about to give up their kids for 11 months so they can go serve the nations. So, future World Race parents, this year we're giving you a little something special.
Royalty. Daughter. Authority. Power. Creativity. Our newest Featured Racer Aisha Davis embodies these words. This girl knows who she is as a daughter of God, and it's awesome.
One of the cool things about the World Race is that Racers get to live life alongside people around the world. They often get the chance to live with families, see what their daily lives are like, and help with their work. And sometimes God teaches them big lessons about culture and perspective along the way. Kate Nixon of the September 2012 J Squad is in Thailand with her team. They spent this month learning to never take a grain of rice for granted again -- and to praise God for the way he relentlessly pursues us.
This week, the 100,000th World Race blog was posted! As we enter 2013, we look forward to launching almost 700 Racers onto the field. All of these Racers have told their stories publicly -- for the world to read.
As our Racers prepare to spend this Thanksgiving with their teams around the world, we want to pass along their thanks to all the faithful prayer warriors and financial supporters who make this experience possible. Annie Heathorn of the September 2012 J Squad wrote a blog post that speaks for all Racers when we say, "Thank you."
The body of Christ is also meant for movement. It's meant for action. On the World Race, prayer guides the squad leaders in the formation of teams, with the hope that each will exhibit different aspects of Christ. Team Aletheia of the September 2012 L Squad is just one display of this community in action.
Featured Racer Justin Marshall and his teammate Zach Cobos of the January 2012 E Squad are finishing up their World Race in India this month. They collaborated to tell a beautiful story of revival that they got to be part of this week.
A common question on The World Race is, "Is this real life?" Life, whether it be in the comfort of your own home or travelling abroad, is what you make it. We sit. We sing. And then, we dance.
Featured Racer Justin Marshall's journey has been anything but dull. We've already shared with you how God brought him out of drug addiction and into redemption in Christ. His Race has also been challenging at times, but God is using every bump along the way for his glory and Justin's growth.
It's 11/11 and that means we've got another video for you. On this 11th day of the 11th month, we hear from World Race Alumnus Josh Woodmansee of the October 2009 L Squad.
Leah Malone of the January 2012 C Squad is about to finish up her World Race. Before she comes off the field she contemplates what a World Race do-over would look like and what she would do differently. Current and future Racers, take notes!
Daniel Stinson, a World Race alumnus from the January 2010 M Squad, made new friends during his last day of ministry in Targu Mures, Romania. In the span of over three hours, God transformed their hearts, and Daniel was a crucial part of that change.
Brian Cooke accepted Christ shortly after meeting July 2010 P Squad at their debrief in Malawi. His life radically changed and he went on to do the Race launching with October 2011 B Squad. Brian's story influenced Jackie Gu to do the Race. We can't wait to see who God uses her to touch and the continuing ripple effect of what God is doing across the earth.
When the truth of God's love resides deep within your heart, it's much easier to trust and say, "Yes Lord! I will follow wherever you lead." God's love is the context in which the Barnes family operates. It is why they feel safety in risk. It is why they spend their lives living missionally. They know that they serve a God who has always loved and taken care of them, and he will always will.
Hope Mendola did the World Race in August 2009 with the original J Squad, went back on the field to lead the January 2012 2nd Generation D Squad, and now she's on staff with Adventures in Missions. It's safe to say Hope is a World Race veteran. At the end of her Race, she shared some pieces of wisdom to help future World Racers make the most of their 11 months. We're passing on a few of her gems here.
Brittany Cantrell and the rest of the September 2012 L Squad are in their second month of the World Race in Honduras. This week Brittany met a woman and her family who really understand what it means to be poor and in need. And Brittany learned what it really means to sacrifice and love her neighbor as herself. Here's her story.
Love Instagram as much as we do? Enjoy taking pictures or sharing your trip with friends? Then our Instagram challenge is for you!
This past week, 240 World Racers gathered together in the woods of White, GA for our largest Training Camp to date. These Racers from M, N, O, & P Squads united to seek the Lord, listen to the Spirit, walk into freedom, have crazy dance parties, and learn how to effectively bring the hope of Christ to the nations. Here are some of the highlights from the week.
"Can I buy you?" Kate Kovach cringed as those words exited her mouth. "The girls reacted with a mixture of shock and amusement at my question. Mine did not respond. I pursued again. 'Can I? Can I buy you out for the night? I want to take you to the market. Would you like to go?'"
KJ Blair and the July 2012 H Squad are in Kenya for Month Four of their World Race. If you've ever wondered what a typical week on the Race looks like, check out KJ's summary of how he spends his time in Kenya.
Allyson Quinn and the rest of the September 2012 L Squad spent their first month of the World Race in Guatemala. While there, Allyson learned that sometimes the expectations we have as missionaries are different from the reasons God sent us. Sometimes we come to serve, and he wants to teach us to humble ourselves and let others serve us. Like so many Racers before her, Allyson learned that even though we go to be a blessing, it's often the missionaries who are blessed the most.
Everyone has a story to tell. Today, Hope is sharing hers with you. Starting this month, the World Race will release a video from one of our alumni on the 11th day of each month for the next 11 months. These are stories of transformation, redemption, restoration, healing, and more. We're telling the stories God has been creatively writing in Racers' lives for years and continues to write today.
KJ Blair, a logistics leader for the July 2012 H Squad, shares the details of his job and showcases his sweet video making skills in this edition of Day in the Life.
Renee Durham has done the World Race. In fact, she's about to do it again. Renee is an alumnus from the recently returned October 2011 B Squad, and she's going out again to lead the new January 2013 M Squad with two other alumni. As we gear up for Training Camp for M, N, O, and P Squads next week, Renee offers her new Squad and other future Racers a few pieces of Training Camp advice. So newbies, take heart--this veteran believes in you (and so do the rest of us)!
Our Facebook page has been abuzz this week as we reached a milestone for the World Race: 11,000 Likes. That means 11,000 of you follow our updates and claim yourselves as World Race fans. And we'd like to say, "Thanks."
The September 2013 Routes are now LIVE! If the thought has crossed your mind to go on the World Race in 2013, our September routes are your last chance! Before clicking on the link to see the countries (we know you've been waiting, ever so patiently!), check out our top 13 reasons you should click the "apply" button!
Anna Primrose and the rest of the September 2012 I Squad are only in their first month of the World Race. But they have already felt the profound impact that each parent of a World Racer has had on the world. Anna wrote a beautiful letter to the parents of every World Racer expressing the gratitude we all feel for the sacrifice they made to make our journeys possible.
A little over a year ago, South Sudan declared her independence from her war-torn mother country. Recently, the men of January 2012 D and E Squads joined forces and paved the way for hope. This is their story.
It may sound crazy, but after years of pouring into this book we''re giving it away, but that''s the idea. It''s not about making money, it''s about starting a movement. Adventures in Missions'' founder, Seth Barnes, wrote a book about kingdom journeys, both physical and spiritual, and we want to share it with you. For free. See how to get your free copy today!
Ashley Higgins, a World Race alumnus of the August 2009 K Squad and former Adventures staff member, spent the last month of her Race in Cambodia. One of her first ministry experiences was at the infamous Tuol Sleng Torture Prison in the country's capital. She shares her story of meeting one of the few remaining survivors here.
Bethany Waddell, of the January 2012 E Squad, spent this past month of the World Race in Tanzania. She befriended a young, ostracized, unwed mother. When it came time to name her baby, God used Bethany to teach everyone a big lesson about grace. This is her story.
Johnfrank Dieguez and the January 2012 C Squad spent their seventh month of the World Race in South Africa. Johnfrank had the honor of investing in the lives of some of the young men of the town of Cookhouse, and he learned some amazing lessons about the power of grace. When we extend grace toward someone who is struggling, we invite them into the warm embrace of the father's love. This is Johnfrank's beautifully told story.
Dan Matundan, of the recently returned October 2011 B Squad, took a lot of pictures on the World Race. 37,000 to be exact. He went through them all, picked a few of his favorites, and put together this beautiful journey of eleven months through his lens. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Philip Cron, a World Race alumnus from the January 2011 T Squad, recently reposted this story on his blog, and we want to share it with you. While Philip and his team were in Mozambique, he met a little girl who was suffering from a blood disorder. Without a transfusion, she would soon die. So, like Jesus, Philip literally opened his veins to save a stranger. This is his story.
Frequently we are asked, "What qualities are you looking for in World Race participants?" Because the World Race, in the simplest terms, is a Christian mission trip, we're looking for people who follow Jesus. In addition, we're looking for candidates who are ready to...
Rose Huber, of the January 2012 D Squad, found out in Kenya just how much of a difference a short encounter with someone can make. God uses our efforts, even when they're short, to touch the lives of people in need and show them a greater purpose in life. This is Rose's beautifully-told story.
Helena Jordao, of the January 2012 E Squad, and her teammates spent last month in Kenya serving at Challenge Farm. One of Helena's roles was to counsel some of the young girls who had experienced immense pain in their lives. She heard many sad stories and prayed for many children, but this day was different. This day Helena learned what the reality of a spiritual battle is like and whose authority she walks in.
A lot of people leave on the World Race hoping to sample 11 different ministries around the world and be called back to one of them permanently. Sometimes this happens, but sometimes God calls you around the world to bring you back where you started. For our Featured Racer, Rebekah Clark, of the January 2012 C Squad, the latter is true.
Brittany Cantrell, a brand new Racer on the September 2012 L Squad, posted this a few days ago. She and her Squad are launching from Chicago this week to start their 11-month journey. As Brittany says, "Going on the World Race. It's that easy."
Dave Gardner and the rest of the October 2011 B Squad finished their World Race and touched down in the States this week. As they rest and reenter American life, journey with them through the last day in the life of a B Squadder.
A few months ago, teams from the January 2012 C Squad got to help make a missionary's dying wish come true. They partnered with Be Like Brit and Mission of Hope International in Haiti to build a new home and school for 66 children. And they learned what it looks like to see people fully living out their callings from God.
Natasha Grass, a World Racer on the January 2012 E Squad, is in Kenya with her team this month. She and her teammates witnessed God do something incredible right before their eyes: He healed a woman who was dying from a stab would to the heart. Natasha shares her story here.
We've heard how fashionista Kristen Pfund went from studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to working for Perry Ellis to...the World Race? Yes, that's what we've come to know and love about Kristen, she's not your normal Racer. Actually, she's not your normal anything. And we're okay with that.
Kristen Paulick was a Racer on the January 2010 M Squad. She shared her exciting story of praying healing over a sick girl with no pulse.
Leah Malone, of the January 2012 C Squad, is currently on Month Eight of the World Race in India. In this post she reflects on the differences between her life of opportunity and freedom and the frightening realities that many Indian girls face today. Underage marriage is common in India, and Leah puts faces with the statistics.
As the January 2012 B Squad prepares to come home at the end of the month, Asher Garcia tells what it's like to travel a day in their shoes. Come along for a typical World Race travel day in pictures.
Tiffany Berkowitz, a racer from the June 2009 I Squad, spent a month in the red light district in Chiang Mai, Thailand, sharing Jesus with the women who earn a living there. She shares the story of spending the night with two of these women and the trust that was developed by hanging out with them.
Helena Jordao, of the January 2012 E Squad, spent a month ministering at Challenge Farm in Kenya. While there she met Geoffrey, an orphan boy with an incredible story of God's power to overcome even the most horrific circumstances. Geoffrey wrote his story for Helena and asked her to share it with as many people as possible. Prepare to be blessed by a 7th grader.
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... The four July 2013 World Race routes have been posted!
The World Race has some exciting news. We've just entered the newest country in the world! The men of the January 2012 D and E Squads are spending the month of August doing "manistry" in South Sudan, the world's newest official nation.
Kaitlyn Allen, of the September 2011 A Squad, reflects on the best parts of her 11 month journey. Best food, greatest pictures, most treasured memories, favorite pictures? She's covered it all! And most importantly, she gives us 11 awesome reasons to consider going on the World Race!
One of our favorite stories from this past World Race training camp for the upcoming September 2012 I, J, K and L Squads comes from J Squadder Amanda Tuten. She tells about her experience witnessing God's miraculous healing of her squadmate Bekah Spurgeon's ankle.
It's almost time to release our new July 2013 World Race Routes! There are four new routes for July 2013, and within them are two new countries the World Race has never been to. Your challenge: guess the two new countries!
Our most recent World Race training camp in Toccoa, GA was truly something special. The upcoming September 2012 I, J, K, and L Squads gathered to prepare for their 11 month journey, and God did amazing things in their lives. We highlighted some of the best moments in a previous post, but now we would love to share training camp in the Racers' words. Here's what they had to say.
Steven Reed, a recently returned World Race alumnus from the July 2011 W Squad, tore his ACL in the first month of the Race. He decided to tough it out and continue for the next ten months. His teammates prayed faithfully for healing, and a year later Steven is seeing the fruit of those prayers in the form of a miracle.
During her World Race, Emily Simpson, of the January 2010 M Squad, had the opportunity to walk the streets of Manila Bay. She met the prostitutes, the homeless, the sick, and the dying. In the Philippines, she experienced things that break God's heart. This was her response to the pain:
Heather Hartz, of the October 2011 B Squad, and her team are currently in Morogoro, Tanzania. She met a woman named Halima who is plagued by lies and spiritual torment. Even though Heather couldn't communicate with Halima in Swahili, she learned that she can still love her as Jesus loved people while he was on earth. Because love is a verb, and it doesn't always require words.
A team of brand new World Racers from the July 2012 H Squad have been on quite the journey in Dublin. After moving hostels, they met an atheist man who joined in on their team time, came to ministry with them, and eventually accepted Christ. And this is just week one of the Race!
Carly Crookston, of the September 2011 A Squad, fields questions about the World Race from people back home. It's a great read for future Racers and family and friends of World Racers. The follow up blog is great too!
Spending 11 months on an all girls team can be a challenge, but Asher Garcia, of the October 2011 B Squad, explains how it can also be a huge blessing.
Jeff Bray, of the recently returned July 2011 W Squad, recounts his 25 favorite moments of the World Race.
That's right...there are now four routes open for the January 2013 World Race! That means there are four chances for you to make 2013 your most epic year yet! In case you need a little extra inspiration, we've put together a list of 11 reasons why leaving in January is a great idea.
I will never forget the day in 6th grade when the popular boy came over and stood in front of my desk. I looked up into his curious face feeling all sorts of nervous and excited. And then he yelled, "You guys were right! She really doesn’t have any eyelashes!" and ran off to his friends laughing and pointing at me. Ouch. And then the World Race happened. God asked me to pray for eyelashes...
"I realized though that there is a lot of parts of me that I have expected Him to just be the voyeur in....I think that there was still a lack of faith in some areas of me about how legitimate of a friend Jesus can be to me."
"A year ago, this was all a crazy dream, now I'm halfway through this journey." Bethany Waddell of the January E Squad stands at the halfway point of her World Race and shares a little wisdom she's learned along the way.
[From the Archives] One World Racer met two children who had been kidnapped and forced to be soldiers; they were able to escape.
Three thirty-something alumnae (and a young twenty-something alumna) tell you why you should go for the World Race.
God took me on a journey this month through the Bible... He says some pretty bold and radical things and what I came to realize through all of this is that I don’t live like I truly believe the things He says in the Bible.
Glenn Pickens comes up with four Top 11 lists to sum up his World Race experience.
Jacob McLafferty has worn hearing aids since he was in 1st grade. At training camp, he received prayer and then... find out what happened in his own words.
"What is something other racers struggle with after month four?" "Well, most people have grown a bit up to this point," Bill responds. "What prompted so much growth in the beginning of the race - the discomfort of it all - will be something you eventually get accustomed to." Sitting back in my seat I realize that living out of a backpack, feedback, and the people in my life have become the norm. Change has become stable, and I find myself standing looking around this plateau asking myself, 'What's more?'
God is amazing. Yet again I am blessed to be a part of an amazing miracle. Saturday, we did a eye clinic at a Baptist Church in Pervomais'k, Ukraine. When we arrived at the clinic we were greeted by the pastor, who was expecting only twenty or thirty people to show up to the church... there were fifty people at the church already with forty more people signed up.
We've heard how Featured Racer, Kendall Thompson, overcame obstacles to get to the World Race, now we hear how she's handled sickness, leadership, and missing her family. She also shares some advice for future Racers.
There are so many orphaned children here in Cambodia. Children without a mommy or a daddy. Children with no one to take care of them and provide for their needs. Children that have nowhere to go so they end up living on the streets. This leads to the problem of trafficking and child labor. They get caught up in the system. They are put on the streets as beggars to sell things for their 'boss.' They are required to make a certain amount and give it all back. They have no one so this becomes their life. The poverty is very real here and culturally it is accepted.
It is possible that the World Race has become romanticized. As racers share stories of adventure, travel and incredible God moments... it is easy to sit at home wishing you were living this life as well. I know, because I was there once myself. Sitting at my desk (when I was supposed to be working/studying) reading blog after blog... sound familiar? ...I am going to give you a few reasons why you should reconsider signing up for The World Race.
When it became apparent to that same teammate of mine how trapped in lies I was, she hit me in the face with another dose of truth that went like this: “You have forgotten who you are, and you’re making ‘I am’ statements that are not actually accurate to who you are, and ‘I AM’ is God’s name. You’re speaking incorrectly about God when you do that, so go ask Him how you’re supposed to accurately follow the words ‘I am’.”
Dear P squad, My name is Brian Cooke, and you changed my life. Most of you know my story, but this is to let you in a little further. I met you all in late November at your 4-month debrief...
Carl Wilson, January 2010 M squad alumnus, explains that the need for community isn't just a part of life on the World Race, it's a part of life in the kingdom of God.
I have no doubt in my mind that I will finish out these 11 months on the race. When I signed up for this trip, I signed up for it knowing that I was going to finish it. Going home wasn't an option and still isn't.
I woke up one morning last week so irritable that I'm surprised I didn't just spontaneously combust. Every little noise, every sidelong glance, every accidental bump against my arm or gnat on my bread pushed me a little bit closer to the edge.
The life I encourage future Racers to live isn't World Race specific. In fact, I should live like this every single day. It's less about how to get most out of the World Race, and more about how to get the most out of life itself.
The Lord didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night and say- “Leahhh, this is your Father speaking. I want YOU to go on the World Race!”. Although that would’ve been sort of awesome…and really freaky... I actually never thought this kind of trip was a possibility for my future. At all.
We find ourselves in Bulgaria, in a city alongside the Danube River, the border that separates Bulgaria from Romania. It is, we are told, the poorest city in the whole of Bulgaria. And, we’re also told, Bulgaria is the poorest country in the whole of the EU. “So what does this month look like for us?” I hear you wondering. Well, our contact is a rock star, at least he looks like one...
4. When you wake up at night and forget what country you are in 25. You spray yourself down with duty free cologne at the airport so you will smell good for your 10+ hour flight 51. You realize God actually speaks while sitting on top of a mountain in Bolivia
Our group was about to start singing our first couple songs (of which I am not a part, because I do not have a good singing voice) when an older woman approached me. I was sitting on the ground on the side of the road when this woman about 4 and a half feet tall walked up to me. She said hello to me in Spanish and asked very straightforward if I could pray for her eyes.
Weaving through a few alleys we quickly came upon a beautiful woman sitting on a small bench outside her house... she told us she was 101 years old... We laid hands on her small body and lifted her up in prayer, speaking strength, healing and peace into this daughter of the King. As we said “Amen” I wasn’t prepared for the series of events that would follow.
One of the mornings in Siem Reap, Cambodia...I look over to the table next to me and lost my appetite. There were two business men sitting with two Cambodian [women]. I didn’t have to be a detective to know what was going on. It made me sick and angry.
The long awaited list of countries of the January 2013 World Race are now published.
Stephanie May on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, prophecy, praying in tongues, healing, and more.
His favorite food, favorite airline, and other sundries about Kyle Dennard, our newest Featured Racer
Current World Racer Kyle Dennard gives you eleven reasons (an extra 'cause he's being generous) you should go on the World Race.
In a relatively short span of time, Brian went from not knowing Jesus to believing in him to going on the Race. He preached for the first time this month.
One of the most notorious red-light districts in Southeast Asia... stopped.
During our night of worship a few of the girls decided that we needed to heal a little girl named Fea. Let me tell you a little bit about Fea. She was found in a trash bag in the middle of a field when she was only a couple of weeks old; she is now 3.
The number one way to make sure that the World Race is the WORST year of your life is to carry around expectations. Whether they're good, bad, or somewhere in between, the one thing that you can expect to come to expect, is that your expectations will be absolutely destroyed.
We've been counting down to Christmas. Work's slowing down these days so there's time to watch how Racers through the years have celebrated Christmas on the field
How a six-year old girl is mobilizing a Racer. Warning: you may need tissue after reading.
Joshua Maisner got really sick in Malawi. Six months later, he's back in Africa.
The world race is clearly the place to come if you want to all of a sudden find yourself doing a lot of things that you've never done before... the most exciting first though that I have from my trip so far. A couple of weeks ago, I shared the story of Jesus with a non-believer!
It worked! Do you remember when you were sitting in your garage, with not much more than a vision from God? A vision of a generation that would become wrecked for the Kingdom of God. A vision of a journey. A journey that would lead to abandonment, brokenness, dependency, and empowerment. A vision that would call forth the greatness of a generation. A vision that would mobilize that generation, to live out Kingdom dreams on this earth. A vision that would change the world...
They say it happens to everyone at different times. For one, it happens in the cereal aisle. Who ever knew that there could be 276 varieties of cereal, and who could possibly choose just one? For another, it happens in the personal care section. The reality that you really can buy shampoo, conditioner AND body wash just overwhelms you, and let's not mention the fact that Listerine Cool Burst mouthwash may once again enter your daily hygiene regiment. For me, it happened over a salad.
Imagine ministry in a closed country. Then compare it with Christin's actual experience. Do they match up?
Eleven: things taken from the World Race (and not taken); most commonly found items on a World Racer, "World Race-isms" and more...
The January 2012 C, D, E squads have made 11-word declarations about what God's going in the world.
"Why do you believe in Jesus?" The question was posed by a girl in the front row of the small classroom, and about 20 other young, eager Cambodian faces looked at me and my group. We had just introduced ourselves and asked if anyone had any questions for us, and this was the first question we had.
Albania has an interesting history and the story of Christianity in this country is so beautiful that I must share it with you.
Let me start by saying that cliche phrase that India is "ready for harvest." It really is... it's ridiculous. They are all burnt out by all the false hope they pour their lives into... being left empty-handed and hopeless. They are searching for something, anything that will fill that void we all have. That void that is yearning for the creator to hold us in his arms. yearning for hope.
Happy Halloween. It's a little bit different overseas. There were no tacky WalMart shirts (sorry, Mom, but they are pretty tacky)... There weren't any scary movies or monster mashes, no stringy cotton ball spiderwebs or body parts sticking out of trees. Really, it was just another Monday... another Monday at the homeless shelter.
One month left on the race. I naturally have been thinking through the infamous question "How was your year?" Um, I don't even know where to begin. But here's a lame attempt at a glimpse of 2011. Basically, It has been one hell of a year...
There’s no doubt in my mind that those strange Kingdom minded people who I met this week in the woods of Georgia are absolutely CRAZY.
In Tanzania, Sarah P's encouraged by the very women she prays for. In Uganda, Sarah S. prays for an older woman and God shows up. In Romania, Phillip prays for his teammate and God shows up.
[From Adventures in Missions Executive Director, Seth Barnes]: I have some news that I need your help in distributing: Backed by corrupt government officials, an orphanage we work with in Carrefour/Port-au-Prince, Haiti has been trafficking its orphans. Suspecting foul play, we've been investigating for the last year. We've not been ready to go to the media until we had the facts. As a result, the orphanage director is now in jail, but the 75 children left in the orphanage are still in danger.
Brandon Boyd of the October 2011 B squad, which just launched on Friday, kicked-off his World Race at the Catalyst conference in Atlanta last week. Read below to see the incredible start that Brandon had to his 11 month journey.
As grueling and toilsome as the work sometimes get, I am often reminded to delight in it... Some of us hoped to preach to large crowds, to unbind the chains of the oppressed, to provide for the widows and the orphans, but the labor here is just as missional.
Gainesville, GA, Oct. 5--Adventures in Missions is partnering with this year's Catalyst conference (October 5-7) to unveil a visitor tent highlighting the role of social justice in the gospel story. "Christians often focus on just the Fall and the Redemption -- 'We're sinners and we need Jesus' -- but when we leave out the messages of Creation and Restoration, we're cutting out half of the gospel," said Daniel Homrich, Adventures marketing director. The 40-by 80-foot tent will allow conference attendees to journey through four parts of the gospel story -- Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. In their journey, participants will learn about four great social ills: unsafe water, slavery, orphans, and poverty.
God has been moving and continues to move. The people of Laredo, Peru have blown my mind and continue to. I've made friends for life and my soul is extremely sad to be leaving. God blessed me with so much this past month. He blessed me with friendships that will last for life. I got to play and minister with kids. I got to worship in downtown Laredo into the night. I got to preach on a Sunday to a hungry congregation. We got to lay hands, pray, and watch while the Holy Spirit touch and heal people physically, mentally, and spiritually.
[Article from the Baltimore Sun by Karen Nitkin firstname.lastname@example.org] "I can't wait, but I know it will be the hardest year of my life," said Davis, 25, a few days before her planned Sept. 5 departure. "I expect to come back completely different."
In case you haven't noticed, the World Race is a crazy adventure. Hardly a day goes by when I don't say to somebody out loud, "Yes, this is our life". For instance, it rained so much yesterday that today in Cambodia, just to get into church, I had to take off my shoes, hike up my skirt and wade through a muddy pond of drain water. I realize this is not a normal Sunday morning routine, but this IS my life!
Meet Charles: 40 years old; originally from the village of Bwenge, Uganda; passionate about church planting and discipleship; and founder of World Reach Ministries. Welcome to Bwenge, his home village. In May of this year, Pastor Charles' estranged uncle, who had become deeply entangled in witchcraft, in a purely demonic moment, chose to partake in a child-sacrifice...
Desperation. Pain. Hurt. Hunger. This is the story of a tragedy turned miracle. This is what happens when the Lord intervenes on the scheme of the enemy. When the kingdom of light overthrows the kingdom of darkness. And victory of the Holy One rains down on all who accept it.
he World Race is 11 months of stories. Good. Bad. Nasty. Beautiful. God stories. After hearing God stories around the world, we're ready to hear God stories in your home! What does this mean? Starting September 8, 2011 Bethany Dragon and I will hit the road on American soil as the World Race's 1st ever Alumni Racers!
I was on the train in Boston on my way to a lecture at Harvard. I was sitting between two of my friends in my class that were going with me. We were minding our own business, talking about how we were going to get lost at Harvard looking for the classroom that our lecture would be in. And that's when my world changed. A homeless man got aboard the train and takes a seat one down from my friend on my right.
I remember holding him like it was just yesterday. A tiny, two-week old child had been abandoned, found, and given to the orphanage where I was working at, and you could say it was love at first sight. However, this time it was different. You see, instead of working with the children rescued by our ministry partner, I had gone to work in a room where the government sends the kids they don't believe will be adoptable.
Jake and the team have been serving alongside a pastor in Mpatso, Mozambique, right on the border of Malawi. They live in the bush without luxuries like running toilets and four walls with a roof attached to the top. Day after day, the team ventures out to preach the gospel and pray for healing. On the first day of their ministry, at least 200 people responded to their invitation for prayer and over 100 were healed!
I've been back home for the past 2 1/2 weeks. It's been so surreal being back. This week it's hit me a lot more, I miss the race and I miss ouR squad. I traveled the world for the past 11 months with a bunch of random crazy Jesus loving people. We all met July 24, 2010 in Georgia for training camp and that's where our bonds began to form.
Here are three things God's taught Natasha, just in her first week of Mozambique, a place she finds unlike countries she's been to: "There is a hunger here. There is so much passion here. The Christians here are bold. The lost people are open to hear the Gospel. I feel empowered here. The Holy Spirit is here."
When I was still at Flagler College, I decided to sign up for a free book from K.P. Yohannan's ministries here in India. The book was all about the persecutions, trials, and tribulations that the Christians living in India and surrounding countries within the 10/40 window had to face day-in and day-out... ALL those stories are indeed TRUE. Every single one of them! Men, women and even children of the faith being tossed into prison or beaten to the brink of death!
[An update from the Kenya Initiative] God is crazy wonderful and has been showing us that He goes before us, with us, and after us in all kinds of ways…
10. Laying hands on an elderly man with tuberculosis confined to an African hospital bed. His eyes lit up when he realized society could isolate him, but Jesus would still send people to comfort him. 9. Laughing as a monkey stole bananas from a man offering them up to a Hindu idol in a Malaysian cave. The monkey gobbled them up in seconds.
As... my 11 months on the mission field nears an end, I find my heart filled with an immense thankfulness for each one of YOU... The stories I share below from the past 11 months about God moving throughout the nations are due in great part because of each one of you. I am so blessed by all of you who have joined me on this journey. Enjoy seeing what the Lord has done because of you.
God & I... we've been tight since I was like, 14. At the end of (most) every day I'd strike up a convo: Oh hey, it's me again... yeah, it was a great day, thanks SO MUCH for the blessings, God You're awesome and full of mercy, and I love you! But a few things I could REALLY use your help on... Since those days I’ve matured and grown spiritually. Still... I had this feeling that I was barely scratching the surface.
The pastor comes up to me and whispers in my ear right before I open my mouth to speak, "Make sure to share the full gospel, several children here are Muslims." I smiled and nodded at the pastor, and began to share with them... every one of them was looking and listening; so intent on not missing anything, like the audience of a magic show wanting to know the performers secret.
The X Squad arrived in Bucharest for some more training before they leave this weekend to their respective ministry locations.
In my boredom and curiosity, I decided to try and figure out just how mauch traveling is involved in all of this... While putting this list together it made me think of all the faces of the people God has placed in my path on this trip, and just how much ministry can happen on an airplane, in the back of a van, or on a 30-hour train ride.
About 150 Racers from the upcoming September ("Z" & "A") and October ("B") 2011 squads and a Real Life Immersion* team arrived in Copperhill, Tenn. for training camp on Saturday, July 2. Today's day #4
We began Friday afternoon folding booklets and writing the church contact numbers on the back... Naturally, it began raining the moment we stepped out of the house...we kept walking. Then uncle Meg ushered us through an alley and into the ground floor of a home. We were never told we were doing a home visit... but soon we were being pushed up the stairs into a dark, cramped room with about 10 Nepalese people ready and waiting... Uncle Meg... translated that the couple had various physical ailments that we were here to heal...
1. See a need. 2. Saw timber down to manageable sizes, bring them up a 45 degree angle mountain, then start clearing a space for the new house. 3. Start digging the holes for the posts, try to avoid the evil ants wanting to eat your flesh, drill holes into the tops of the posts and make sure the posts are even once in the ground.
Even just looking at them, you instantly sense the fact that they know what they’re doing and you do not. Later on in the dead of night they’ll be curled up in the orange glow of a streetlight trying to sleep. They are the lost boys of Maputo, Mozambique and I have fallen in love with them.
...I did not show up to this "shoot" prepared for this level of emotional unpacking, but I just went with it. A testament to one of the many lessons the past two years have taught me, I have learned to trade deflection and walls for openness, availability, and transparency.
Sometimes all I want to do is crawl up into a ball and rest in my Father's embrace. There's nothing quite like it. I find it's the easiest way to escape the troubles and heartaches of this world.
The U Squad leaders and logistics person meet with YWAM missionaries and go on a "treasure hunt" and experience just how exciting it is to follow God.
It was like any other day of ministry with my comrades of T-Squad - the air was hot, I was smelly, and orphans were tugging on anything and everything that was attached to my body...I thought my ministry for the day was going to be the children, but... He was about to bring someone into my life that I would never forget...
While driving on a curvy road through the Tennessee foothills my stomach began to get butterflies. Each mile was drawing me closer to the entrance of my new life for the next year. I recognized that this entrance marked a radical shift in my way of life.
Entering customs at LAX: Overwhelmed. The signage is all in English with red, white and blue lettering. It smells like...nothing. Clean air. I walk under a sign that reads, 'Welcome to the United States of America'. Panic. Glee. Scared. Elated.
Alex Wilson and her teammates are the second team to have helped with childbirth in World Race history.
Kyle Bradberry selects ten moments that stood out to him from his 11 months.
It's that time of year again... The time when hundreds of teenagers, college students, and adults take the next step toward serving on a mission trip with Adventures in Missions.
#1: played so many games of Spades #2: survived rafting the nile #10: love Jesus quite so much #15: showered so little #16: smelled so bad #32: swam in the Indian Ocean #98: drank so much instant coffee
Before I began this journey on the World Race to fight human trafficking, I had heard stories about young girls in far off countries who live under the threat of being kidnapped, beaten, raped and locked up in Brothels. I had seen documentaries. I knew that type of evil existed in the world, but the girls in those stories had names I didn't recognize and faces that remained gray, indeterminate blurs.
Now, I don't understand why He's waited until month #5 for our team to experience this... but, I am going to trust...
Overwhelmed I fall to tears, / Looking back upon the years. / It's been so simple to see the son, / but foolishly thinking night had won. / You see, the veil is torn / And we've been reborn / Walls broken, death defied...
They are each unique in their own way. They can get on our nerves quicker than anything else and they are the one thing we love the most. They are our moms.
The US State Department issued a worldwide travel advisory for all US citizens abroad, anticipating the possibility of retaliatory violence by Bin Laden sympathizers. While none of our World Race teams are in high-threat areas, we have been in contact with them to keep them aware of ongoing events and to be sure they are all safe.
Do you feel... discontent? stuck in the status quo? unfulfilled by the ordinary? like you've outgrown your life? You're not the only one.
I'll preface this by saying, "At training camp, before The Race, we were repeatedly told to go into this year without any expectations." But I'm about to be really honest... I am discovering that I came into this year with a TON of expectations, and after realizing that, I've also discovered that I expected more than what I've encountered.
Shahad's big brown eyes pooled with tears. I wondered if my question had gone too far. He paused, looked down at his folded hands, and then said, "It is not easy to be a Christian in Pakistan. I can never go back."
A major element of the World Race is, without a doubt, exposure.... Though we are only halfway through our time here in India, once again I am exposed to an injustice that is hard to believe still exists in the world today: the caste system. I don't know when and where I heard that the caste system was no longer prevalent in Indian society, but since being here, I have learned that I have been regrettably wrong in my thinking.
Take a look at what ministry, fun and adventure on the World Race looks like. Silas Cole, whose team was recently in Uganda, shows what life there was like.
This is exactly what life on the S-Squad looks like at 12:30am, seven and-a-half hours into a 16 hour wait for an 8am flight to Cambodia in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Goodbyes are never easy. But this time, it's even harder. I'm leaving a piece of my heart behind. Left in the hands of a rambunctious, ten-year-old girl. A girl who fell in love with me from day one. All because I stood in the front of the room and taught them a fun church song you probably learned when you were 6 years old.
"Oh my God, what have I done?!" That's all that was going through my mind as we approached the first rapid on our journey down the mighty Nile River! That's right, I went white water rafting on the Nile River. It's hard to believe that just a few months ago I couldn't even swim and was terrified of water.
I love Christmastime for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorite things is wrapping presents. In my family I'm the present wrapper. I like to choose the perfect paper for each person's interests, neatly wrap the present with exactly three pieces of Scotch tape, and select an accompanying ribbon to tie a beautiful bow on top. The World Race is the exact opposite of that.
An earthquake hit the coast of Japan late last night/early Friday morning. News sources indicate the earthquake measured between 8.8 and 8.9 in magnitude. This sent tsunami waves rippling across the Pacific Ocean. We've been keeping in touch with teams that are in areas that could be affected.
This month I have made relationships. I have poured more of myself into them than I ever thought possible. I have prayed for them. I have woken up during the night with them on my heart. I have called out their names to God. I have cried for them. I have felt their pain, their abuse. I have heard their life stories. I know them. I love them.
It is hard to describe what we experienced in San Pablo. All we knew is that we were going there to attend a funeral. The pastor the neighboring village had us to join him on the journey earlier that morning. So, without knowing much about why we were going or what it was going to be like, we put on our mud boots and followed.
Just about every day provides a new and unique experience that makes me stop for a second and take in that I'm in the Amazon jungle...
If you knew the amount of lice that was in the orphanage we stayed at, and how many kids we still held, cuddled and kissed without ever getting one bug on our heads...If you what knew what the little boys who I kissed goodnight Monday thru Friday at the night shelter endured from day to day and still could smile back when I said "I love you"...
RJ is 13 years old. His parents are dead. When i asked him where he lived he said that he sometimes sleeps at a friend's house, but he looks as if he has been sleeping on the streets for a while. RJ has a lot of spunk. I really like him.
Last night, my God made a 14 year old Filipino street girl weep in my arms. Her name is Edilyn. She sells herself on the streets daily for the equivalent of less than one American dollar. When she isn't working she sniffs sealant to escape the hunger and hurt of her life.
Standing at the ledge of the rooftop of an eight-story hostel, looking out over the city as praises to God are sung around me, I see tuk-tuks and motos on the streets below. I see Olympic stadium a few blocks away. Governmental buildings stand tall in the distance.
I fell off a laundry line today. From five feet in the air, I tripped and came down to earth with a fairly impressive thud. I managed to pretty severely mangle myself, but that isn't where the story begins. It's only the place that it gets good.
Almost every day I walk out of Aninuan, a village on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, 15 minutes down the road to a hotel that has wi-fi to work on email, logistics, or whatever that days agenda entails. I walk in, I sit down, I order a coke to use the free wi-fi, and set about my work. Every day the same man brings my coke.
In the Philippines, World Racer Krystle Wilcox comes face to face with a picture that helped changed her life...
Sometimes I think I would be okay with hanging the people that make the sex trade flourish by their toe-nails. If given the chance, I just might do it. I was thinking all of these things when God stopped me in my tracks; He reminded me of when I was lost in my own sin...
Today I witnessed a rather heart-breaking happenstance: as I came down the stairs of the treehouse for lunch, wearing bare feet and tired arms from lifting the girls so much the day before, I noticed four unfamiliar faces...
Joel was in a burning house tonight. He ran into a bedroom and saved two twin girls who were clinging to the bars of their window, trapped. Daniel saved the family's furniture and two little boys. Four children's lives were saved at our neighbor's house.
This is where it gets dark. The "nightlife" scene here is insane. There's an area here known as Bangla Road. Think Bourbon Street, with less regulation, and more opportunity for sex. A LOT MORE. The bars and clubs are there not just to provide drinks, but women...
The fact is that we will not be able to stop human trafficking. There will always be a girl who gets abused, a little boy who is taken away from his home, and a woman who is threatened if she doesn't want to have sex...The truth is that God desires no one to be in captivity.
Nasekia. The most beautiful word in the Swahili language when from the mouth of a 12-year-old girl whose deaf ear was just made whole. For the first time in her life Lucy could hear.
Take a look at the lives of some of the people racer Angela Grit has met in the Philippines. How does it compare to your life?
All over the mission field, God is at work! This month's newsletter is just a small sample of what God's been doing...
I think I saw the face of Jesus today. I saw his face in a 12-year-old girl, whisking away the tear that escaped as she snuck in a comment about the absence of her mother amongst conversation about her life in school, boys and chores.
If you ask me what I think about missions, I will tell you three things: Every Christian is a missionary, I am uncomfortable with the definition of "missionary," and it is time for the Church to take a serious look at the way we do missions.
We have gone down to the bars/brothels in Patong two times. Our first night there, we were all kind of nervous about what would happen. It is really hard, at least for me, to be in that setting and try to bring people to Jesus. It took everything in me not to judge the people there. To look at them and know that God loves them just as much as he loves me.
Today our team heard from God. We didn't hear his voice audibly or read his words in the Bible. We didn't hear a booming clap of thunder echo through the mountains or a quiet wind whisper through the trees. He spoke to us in a dream...
As I heard her speaking, my heart sank. The room started spinning as I held back the tears. I sat in shock and nodded as Gail Johnson explained to me about women in South Africa.
You would never know. On the surface, he seems like a perfectly normal, perfectly happy 13-year old boy. His does not seem to be the stereotypical face of poverty...
I weave through the dirt paths in an African slum- trying to avoid stepping in the river of waste running through it. I try to focus on my new Kenyan friend, Philip, as he explains where we are going.
I know that it is already past New Years. And perhaps you have already forgotten about Christmas. Perhaps the tree is already down, and the lights outside your house are haphazardly packed up in your attic or closet.
The World Race launched four squads this month, the most the organization has sent out at one time. Here's a glimpse of what the first few days on The World Race look like for our participants.
Are you a college student not quite of age for the World Race? Last summer, a few intrepid students went on a Real Life: Expedition.
India has been forever changed as the T squad of January racers have all safely arrived. A little jet-lagged, but a LOT excited they piled off the plane and into the nation of India.
This is a poem that was written by a Moldavian orphan : Our parents work hard abroad, and have for many years. We have to grow up without them, but this fills our eyes with tears
Now this Christmas it's time to stop and rejoice in the gifts all around us, simple things like family, friends, health and hot showers...
Kimberly Daniels went on the World Race almost 3 years ago...I had the chance to sit down with Kim and ask her about her time in Bangkok, Thailand where she did outreach to prostitutes in one of the most prominent places for sex tourism: the Nana Entertainment Plaza.
The village in which we are staying is the largest one around this area. Banana, bamboo, coconut, and passionfruit trees...I feel like I am in a secret garden.
Her laughter fills the room. She runs. She jumps. She twirls around.
What if you applied for the World Race for August 2011? What if you got accepted? What if you went and spent that Christmas in...
In this newsletter you will find thoughts from our staff, information on upcoming trips; and stories and videos from the field!
What if you applied for the World Race for August 2011? What if you got accepted? What if you went and spent that Christmas in... Cambodia?
She doesn't know it yet, but her mother is dead and her father is not around. In fact, no one knows who her father is. She has beautiful brown eyes, and skin and hair.
I've been sitting in front of my computer, staring at the screen and waiting for the right words to describe the state of my heart...
Do you ever have those surreal times in life where you step back and realize that who you are is amazingly different than who you were?
The month ended with an African Christmas. We went to church at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and while most Kenyans stay up all night, we all went to bed by 1 a.m. At 6 a.m. we were up again to watch river baptisms. One of the youth that I met at an outreach got baptized and asked me to be his "spiritual parent". I met him when he came out of the water and prayed over him afterwards.
The way they grab for food with their grubby hands, dirt under their fingernails, it aggravates me. I was squeezing a package of black refried beans into the pan - kind of like how one rolls up the tube of toothpaste to ensure every ounce is used. Pleased with my thorough squeezing technique, I tossed it toward the trashcan. Josue intercepted it. He motioned if he could have it. I shrugged. Really, could he get much more out of it? If he could just wait a little longer he was going to get a huge plate full.
For many participants, the World Race is a once in a lifetime experience; it's our hope that it serves as a diving board for them to plunge into greater depths. But some become "repeat offenders." We have alumni return to the field as squad leaders; two have even served twice as alumni squad leaders.
We walked up and down Bangla Road every day and night praying and meeting girls, hoping to gain their trust so we could offer them a better life. A life without fear, regret and shame.
Now, that´s 4,000 people who don't use deoderant. Gathering in a public square composed mostly of dirt and trash. Surrounded by vendors selling everything from cady apples, to glow sticks, to grilled mystery meat. Needless to say, there were a lot of sights and sounds (and smells) to take in regardless of the actual production happening on stage.
All the World Races - each squad, each route - are like snowflakes; no two are identical, they're unique. Those 11 months in a distinct combination of 11 countries has a specific purpose for each Racer. Yet there is a special esprit du corps about the World Race and a couple of upcoming Racers have touched on it.
With Djembe in hand, I marched alongside of Team Hephzibah. We made our way down walking street, grabbing the attention of nearly everyone as we passed. I'm sure we looked like a super awesome hippie band from America. Hopes were high, and we all genuinely expected God to not just show up, but to go before us, with us, and behind us... completely covering the night with His presence.
Several months ago, the Lord breathed deeply into my lungs a passion for worship. Specifically in the Red Light District (read about it here). One of the last nights that I was in the Philippines on my first Race, He gave me a vision. I saw 40 people stand together in one voice, and worship. The vision was like a flip-book, going from scene to scene, the only consistent part of the image being the 40 people worshiping. They were standing on a hill overlooking the nations, walking through the slums gazing into the eyes of the orphans, sitting on a rickety old bus with women in Africa, and...trudging into the darkness of the Red Light District, worshiping all the while.
This month I have felt that God is really leading me to pray bigger and to step out in faith in order that God will do big things through me. I have actively been searching for these opportunities and as a part of that we have been going with Rosa, one of the prayer warriors here in Candelaria, to different houses in the village lifting up the people's needs in prayer. A week ago Wednesday we were asked to go pray for a man named Rigoberto who was 26 and had some kind of respiratory illness. I became exausted while praying for him. As I had my hand on his chest it was if I joined him in his struggle just to take a deep breath. We left after about 30 minutes, but I felt like my work wasn't done yet.
Don't miss this month's newsletter!! It features upcoming trips, the feature story, and stories from the field.
Most if not all World Racers reach a kind of breaking point. July 2010 World Racer Stacey Hume got there in Malawi this month, where she met an eight year old girl with a hole in her throat and all Stacey had to offer her was prayer.
I never thought that I would be hard-headed enough to require coming to Africa to understand more about my relationships at home. Even thousands of miles from Florida, I am still learning incredible amounts about the capacity of the human heart to love. Admittedly and ashamedly, my sister and I have not always had the perfect relationship. After several years of barely talking, recently God has been rekindling our friendship, slowly stoking the fires of trust and forgiveness. But this weekend, I was confronted with an entirely different type of love. A love that smashed all of my expectations of sisterhood.
I knew that Africa would be different. I knew from the bus ride, the dusty landscape, and the few people I had met, that this place would change me. Three days in, and it has already come true.
I've seen it a thousand times before. Beggars on the streets asking for money. They come in all forms here in Cambodia. Young, old, disabled, strung out. They follow you, they cry for you. Same desperation, same story. I've actually gotten to the point where it doesn't even bother me anymore. Or so I thought.
Then they walked in. A pack of men, typical in their arrogant strut & overly confident conversation starters, yet unique in their outfits- pilot jumpsuits & aviator sunglasses straight from Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun. I presume their absurd appearance was meant for some type of costume party; however, I never had enough care to ask. As they approached the bar, I mentally prepared myself for what was to ensue. Right from the start, I knew they were going to be trouble.
Words that spurred me to ask what in the world is human trafficking? What is the sex trade? A mind left pondering such words with no real reason to pursue an answer.
Imagine what might happen if just for a moment you decide to get over yourself. Danny Stinson, January 2010 World Racer, made new friends during his last day of ministry in Targu Mures, Romania. In the span of over three hours, God transformed their hearts and Danny was a crucial part of that change. The story starts like this:
As I waited in line for coffee in a small shop in Sihanokville, Cambodia, I had a conversation with an aged-Australian man that revealed the tragic truth about this country. As he sipped beer and received a massage from a thin Khmer girl, he shared some things that I haven't been able to get out of my head.
Eddie and Miriam, two of the young people that work with the ministry here, got married (legally) a few months ago. However, because these two were unable to afford a traditional "church wedding" they're families and the community still do not see them as wed. Their story and their friendship have truly blessed both of the WR teams here, which is why they have decided to raise some Quetzales, pull on their wedding planning pantalones, and throw them a good old fashioned Guatemalan wedding!!!
I want to share my story with you, and invite you into a glimpse of my world. When I was born my mother was a single parent and unable to support me. She looked to family for help, and was rejected. So she tried to raise me, but was unable to earn enough money to feed me. She decided to send me to a state institutional orphanage. At this orphanage there were literally hundreds of babies and children. The workers were few, and so often times I would sit in a soiled diaper for hours on end. I would cry in pain from the rashes and infections of not being properly cared for. To silence my cries, the workers would inject me with sleeping medication. My cries did cease, however, my body started to stop functioning. My body was not developing properly as an infant, and my brain was not getting what it needed to grow. At the age of five I became handicapped and mute. My mother came back to claim me and take care of me. However, the doctor told her that I would remain in this condition and never be healthy again. This burdened her heart because she wanted her child back, but would not be able to take care of a now handicapped child.
This month's newsletter features thoughts from our director, Michael Hindes, upcoming World Races and stories from the field!
As we are out here, in Moldova/Transnistria spending time with others, the topic of blessings has become a repeat theme for us. It is strange to think that we would be an encouragement to people, when we feel so honored to be invited into homes, and have stories and lives shared with us. Whether it is an ex-drug addict who developed M.S. or a Babuska who is raising her grandchildren, or a woman who attends church in her friend's house secretly because of her abusive husband. These, these are great blessings to us. These are the stories of the body of Christ coming together to give thanks in all circumstances
They call me sister. It's a cultural thing, I think. I don't look a thing like them, I can barely speak their language, their customs are still foreign to me, but we are still brother and sister because we share a bond deeper than bloodlines, we share a love stronger than familial affection.
Dear Sylvia, Today, I met you. I don't know if I will ever get to meet you again, but there are a few things I want you to know.
Here in Puerto Barrios we've been able to do a little of everything: door to door evangelism, the orphanage, the 'slums', construction, churches, and the bar/ port districts, etc. In my opinion it's actually the perfect way to have started the race! Last night was the first time our team got to experience basically what is the red light district here in town. As we planned for our time here, we felt that we should get some roses w/ Deuteronomy 31:6 attached to hand out to the women that God led us to.
My normal has changed. Reality to me is different than it used to be. My eyes have been opened. I am no longer satisfied with a mundane lifestyle. I find myself asking...What do I do now that my "normal" is different?
It started out like any other African Tuesday. I woke up around 7:30 in between two of my teammates in our three person tent inside our crowded room in Busia, Kenya. I spent some time with the Lord in the living room and probably ate a fabulous pancake prepared by our wonderful Chef Lucas. And then headed out around 10:30 to my first and hopefully only African funeral.
Never have I thought that I would be the first white person someone sees. On Friday, the pastor we are working with took us to a little village a couple hours away from Kampala. It's the village that he grew up in and most of his family still lives there. He took us there to visit a small Christian school to encourage the children and parents and to preach at the church there.
Two years ago he was sold as a sex slave for the same price of a meal out for two. His family was promised that he would be sent to Japan to become a king, but what they didn't know is that the day they handed him over to the seemingly harmless woman, they were actually handing their son over to a pimp to be the sex toy for a perverted man in Asia who already had several other children that he used in this way.
I have never seen a dead body before. In America we don't interact with death like they do in other countries. The dinning room was cleared and in the center of this cold cramped Romanian row house lay the body of a slight elderly woman.
The winners have been announced from September's [Q and R Squad] video challenge!
All 64 members of the October 2010 "S" Squad have arrived safely in Antigua, Guatemala!
Read a word from our director, check out upcoming trips, and hear what the Lord is doing on the field!
Philip Cron, who's currently preparing to leave for the World Race in January 2011, was interviewed by Marcus and Joni Lamb on a live broadcast of Celebration, a program on the Daystar Television Network. Philip is now one of the company of guests of Celebration, like Chad Hennings, founder of Wingmen Ministries and former NFL athlete, and Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv.
Tired. Sweaty. Covered in spit up and smelling like diapers. My first night with Cedric earlier this week had left me exhausted and questioning. Is this what I flew around the world to do? Spend 6 to 12 hour shifts caring for an 2 month old little boy, isolated in a tiny orphanage room? What about telling people about Jesus? What about feeding the thousands of starving people right outside the front gate?
It was less like talking and more like gestures with a lot of smiles. One of our translators came over and I learned what she was telling me.
Usually when we think of prison ministry, we think of us going in and making a difference. Well here I am going through the security check thinking to myself, what possibly am I going to do? I don’t even speak their language. I know one word, “sa-lah-ma,” which means, “thank you.”
The site of thousands upon thousands of people living their entire lives on a mountain of garbage and sewage is never normal. Things like that are not normal, and seeing it never gets any easier.
There was nothing spectacular about this road- it was rocky, uneven, & like the others it led to an eclectic group of houses made common only by their shedding flakes of decaying paint. Its ordinary appearance gave us no reason to believe that our encounters here would be any different than the others. As we processed the gravel path, the smiling face of a tanned girl greeted us. Her name was Denisa- we were later told. She was shyly situated behind her mother's legs as they stood in the doorway of their home. Abi was the first to approach. It was only a matter of minutes before he was engaged in conversation with Cornel, the father of Denisa & the man of the household. In their exchange, a beautiful story began to unfold.
Yesterday, a Filipino woman who was a part of the ministry center we are working with here in Manila died of cancer. Her name was Marisol, she was 28 years old and left behind 4 young children and a husband. Some Filipino women had come running up to the center the night Marisol died and grabbed Allison, a World Race staffer who knew Marisol from her time in the Philippines on previous World Races, to tell her the news. They begged Allison to go pray for Marisol, that she would "wake up." Being that it was nighttime, the slums of Cainta aren't exactly the safest place to be, especially as an American woman, and since Allison was leaving at 4 the next morning to catch a plane to the States, she volunteered R and Q squads to go pray for Marisol the next morning.
I first laid eyes on Jayson at a free medical clinic in a poor Philippines village last March. His mom placed him in my arms and fervently started pleading for his life. She clung to me as I looked down at the starving child and begged that I would save his life. She had spent the past month watching him whither away to mere skin and bones and was desperate for a miracle. She was hoping that I might be that miracle.
It's hard to believe that it has already been 11 months or that I have been to the ends of the earth and back. It really does feel like a dream that was so real. It's hard to process all that has happened to me this year and all that I have learned. When I think about who I was before I left for this trip and who I am now, I am shocked because I have truly been transformed and ruined.
As I watched the water quickly disappear, I unexpectedly began to weep as memories of Africa invaded my mind....yes, you read that correctly, crying in the shower....In that moment my mind had flashbacks to...
The September squads have safely arrived in the Philippines!
Yesterday we drove far off into the Romanian countryside. We visited a small, impoverished village and played with kids for five hours. The language barrier was thick, so we spent most of our time smiling and nodding our way through conversations. My arms are still sore from picking them up and spinning them in circles--over and over and over again
This is a video that I made back in Romania to explain more about what the love of God was doing in my heart as well as some of my teammates hearts.
He is the type of man that people throw rocks at. I know because I watched a group of teenagers hurl stones and insults at him. He was dancing by himself in a square in Galway with his radio plugged in his ears, and a bottle of wine in his other hand. He was in his own melodic world when they arrived. They were still in their school uniforms, but that didn’t stop them from stealing his hat and yelling at him. “You’re crazy, nobody wants you, go and die already…” Running up behind him, slapping him and then running away. Every bone in my body hardened when I saw him slump into a park bench, and not even try to fight anymore. All he could do was glare at them, and then look at the ground.
We believe that the Holy Spirit lives in each of us who believe and follow Christ. When such people are gathered, the presence of God is amplified, which is what happened. His presence electrified the environs, permeating through everything that went on.
In two weeks, I will be in the Philippines with 40 other people who have lost their minds. I say other... because I, too, have lost my mind. Or at least that's the conclusion I come to from time to time. When people ask me why I am going out to lead another World Race, honestly, the first thing that runs through my head is something along the lines of... "because I've gone completely insane..."
He was laying there on the dirt. He had only a small shirt on, that was covered in dirt. He looked up at us as he was just laying helplessly on the ground, he tried to make eye contact but his eyes had trouble focusing on anything. His knees where so scraped and torn up, his skin was falling off his knee caps. His legs where the size of my arms. We tried to speak with him and get down on his level, and he jerked away in fear and started trembling in confusion. All of a sudden I see a stream of water and know right away it could only be one thing;pee. He cannot move so now he is just sitting in his own urine- helplessly just sitting there trembling in his own pee. All I could do was stand there, I could not move, I could not speak. I lost it. I looked around at my team mates and I could tell we were all thinking the same thing...how can this be happening?
Tonight, as we were worshipping, Michael Hindes came up during a transition into another song and said that 15-20% of the people in the room don't worship in reckless abandon like God wants us to. "He said, I'm not talking about dancing or singing or speaking in togues. I'm talking about your hearts posture towards God and how you can't worship in reckless abandon to God unless you know who you are, in Him. Many lies or perceptions have been spoken or thought about how God sees you. Many say, as a sinner saved by grace, but that is only Paul's reference, speaking about his circumstance. God sees you as sons and daughters."
I meet a lady named Lilian on the streets of Dublin... this dear lady had a beautiful baby and needed some lunch. I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with her and her baby and pray for her. That day I saw her again by the main square down town and meet her two nieces. I talked and laughed with Isabella and Tania, I tried to talk to them about their dreams and hope-filled futures. This family is from Romania and moved to Ireland to beg.
A few days ago I had a conversation with my friend Danny. The ideas from this conversation have lingered & become the food for a majority of my thoughts as of late. Danny spoke about relationship with God & more specifically about a relational idiosyncrasy that I often fail to comprehend- resting in the Lord.
I started dancing when I was 9 years old. I saw my sister's dance and drill team when she was a junior in high school and I wanted to be exactly like them. To me, they were flawless, graceful, amazing and just beautiful. Perfect. Everything that I wanted to be... and they got to wear cowboy hat and boots and fringe!
Let me preface this post by saying I have shoes. Literal and figurative. I have one pair of broken flip flops, one pair of chacos and a pair of tennis shoes. I also have a closet full of other shoes back at home. But there is another type of ‘shoe that I have; issues. Family issues, personality issues, issues of worth, respect, love. And I have more than my share of those as well.
Justice. Poverty. Widows. Orphans. Possessions. Treasure.
Several days ago, I was walking back home to our mud hut in the mountains of Uganda with Caley. We were talking, in the middle of a conversation, as children ran up to us and started saying our names and wanting to hold our hands. I'll be honest- I didn't want to hold anyone's hand. I wanted to keep walking, talking to Caley.
For every action there is a reaction. If you light a match, it's going to burn. If you drop a glass bottle from a 5 story building, it's going to shatter. When you perform an act of kindness toward someone else, you're going to get them thinking- but from my standpoint; for every action passed on from one human being to another, it's not just a reaction given off, but a chain reaction.
This Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go to Kumi hospital to do ministry. As I've mentioned previously, hospital ministry is one of my favorites. For over a century, Kumi Hospital has been known for its Leprosy ward. The ward thrived in the middle of the 1900s.
It happened again today. Someone referred to me as a missionary. Nearly 8 months into the race and that word, when used to define my being, still takes me by surprise. In recent months, my name has been attributed to far more ludicrous claims such as prophet, healer, angel, preacher, messenger, & magician.
It is so very precious to be able to spend this year trying to figure out what God is calling me to do with my life. This rare privilege has been the most difficult and incredible decision I have ever made. I have learned more and felt more and grown more in 6 weeks than I have in the entirety of my 5 year part time Christian walk.
Words can't recount the reality that my eyes see each day. Yet, my reality is far different from theirs. I am simply in the middle of it all, unable to often understand my place or my voice.
I am sitting in a matatu with a beautiful 15yr old girl next to me. She is holding my hand. She is nervous. I can see it in her eyes. I look out the window. We are silent. My mind wanders. . . .
Living in a house of 46 people can be pretty crazy at times. Now I just might be one of the most extroverted people you will ever meet, but even I occasionally desire a little time to myself. On the race that typically involves putting in those earbuds, pressing play on that iPod, closing your eyes, and saying, "I'm by myself, I'm by myself."
Melissa, his wife, called out in worship for God's rain to fall and almost before the words left her mouth a literal downpour started... coincidence? Maybe... but a beautiful coincidence if nothing else... you decide.
A World Race team in Tanzania (team Se7en on the January 2010 squad) needs your help and prayers. They were robbed earlier this week and are in need of basic items (backpacks, toiletries, clothes, etc.). Fortunately, everyone is completely safe and doing well, but they lost nearly everything they had.
When Talia Barnes was on the World Race in 2007-2008, her squad partnered with the Nicaraguan Christian Children's Center, or CICRIN. Located in Ometepe Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, CICRIN cares for twenty to thirty children at a time. Hellen Vindas, originally from Costa Rica, has been serving as CICRIN's
She told us of the trials facing these young girls: forced marriage to much older men; early pregnancy; school dropout; rape; and the most devastating- Female Genital Mutilation or FGM.
I have become a representation to simple Kenyan village peoples. They will very likely never again see a white mzungu American nor will more than 50 people ever know their names or who they are. I have become a voice, I have become a symbol - that of Christ, to such a unique audience. I can't take this thing lightly.
Today I wanted to vomit. We were ushered into a small holding cell between large 16 foot wooden doors with metal bolts and large locks and a wall of bars through which was visible a large yard filled with over 600 inmates clad in blue and white stripes.
My church gave me a book to read towards the end of the World Race entitled Re-Entry by Peter Jordan of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). He begins the book by analogizing re-entry from the missions field to home to the landing of a space shuttle from outer space back to earth. This June is the final month of the World Race for the August 2009 Squads; here are some thoughts from two women as the squads begin their descent into the atmosphere.
Today, I had yet another unique experience on the World Race. Today, I met Mama Obama, Barack's grandmother. She lives on the outskirts of town, about a two hour drive from where we are staying and our contacts made arrangements for us to meet her. When we arrived, we were escorted to chairs that were placed under the shade of a large tree, just outside her home. She welcomed us and told us she was happy we were able to see the humble background that Barack came from. It truly was humble. I imagined she lived in some grand home, but she lives in a small, cozy home and cows roam around her front yard with the chickens.
World Race Trip Giveaway: Go Around the World in 323 Days... For Free!
The June 2010 race is off and running safely in Ukraine. All racers have arrived and are currently on their way to their ministry sites for the month!
HIV is [here] rampant and local men are taught to believe sex with a young, young virgin will heal them. Often the littlest ones are sown up multiple times to appear to be untouched. Most boys have their first encounter with a prostitute before they reach puberty and this cycle continues throughout their life.
I don't really know what i was expecting to see today. But i certainly didn't have this in mind. I've known for a long time that Cambodia is the place of the killing fields. I never knew what those were. I've heard certain words thrown around, sure. Words that could only attempt to paint an accurate picture. Khmer Rouge. Torture. Atrocity. Recent. Mass Genocide. But I had no idea what I was actually getting myself into. We pulled up to the old prison this afternoon. The halls of this place were once bustling with enthusiastic adolescents who were eager to learn and excited about making a difference in their world. This high school became a main setting for detention, interrogation, torture and killing after being overtaken by order of pol pot in April 1975. Over the span of four years over ten thousand innocent people came through the doors of this concrete hell. Only seven people walked away from the torture chambers that should have been an inevitable death. Chum Mey is one of those people. I would not hesitate to call it a divine appointment.
Sometimes when we hear about a crisis, the only names we hear are the names of the nation, cities, or villages, but what about the people? I want to zoom in a bit from the big picture that I have been portraying through my blog. I want you to see DEEPER into this nation. I don't want you to remember a name of a city or a village. Rather, I want you to get a glimpse of a face behind the NUMBERS, a face beyond the NEWS, a face like this young boy that my heart is now connected to.
Today I walked through a small village in Nigeria, where just months prior hundreds of families were slaughtered in the wee hours of the night into the break of dawn. March marked the calendar in a long decade of conflict between Christian and Muslim, ethnic groups, political groups, and neighbors. This place once named for salvation and peace. Now, the blood of God's children, Christian and Muslim, cries out in desperation for justice, peace, and hope.
Friday afternoon we prayer walked Banglar Road before the evening's ministry started. This time I walked into Soi Eric, one of the seven bar allies. It was deserted. Dead. Lifeless. The only difference between now and what was to come that night would be loud music and flashing neon lights,
Tattoos and scars peek out from where his t-shirt doesn't cover his skin. Evidence of a past life. Once working as hired killer, Luke was immersed in a world of demons and violence. But God changed His life. In prison, he had an encounter with some Christians and the Holy Spirit. Luke then devoted his life to Christ.
September 2010 World Race Route Interested in joining the World Race? APPLY HERE! Watch the World Race Promotional Video
That's exactly what we saw: girls for sale. Hundreds of them. They lined the streets, the bars and the brothels. We watched them pour out of vehicles in droves--invading every square inch of the place. With their mini skirts, flat ironed hair and painted faces, they headed out for the night in hopes of selling their bodies. The scene was overwhelming. I almost couldn't take it in.
"You're the only one who survive," he said. I didn't understand, but when I asked Kikim what he meant by that statement, he started to talk about other people who had gone to teach him, but had given up only after a couple of days. During our time in Malaybalay, we would head there every day to teach the minors. Through our daily conversations, Kikim and I found out more about each other.
Enter a world entrenched in Islam. A people within the thriving metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians still live in ignorance of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you delve into this culture of works-based religion, strong self-discipline, and uncanny faith, you will have the unique opportunity to deliver hope and point the people to their Redeemer.
I knew something was wrong as soon as I walked in. Kikim was nowhere to be found. I called out for him and the other boys pointed behind a curtain. He walked out of the jail cell's makeshift bathroom with a troubled look on his face. Something was definitely wrong. He sat down and told me he didn't want to study. Because the communication and language barrier is an issue I almost always have to ask him to explain what he's saying. "You don't want to study? We can do it tomorrow if you want," I said.
As the night began, I gazed down the row of familiar bars that we have frequented over the past few weeks. We sat in front of the entrance to the line of bars that make up what is called the Red Light District here in Chiang Mai (one of many). The stretch of neon lights, concrete, dancing women, and lonely men caused my heart to drop. I could barely breathe. It is heavy, and it is hard being there every night. There is nothing cool about women
Pastor Gift is the only hope that six hundred orphans and forty grandmothers in Nsoko, Swaziland have got. Every day he helps deliver their food. He visits them and prays with them. When their AIDS symptoms become overwhelming, he takes them to the hospital. And when they die, he conducts their funerals.
The women were lined up in a row in front of each bar, looking absolutely stunning in their mini skirts and flashy tops. Still their smiles out shined any of their glitz and glam. We were welcomed to sit at one of the bars that we had been to the night before. Fon sat down with us to challenge us to a game of connect four.
Gracie, my friend in Tanzania, stood by a wall waving goodbye as Matt and I drove off in a cab on our way into town. We wouldn't be back until that evening and were leaving at 4 a.m. the next day so it was the last time I'd see her. I knew it. I don't think she did.
Three days ago, I met Gaiw, a 10-year-old scavenger boy, living in a dump community on the outskirts of Phnom Pheh, Cambodia. After a long day of work, collecting scrap metal in baggies... Gaiw exchanges his metal for $1. His days seemed endless to me. He collects scrap metal, to survive? What thoughts go through Gaiw's mind each day, Lord?
I met Liney last night after an international church service. She and three other powerful and amazing women of God, Derozette, Carrye, and Michele are in Siem Reap because God called them here, and I am becoming more and more convinced that if for no other reason it was to meet team Fullness of One.
Back in high school there were superlatives that either improved or crushed the self-esteem of teenagers everywhere with categories such as Cutest Smile, Best Couple, Best Dressed, and Most Likely to Succeed. Ghana, a place with big hearts and big smiles, is certainly unique enough to win more than a few superlatives. After much debate, here are the winners.
On April 3rd I woke up in the Philippines. That night I ate dinner and slept in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The next day I caught a plane; that night and the night of the 5th I laid my head down in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Then the morning of the 6th I caught a six hour bus ride to where I will be spending the next three weeks, Siem Reap, Cambodia. It's during those times on the World Race when I have to manually hit the pause button, step back and ask myself, is this really my life?!
The Lord is allowing me to witness HIS PERFECT LOVE in extremely tangible ways this month. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Primary Example: Arvin. My little Filipino buddy. He is one of those kids that goes a mile a minute. Just six years old. One of six children. Third youngest sibling. Born & raised in the Philippines.
Jayson is the one-month old who's starving to death because of severe cleft palate/lip (a dying baby blog). My eyes fill with tears as I recount the emotions I experience every time I've been able to hold him while his mother looks on in despair. "Help my baby," she has pleaded again and again. "Yes, oh yes, I want to!" I respond while racking my brain as to what I could do.
The precious angel sitting on my dear friend's lap is Sara (her name has been changed to protect her). She is 12. Over a year ago her father left her mother for another woman. Her mother then found a job working in the home of a woman living far enough away that she stayed at the woman's house instead of commuting. Sara's younger siblings went to live with her father and step-mother, but not Sara.
What do you do when you see a good friend writhing on the ground in pain? What do you do when you cry out to God, and He seemingly doesn't hear? We chose to praise the Lord.
You wade through the streets with a full stomach feeling like life is honkey dorey so why shouldn't theirs be, too. They smile at you and call you "friend," "rafiki." They joke with you. They ask you for ten bop (some guy actually asked me for 5000 shillings today!), new shoes and to come to America with you. You laugh. It's funny.
We've bathed them, fed them, held them, played with them, wiped away their tears, read them countless fairy-tales, listened to their sad stories, laughed at their jokes, and kissed them goodnight.
All my desires of one day owning a clothing boutique were prideful. I had many selfish plans in store and the Lord was very far from them. After surrendering these dreams years ago, I invited the Lord to guide my path... He recently reignited my passion for fashion design and allowed me to use it for His glory.
He's called me to do but I can't help but feel a bit stagnant. We don't speak the language so we can't contribute during the lesson plan much, we entertain the kids as the parents learn but their understanding is little as we sing songs and teach bible stories. Sometimes
Today's my mom's birthday. Happy birthday, mom! I miss her so much and I spent the greater part of yesterday thinking about her. I thought about her as 7-year-old Grace sat on my lap and played with my hands. I remembered being young and sitting by my mom at church and using her fingers as a pretend piano.
I sat crosslegged on a couch in Patrick's house staring at my computer screen and trying to decide whether to jump into one of the ugliest social problems in Kenya. The problem was Street Kids, dirty, glue-sniffing, begging Street Kids. The decision was whether to try and help.
Eventually the night had come to an end... Shebi wouldn't let me go. He kept jumping up to me repeating the same words over and over. I figured he was saying "lets play" or "pick me up". He wouldn't stop, so when Pastor Bone walked by I decided to ask him what Shebi kept saying... Shebi says again "ninataka baba"... "oh" says Pastor Bone "he says he needs a father"
I have walked the alleys of Happy Land twice since arriving in the Philippines... And words do not justify how this cruel reality happens. A dump...a shelter? I am puzzled. Generations of rubbish...a home? A pile of garbage...a crib for a suffering infant? An aluminum kitchen island...a bed for a family of three? This is their reality. AND THIS IS NOT OKAY.
We had just pulled into the carepoint in Thulwani. The kids gathered around the big tree to welcome our arrival. I noticed a boy sitting on a concrete slab all by himself. His leg looked bandaged up. I immediately went over to him and with the help of our translator I ask what was wrong.
Anger welled up inside of me as I read the words on the wall written in big bold capital letters. "NO REFUND". The words hit me like I had been punched in the stomach, leaving a sick nauseous feeling. It was the first thing I saw as I entered the massage parlor.
There were no erasers or boards, but there was chalk. And chalk was the word God gave me. Before leaving the US. I thought it was going to turn into a creative fundraising event idea-but things never quite panned out. I didn't know if I should give up on the idea or just allow God to evolve my understanding of His word "chalk". As ministry in Australia neared, chalk came up again, and I saw it everywhere the first week we were there. But what to do with this chalk?
The smell of fish trespasses on my nostrils every morning as I dodge the trikes, bikes, and cars that go speeding down Valley Gulf Rd as I timidly try to cross the street. I have not completely fallen in love with the culture of the Philippines. Much of what is around me could be described as a beautiful chaos, or on some days just chaos. S
Tasma: You want family? Me: Sure (Smile.) Tasma: You be my sister, you call me da da. Me: Okay, sounds good (Huge Smile.) Who is the rest of my family? Tasma: You call her Mom Mom. (Tasma pointed to an elderly woman weaving.) Me: Is that my grandmother? (My heart pounded at the great wisdom in her eyes.)
Congratulations to Ashley Higgins for winning the "Blogger of the Month" award for February. Read here for some of her top blogs:
Feb. 26 A couple of hours after the accident, Matt and Dan went back to the Jinja Public Hospital to check on Trevor. Trevor had been admitted and his mother, Sarah, and close family friend, Nathan, were visiting. Matt and Dan talked to Sarah and Nathan and found out that the family is Christian and Nathan is the family's pastor.
World Race Exposure is your chance to get involved with the World Race for a month this coming summer. The idea behind this new Real Life program is to submerge you in the lifestyle of a World Racer.
In November 2009, Matt, Dan and Austin were baptized together in the Jordan River by their brother, Aaron Bruner. As they prepared for the baptisms, they reminisced about the dreams and visions the Lord had given them and how He was going to use the three of them in His Kingdom to do huge things (read Aaron's blog about it here).
"I remember when life was easy," I think as I lay on a mattress, along with Aubrey and Jodi, that's been set up outside for us. The three of us and Robin are all sick with some sort of stomach bug that's zapped us of all of our energy.
I stood outside on the sidewalk with a sign that said "Want an apology?" A group approached and asked me what I was trying to apologize for. I briefly introduced myself and the World Race and told them that I am a follower of Christ and I wanted to apologize on behalf of how Christians have misrepresented Jesus.
We didn't realize what God had in store when we sat down to eat that day. We were sitting at a table with two of the girls who go to school at the youth center. They are both 15 and live just outside of Byron Bay.
When I picture traveling evangelists, I usually imagine a bike, a crisp white shirt, and a perfectly tailored answer concerning salvation. That, or a sweaty purple suit shouting something about fire, hell, and brimstone. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would become the very thing that I do not have a particularly good taste for.
I'm called to live a life that literally brings Heaven to Earth. The best part is that it is not about me using an "oar." Not only is it hard work, but it is not necessary. Christ is the motor on this boat.
The World Race and Real Life are going to be in College Station, TX this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (February 19-21) for a weekend conference at LifeChurch. It'll be a time to come and learn more about the World Race and Real Life, talk with the staff, and more.
I can't stop crying, I can't show them I'm crying,...I'll put my sunglasses on so that they can't see me crying. That's not good, they should be able to look me in the eyes. Okay, God but if I take my glasses off, they're going to see I'm crying and they're going to think that's kind of weird because there's nothing happening.
Jesus said: "heal the sick, raise the dead, heal the lepers, and cast out demons. give as freely as you have received." the minute i saw him i knew i needed to pray. i was doing door-to-door evangelism with lindsay for the day.
There have been great moments this month, but in general Australia has been a difficult month for me to be honest. I keep thinking "man I can't wait for Africa when we will be dealing with real problems, and people who really want Christ." In a weird way I almost think the bugs, dirtiness and poverty of people makes me more excited to share Christ. LAME! LAME! LAME!
I am so new at this- this "Holy Spirit thing". I arrived at training camp with my neatly trimmed Southern Baptist doctrinal theology squarely tucked in the bottom of my heart unaware what presuppositions it planted there.
Congratulations to Weston Belkot for winning the "Blogger of the Month" award for January. Here are some of his top blogs:
Same Smile... Same Laugh... Different Appearance. Same Savior... Same Love... Different countries. Same Passion... Same Future... Different Stories.
My heart was racing as I jumped into the back of our truck. Sarah and I were on a mission. A million thoughts flooded my mind as we set out to find babies' milk. Stores had been raped of their supplies and it was already 10pm, hardly the hour to find a pharmacy open. I sat there in the back of the truck bouncing along the bumpy terrain just pondering.
...and then it happened. A little girl, slowly stepped forward and Grace said "she wants to accept Jesus"
"It's hot; I'm just trying to feel the wind." Those simple words, said by a man who has lived his entire life in a hot climate. Such a simple phrase yet when they passed my ears had such a bigger meaning to me.
These are the faces of the children at the Cambodian Hope Orphanage in Phnom Penh. An abundance of life, affection, joy, gentility and selflessness flows from their every touch and Asian-accented English word.
I see and have declared this country is rising, this country is bursting forth with so much it will overflow onto the other Asian nations. Cambodia will be a leader in Asia, this country will be a light for all to see.
Brittany Hylton is a normal ten year old. She rides bikes, swims in the lake, and dreams of owning a horse. For the past 5 years she has saved up all of her money to buy this horse. She wants nothing more than to have it.
When I was twelve years old, my main concern was surviving middle school. My mind was focused on things like impressing my crush, having my own phone line,and getting my first kiss. I think back to those years and remember how awkward I was. Life was tough on all of us at that age, right? So I thought.
"Make Friends with Nobodies; Discover Beauty in Everybody." This is from the book of Romans, chapter 12 and I've been repeating it to myself over and over again.
Since the earthquake happened in Haiti we've all been looking for opportunities to help. AIM is launching a huge effort to make a long-term difference.
We were walking along in the slums when the somewhat startling statement came out of nowhere. "Marissa, I want you to continue to pray for me when you move on." I automatically told her "yes, of course I'll pray for you." Something I've gotten used to saying over the course of the last five and a half months...
By this time it's no surprise that Haiti was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake two nights ago, one of the worst earthquakes that the country has experienced. We are now mobilizing relief teams.
By this time it's no surprise that Haiti was hit with a 7.0-magnitude earthquake two nights ago, one of the worst earthquakes that the country has experienced. We are mobilizing relief teams to go into the area and help.
"Did that really just happen?" That is the thought that has captured my mind the past several hours. Today that plan was...
"Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?"
Life is like playing in a basketball game. If you're in the game, you'll have the opportunity to have opportunities, but you still have to take the shot. If you're on the bench you'll merely watch others partake in what could be yours.
Currently I'm stuck in an airport. Sounds oddly familiar, right? My roommates thought it was crazy that I was going to sleep in the terminal overnight. And yet, it felt comfortable. Somehow a bit normal. The only thing missing was about 51 other packs and persons to share in the experience.
Africa is a place full of the most colorful culture that I have ever witnessed. When I look out the door of my tent, I see the silhouettes of deep purple mountains, vibrant colors of exotic fruits that decorate the lush greenery completely surrounding me, and the most crisp, clear blue sky imaginable...
I shaved my head... for two reasons really.
The best crazy things and favor comes when you listen to his voice and follow where he leads. Here's a few crazy things that have happened to us since visiting the bars...
Before coming on the Race, I knew that we would be living a life of poverty this year - camping in our tent for much of the time and eating less that we are used to. In fact, our team's budget for food is a whopping $2 per day, per person which, as you can imagine, is the bare minimum.
Even though the sin in this city can be overwhelming, we have been blessed to see some fruit of our labor. There are two specific women I want to share about.
My Thesis: When men of God unite with a common vision, a precedent is set that calls forth the weary, worn down, and bored into an existence filled with edification, adventure, and respect.
Yesterday we had a Christmas party for the girls in the English class, which was also our last class to help out with. As the girls filtered in I saw a new face in the crowd...
Someone asked me recently, what's the worst response I've gotten when I tell people about the World Race. Honestly?
World, meet Jomel-in my personal opinion-one of the coolest kids you might ever meet...Jomel often finds himself smack in the middle of the "older boys" and the "younger boys" groups, changing his demeanor depending on who he is with...
Walking Street in small comparison is like Bourbon Street in Louisiana, except x10 worse. It is over a mile of bars, clubs, and peep shows with girls as young as 12 yr old dressed up...
Michelle Euperio is counting down the days till January 4, 2010, when she and 52 teammates board a plane bound for New Zealand. The Pacific Rim marks the start of their journey around the world - sharing the love of Jesus.
Are you thirsty for a little adventure, to see the world and discover more of yourself? Have you ever thought about going on a pilgrimage? Here's your chance...
God has power to restore in miraculous ways. He can redeem even the most lost people.
We are now on Day 8 of a 14 day technology fast (obviously posting blogs is excluded from the ban!). I am amazed at how much I, and my teammates, have grown over the past week without iPods, facebook, email, movies, etc. Actually, I am amazed we are actually surviving!
On December 2nd, God answered a two year long prayer of mine! In September of 2007, I began sponsoring a boy through Compassion International: Jose Enrique from Nicaragua!
My wife, Kathy, and I have been married nearly 29 years. We have three sons ages 22-25, they are all in the middle of pursuing God's plan for their lives. It often feels that their walk into destiny is actually a walk away from us.
June 2010 World Race Route Interested in joining the World Race? APPLY HERE! TRAINING CAMP DATES: May 22 - 30, 2010
I feel like I'm the luckiest man in the world! I spend my days traveling the world and seeing people come alive in Jesus! Not the idea of it, or the theory/theology of it, but the real tangible substance of it!
The very first day we were at the Quinta, a 17 year old boy named Carlos was brave enough to talk to us. His eyes had been blood shot and irritated for several years so we asked if we could pray for him. That was the start of something...
I vaguely recall learning in an Introduction to Philosophy class that many characteristics, emotions, and experiences in life come in opposites. It made sense in my head then, and I got an A- in the course. Six years later I'm putting into application the lesson learned.
When I was in Middle School, I read a book called Lady in Waiting. It was a devotional for girls to teach them how to become mighty women of God. It has been about 10 years since I have read that book, but its impact is still making waves in my life today. The first chapter is titled "A Lady of Reckless Abandonment"..
You only get one chance. This thought runs through my mind each time I leave one country and enter another. I pray that I took advantage of every second God gave me...
While painting the church with watered-down paint was not easy, we were fulfilling a prophecy! We met this church in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala during a time of grieving...
Waiting to go home after a long day, my team and I notice an elderly woman hobbling up to the bus. She asks us a question in Turkish to which we smile and shake our heads..
Her name is Hanan (not her real name). She is fifteen years old. She is beautiful, though I imagine she is all the more lovely when her hair is not covered, like it always was when we were visiting...
I enjoy when he smiles, a stark contrast to the angry faces around. Not angry with us, just anger in their eyes, anger in their hearts. I can see it. How I long for a peace to transcend them and fill them. How I long for an awakening to occur...
A few days ago my team decided to do a prayer walk through the town we are staying in here in Turkey. We walked up this hill next to a big castle over looking the city; an elderly man walked up to us and said, "chai"...
Upon return, every racer gets hit with an onslaught of questions. Rebekah gives us a basic overview on some of her answers...
This is the first in a series of letters that I can imagine God writing to me. It's fictional. I made it up. But the sentiment expresses my thoughts
Jennifer and her team visited the Colosseum in Ephesus. They stood in the middle of the amphitheater and preached to hundreds...
You've heard the tales of delivering a baby in an elevator? Try delivering one in the back of a van in the bush of Africa.
Don't underestimate the power of love. What being Jesus' hands and feet practically looks like...
Miles Tiegs, who's presently on the field, dishes out some great insight if you're thinking about the World Race. Check it out
Starting next summer, see the world through a whole new set of eyes. Training Camp: May 22 - 30, 2010
We like to give others opportunity. We like to give YOU opportunity. And there's a big one waiting in India in September 2010
Since returning to Swazi, I was completely surprised to learn during our first week that Dudu was still alive, living across the street with her mother, father, sisters, and her son. When I found out, I was completely overjoyed.
Today was an adventure of finding Justine. Justine was found, originally, by Ryan Stewart, a January 2007 World Racer. And today, we went and found here again.
We do not have to work for life or love, we have already been given it. It is something that we can believe, something that we can live in.
So many times we think we need to go out and feed and clothe orphans, and while that is sometimes true, we should never underestimate the power of touch.
There's a lot of intensity to the World Race, but are you capable of withstanding the change on your life? Check out the June 2010 Race Route and see if you have what it takes.
We lead a cell group of jovenes – young people our age. One main focus that we have is empowerment. We're only in Guatemala a short time, and we want to maximize our impact.
Her name is Fetija and she lives in Montenegro, a country of 700,000 with roughly 200 Christians in the entire nation.
The last few days my team has been building the second floor to a house for a woman named Isabella and her two children.
Up until March 22 I was battling alcohol addiction. I had become someone who I hated, embarrassed to look at myself in the mirror. I tried to quit drinking on my own will but could not... I failed countless times.
I am writing this while on a bus ride to my team's first ministry site: Panajachel, Guatemala. The reality of what I signed up for is finally hitting me.
Experience a year of adventure, ministry, community and self-discovery. World Racers develop broken hearts that propel their hands to act for God's kingdom around the globe. It's merely the beginning of a life-long journey.
Many of you know by now about Tara Reed, the June 2009 World Racer who was injured while on the field last week. She's recovering really well and will not need surgery; however, the doctors' reports that are coming back are saying that she's going to be immobile for several months.
World Race Director Michael Hindes shares with us his passion and heart for the race.
Ever wonder what the latest scoop is with the World Race? Check out our monthly newsletter and sign up for updates!
At first I thought that here in Viile Tecii we were ministering to "the least of these." I thought the gypsies in this village were poor, were in need. Until our host Abi took us just down the road through a little field....
Interested in finding out the latest World Race route? C'mon, you know you're curious
Relive some of the pictures, highlights, and thoughts from our August 09 team's first destination on the Race...
Starting this January visit 11 countries in 11 months. Do you have what it takes?
Every few months the AIM offices become a popular destination for young men & women from all over the country, preparing for the journey of a lifetime.
Ever wonder what the latest scoop is with the World Race? Check out our monthly newsletter and sign up for updates!
As an official "World Race missionary" for nine and a half months now, I am realizing that my mindset has been completely altered. Now when I look at most people, I habitually find myself asking the Lord whether or not He has something to tell them through me
China, India, Nepal, Romania, and Tanzania - just to name a FEW. Where else are we sending radically committed disciples in April? Check this out to see
It's hard not to look out the window of this second-story coffee shop, glance from face to face of the tourists, and not try to understand what their real purpose is here in Cambodia.
Let's face it: we are going to spend a third of our lives working in some capacity or another. So, do you want a job or a calling?
These people needed more than medicine. They needed more than a Doctor or nurse. They came to where we were because of the hope and love that was offered. Yes, the service we offered was free...but it was so much more than that.
What's ministry look like in Guatemala? It looks like many things. Luke Cantrell gives us a glimpse in these videos. Check them out!
We've been going through a lot of changes here at the World Race. One of the many changes we have had in recent weeks are developments in upcoming Races! We just introduced the first of the 2010 WR Routes. China, Nepal, India, Thailand, Israel, Egypt, and more.
The coffee house connected to the YWAM in Budapest is still under construction. Meanwhile, they are open (in a different location) every Friday evening, and a bunch of people, including English teachers and their Hungarian students, come to hang out and make new friends.
Ever wonder how the World Racers are doing in Guatemala? Here's your chance to check out some pictures of the work they're doing.
Friday night we had the opportunity to do some ministry work in the red light district of Puerto Barrios.....about a 10 to 15 min drive from our house.
The man was Marilyn Manson and I was leaning on his concert poster. He became the topic of our conversation and when we realized that the concert was the next day I exclaimed, "Hey, lets go there!"
A few years ago Andrea and her boyfriend got pregnant. He told her she must choose him or choose the baby- she couldn't have both. She struggled with the decision but chose the boyfriend and aborted the baby.
For most people, one of the most daunting things about going on the World Race is having to raise $13,800. But support raising shouldn't be a deal breaker. Read on
And there comes a time when you're ready to go deeper. What if you could go somewhere for more than just a week or a month or even a summer? What if you had an actual missions experience that changed the way you saw the world?
I have also seen God in so many people in so many ways. I have seen love, hope, and joy rise from the darkest corners of oppression and desperation the world has to offer...
Are you thinking about the WR? Check out our next Race route and see where God can use you beginning this fall
During this past month we spent our time in ministry with an organization called SHE, Self Help and Empowerment. This Christian based ministry primarily focuses on a tourist area in Thailand that makes most of its money off of prostitution.
Are you bored with lifeless Christianity? Tired of talking about Jesus without following him? There is a generation that yearns for an opportunity to engage in community, authenticity, and self-sacrifice.
Financial support-raising is the biggest fear that people have about going on the World Race. Thankfully, the Adventures In Mission (AIM) staff makes the process as painless and easy as possible.
Maybe you're a parent, past participant, or just someone who loves to read the blogs. Whatever the case, we want to hear from you.
I asked different people if I could go with them to the red light area, but everyone said no it was too dangerous and that they donʼt recommend I go either. But I came to India to go into the dark places that no one else would go.
Looking for a chance to express your creativity and share some of your memories from the mission field? Enter AIM's Missions Photo Contest for a chance to show off your work and win prize money.
What's been the most recent happenings of the World Race? Well there's only one way to find out, and it's by reading this lovely newsletter we've put together. Check it out
A common question asked by people all over the world is who am I!? Who you are is your identity. This month, my identity has been redefined. It has been stripped, challenged and now embraced.
Recently I received a post on my public comments page from a man about a blog I wrote while I was in Thailand about prostitution. Help respond...
This past year has been INCREDIBLE, LIFE CHANGING, and CHALLENGING for Jessica Edquist. Learn more about what it looked like here.
Have you ever met someone who you knew God was using (or is going to use) to further His Kingdom? I believe I have. Here are a few of them.
I was asked the other day what I wanted my life to be about. I want it to be about this. And there are no details that will satisfy curiosity to what it looks like.
This month is your opportunity to become a part of something big, something revolutionary, and something that cannot be stopped. Do you have what it takes?
I felt led to led to do two things: Lead a Bible study twice a week, and find service projects to do every day. Within the hour my squad-mate Ben came flying through the door, "Marisa, I found a 500 year old woman cleaning her gutters." I was on it.
Sitting there, looking at me with a grin that stretched from ear to ear was the cutest 7-year-old in all of Romania. Peter simply smiled at me and I could not help but smile back. Each time I waved at him, he would shrug his shoulders and giggle. It did not take him long to find his way to my side.
So if I had to pick a common theme of what God has been teaching me so far on this trip it would have to be love. Not only have I learned what true love really is and how to love people with this love, but I've also learned the importance of love.
I have developed such a deep friendship with two of the girls who work nightly at the bars in Chiang Mai's red light district. My teammate, Steph, and I met Da and Ploy on a Thursday night, over a game of Connect Four. Our relationship quickly developed
Only two weeks left to apply! Use the promotional code: "wr aug app" and pay no application fee thru April 30th!
This month I have been with my team in Targu Mures, Romania. We are doing a lot of prayer ministry, street evangelism, and a coffee house on Fridays. Check out the pictures
We live in a cement jungle on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. Hundreds of apartment buildings dominate this section called ПОЗНИКИ.
Ever wonder what World Racers do while the rest of the world sleeps and goes about its normal routines? In this issue of the World Race Newsletter, you can find out! Check it out here
In their music I feel the burdens of a downtrodden people. I hear the echoes of a history of repression and sadness, a yearning for a common home for their common culture...
Even after months of it, I'm still not fond of street evangelism. I'm generally under the opinion that it does more harm than good. People walk by, stare, and think what are these crazy Christians doing?
A young woman 18 years old, has living by herself since she was 10. Zodwa had a mother and a father and lost them both 8 years ago to HIV. Zodwa remembers nothing about HIV from their deaths, or maybe she is too ashamed to talk about it.
In August 2009, the World Race is sending out another group of radicals willing to abandon everything and chase the Kingdom down all across the world. Could you be one of them?
I'd felt intense all day, and it culminated especially as I stepped out of the taxi and laid eyes once more on the chaos of the downtown scene. The lights, the pounding music, the men, the women...
We spent half of our time doing ministry at an orphanage called Love in Action. One of the favorite things that the little girls there like to do is what I like to call the Love in Action Hair Salon. You may come with nothing, but leave with braids and multiple kinds of flowers.
When I came to Cambodia to teach English I didn't think I would be working with women in the sex trade, but God once again my expectations were shattered and I had the opportunity to work with them
This is their only hope for education. These adorable little children break my heart. They greet us each morning with bright smiles; their eyes searching for hope and joy. Ranging from three to ten years old, they gather in the one room building
So we are church planting, something that I have never seen as my forte. Throughout this trip I have realized how incredibly important evangelism is...
These children weren't planned. They weren't really wanted. They probably came close to being aborted. But the God of Redemption chose them. He planned them. He created them
The dump has thick smog of filth in the air above it from the burning trash. We travel to the place where the garbage collectors live in the slums. There is a missionary network there called Tree of life. In the morning we go around and talk to the people about their needs and who Jesus is. We all have been focused on praying for them.
Pastor Gift has given his life to seeing Kingdom come to Swaziland, Africa.
Everyday in Mozambique we woke up early and stayed up late worshipping God as "Big Paulie" played the guitar and sang Just another day gathering food for the family Sitting outs
Welcome to the first online edition of the World Race Newsletter! Click here to read more
There is nothing quite like guys sharpening one another in loving brotherhood. It's hard to envision any other time in which I'll spend virtually every waking moment with thirteen godly prayer warriors and accountability partners.
I thought this was my favorite church until I found another favorite right in Mwanga, Tanzania... right under another tree
The first thing I noticed is that he had a large burn on the back of his neck. Immediately I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this injury was no accident.
This world is not our home, heaven is; we represent God as His ambassadors
Have you ever wanted to do missions in Israel, Thailand, Malawi, or Ukraine?
When I was interviewing for the World Race last December, I remember having so many questions about the Holy Spirit. I wondered if I would ever see a supernatural healing, be a part of prophecy, or maybe even have a vision.
We have been praying for God to use us. We don't have a lot of money or solutions to offer, but we are simply willing. It was yesterday that I realized that we don't have much to offer, however God is using us as small pieces in a big puzzle. Here are a few of the pieces
Ever wonder what kind of effect the World Race could have on you? Here's a blog from a recent alumni...
Watch this video on what's happening in Swaziland and what the World Race is doing about it.
I want each country we enter to be my home forever. To immerse myself in the community as if my life and ministry there is permanent and lasting, because I hope to leave something permanent and lasting.
If something in Swaziland doesn't change, at the current negative growth rate of population, the SiSwati people will be extinct by the year 2050.
Where could you be going beginning in June? Look at the June 2009 Race route and sign up
Children. Everywhere. HUNDREDS of children...upwards of 700, we think, though there was no way to tell. Armed with hundreds of pairs of donated shoes, 12 buckets, water, washcloths and small bars of soap, World Racers, Vision trippers and AIM staff were ready to take on the crowds.
The latest pictures from the July 2008 squad from the field in Swaziland, Africa.
As we leave, the children lead us through a maze of homes to a family they know. Our feet slip on the muddy pathway, and we eventually reach this family of nine children and two parents whose love for one another is evident. They invite us in, and we sit to talk with the parents and two of the older children, recognizing that it's a miracle to see two parents in this home
What if there was more to life? What if entering the ‘real world' was really never an option, just a deception set in place to make us think there's not as much to life as we originally dreamed?
The community I'm talking about is a community that prefers each other. They not only live together, share meals, space, time and even their budget. This community also works together and serves together, worships and loves God together. This community doesn't have much to distract themselves with except for maybe a book, a few minutes alone, or plugging into an ipod. The difference in this community is you can't hide
Have you ever wanted to see some pictures of World Racers in Africa? Here's the latest from the October Squad in Uganda
Most can build a team and it will work for a time. However, without proper communication, expectations and a little help from our Father above things can get complicated quickly. The reality of this trip is that AIM, who bless them have the task of placing 6 to 7 unique individuals together, need that team to function at such a level that they can minister around the world.
As we were talking I noticed a man in agony sitting outside of his home on a mat holding his head in his hands. I looked back at him and knew we needed to pray for him.
Interested in going on the World Race? Here's the Race route for the next squad leaving in June 2009. Check it out!
We were charged with working in this community and to bring hope and light to a very dark place...
Welcome to the Village of Lukodi in Gulu, Uganda. Our team has been living and working here for the last couple of weeks. Our contact here in Gulu connected us with an organization called Child Voice International...
Maybe you're sitting behind the computer screen contemplating reasons why you should go on the World Race. Here are ten reasons for you...
Hello from Southern Africa! This is Stephanie (the July '08 squad leader) and I just wanted to give a quick update to all the July 'o8 parents and supporters who read the blogs as the racers internet access will be scarce over the next few weeks. We all arrived safely to South Africa and immediately traveled up to Mozambique...
I could finish this year having loved some children and helped people see Jesus. And it would be good. It would be a good year. Or I can call the hand. Knowing everything is on the table and I've got nothing in my hand. Knowing Jesus isn't bluffing. Knowing I am going to lose everything But that's the whole point of this heavenly poker game...
The Red Light District of Manila, the heart of the Philippine sex trafficking and prostitution, is my home for the next twenty days. Where I live is called Friendly's Guesthouse, a hostel run by backpackers for backpackers (and other hip tourists). My dormitory is on the roof of a four-story building. Four stories below are streets littered with signs of sexual prostitution. Four stories below are bars, nightclubs, and black market brothels.
Human Trafficking has a name and a face – and there are an estimated 200 million of them scattered around the globe crying out for FREEDOM...
Standing at the car getting ready to leave, Allan and I looked like an Oreo. I kissed his face all over as the men that were with me scolded me for embarrassing him. By this time a crowd of kids gathered around us. Grace, in a teasing manner said to the children, "This is Allan, he wants to come live here, should I let him?"
How far would you travel to see someone come into a relationship with Jesus Christ? How much is one man's soul worth? That was one of the major questions I got to ask myself in China last month...
"I walked through the open doors. I extended my hand as if it were Jesus'. Will I grow weary in doing good? Will I let the fear or real consequences change the faith that I had when I delighted in God about how He chose Allen?"
"In light of the spiritual warfare that went down tonight: We must stand on the truth of who God says He is (His character). And wherever He is worshiped as King, Lord, and Master - THERE IS HIS KINGDOM. When we enter God's presence, any part of us that is not surrendered must go. We may either lay it down at his feet...or some pretty intense warfare for our soul will pursue.
"The fact that I can look starving orphans in the eyes and continue on with my day," I said to my team yesterday, 'strongly suggests I have some serious defense mechanisms in place'... the upbeat music seemed so heartbreakingly unsympathetic, so dissonant with what was before my eyes. A welling-up came. The crowd disappeared, the music muffled--only this girl remained, and my sad cruel jagged heart started to break..."
Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world: surrounding yourself with new cultures, new places, and new experiences every day? The World Race is calling you to move from simple talk to radical action...
"Will you preach?" My answer was no. I was in a bad mood and the last thing that I wanted or had the ability to do was give a message. Prior to being asked the question I had been having an ongoing gripe session with the Lord. One of the hardest parts of being an active Christian is the mystery behind seemingly unanswered prayers.
I remember going to meet an "m" (code word for undercover missionary) one day at an inconspicuous corner at some small university... so I showed up early and waited around, yet for thirty minutes there was no sign of the "m." Just as I was about to give up, a little old man slowly approached me. I tried to shoo him away, but he would have none of it. He would not go away, and kept tugging at my arm for my attention, trying to lead me somewhere. Finally he pulled out a crinkly old paper and started to unfold it for me. He clearly had no idea what it said, because he showed it to me upside down, but in English it read something like, "This man can be trusted. He is a brother. He will show the way. Sincerely, â€˜M'."
Almost exactly one year ago, as I prepared for this crazy year of totally unexpected events, I sat with the Lord and heard those two words spoken to me as what this year would be. I could never have put it any better, especially on the onset of a pilgrimage that has totally changed me. It's been absolutely and completely painfully glorious.
Check out the most recent TOP photos taken by World Racers...
"Jillian, Jillian." "What did you say God?" "Find Jillian." "Okay. Then what?" "Jillian." As my team prayed and discussed our plans for the day, I shared my conversation with God and my need to find Jillian. My team agreed to be on the lookout for my girl - although I still wasn't sure what I was to do once I found her.
A typical McDonalds visit usually consists of ordering the number of your choice with coke and an extra squirt of ketchup. Let's be honest, not much really goes down on a typical day under those golden arches. But the other night at a McDonalds in Bangkok, something happened which its walls probably have never heard before: questions upon questions about God and about His love from a 'lady of the night'.
In a wooden shack on woven mats the body of Christ rises to its knees and cries out in prayer. Fervency and desperation mark their cries as they clasp their hands in front of their chests, or hold them open to God, asking Him to bring His KINGDOM to their country. To Myanmar.
Apply for the next World Race squad leaving in June! Due date is March 1, 2009. Here's a look at the adventure that awaits you...
My life was ruined last night. I don't think that I've ever said that before, let alone sincerely meant it to the very core of my being. In the matter of minutes I've never had my heart shatter into so many pieces that the only ounce of expression left in me manifested itself through more than three hours of tears.
Nana is intense. It is dark. It is suffocating. I had no idea how girded with armor I needed to be. The first level of this horseshoe shaped plaza is all open bars. The second level is strip bars. The third level is lady-boy shows. A much more intense atmosphere than I had ever seen. We go up. Our only mission: to pray, and follow wherever He leads.
Its hard to describe what it was like being back in the Nana Entertainment district again, except to say that I knew I need to be there. Not just last night. Not just tonight and tomorrow night. But in the future. As I sat sipping my water, God told me, "Kim, you belong in the strip bars." I'd felt intense all day, and it culminated especially as I stepped out of the taxi and laid eyes once more on the chaos of the downtown scene. The lights. The pounding music. The men. The women. The beer. The smell...
Walking down the street your heart can't help but weep. There are seven of us girls serving here in Pattaya, Thailand this month. It's a coastal town of about 70,000 people with about 20,000 being women in prostitution. Since arriving here we've been praying, "God break our hearts for the things that break yours." Look to the right and you'll see a beautiful Thai woman dressed in a little mini skirt, knowing that in just a few short hours she'll be negotiating a price...
It was pouring rain. We prayed that people would still come even though it was storming. The front of the church was pretty much a mud pit despite the big tents we had put up. Our one man worship band tuned his guitar and warmed up as the masses of children gathered around. God had been telling us for weeks He was going to do mighty things and change lives through this revival. This was our last day in the slums and the most exciting day of the World Race for me thus far.
Navotos is a community of 10,000 people who live on top of tombs in a graveyard in the Philippines. Michael lives in the part of the community that is raised about 12 feet off Manila Bay's polluted waters. All 9 of his family members live in a 2-story makeshift squatter home. Most of the bottom level is rotted out and can't be used. You get up to the top floor by climbing a slippery ladder and once you get up to the top, you realize that this family literally has nothing.
There he was, a man in a pink t-shirt. I saw him walk over to my table in his distinct stride. He made me uneasy and I didn't even know his name. He was bald and American looking, but dark all the same. I sat clicking away at my computer as one of our guys played nice with him. He answered all the getting to know you questions, but failed to answer why he made me squirm. He seemed lost but normal. He was from the states, hadn't been home in a few years and bounced around from country to country throughout Asia. He didn't say specifically why he liked the Philippines the best, but I had an idea. Our hostel where we both stayed was right smack dab in the middle of the Red Light District....
I am a missionary... I play a lot of Duck, Duck, Goose.Highly spiritual, don't you think? "You were made for greatness." That is what we were taught at the outset of this adventure. Good, that's why I quit my job and walked away from my life...for greatness...not for children's games. So, what is it?
This is what is beating in my heart - kingdom. Many times a day I find my eyes welling up with the emotion of kingdom that beats through my veins with its love, power, and intensity. See, something has happened. It's drastic. It's permanent. And it's life-giving like none other. I've been captured by His Kingdom and I can't go back ever. I knew this year would change me at the core. I wrote about it less than twenty four hours before boarding the plane for all that was ahead. And now here I am.
The Caribbean sits as unexplored territory for the World Race. This initial launch will send teams into all corners of this beautiful country to build relationships, plant churches, love orphans and widows and begin to discover all that God has in store
~She sells her body to make money to feed her child. ~4 people in the church of 100 own a Bible. ~She's sick and dying of AIDS. She has been sexually abused more times than she can count. She is 7. And cares for 4 younger siblings. ~He sleeps in the train station. Starving. While there are hundreds of very edible cows wandering on the streets. But he won't dare touch one... because he believes that cow might just be his uncle, father, or friend. ~Her husband was martyred last year, leaving 40 orphans in her care. Somehow, all 41 of them survive on $10 a day.
As I opened the door the darkness washed over me, completely overcoming me. All my energy vanished leaving me feeling defeated, weak, and powerless. I tried to pray, tried to believe that our God would use us to make a difference, but it was hopeless. The room was just too dark, the enemy too strong and too present. I left, upset with myself, upset with God for letting me feel this way. We were supposed to be battling the enemy, we were supposed to be victorious....
Warning: This blog is not clear concise thoughts on God and how He is moving in this place. This blog is raw, honest, and broken. This is a true look at the brokenness that surrounds us here in Vietnam. These thoughts are straight from my journal.
Down a side street, the noise subsides a little. Ready for the night's activities, men pass by with counterfeit confidence, some dressed in the day's business attire, others in silk pajamas with lit cigarettes hanging from their lips. Alcohol reeks and cigarette smoke trails behind. They are in pursuit of appalling pleasure. Their pleasure is around the age of 18. Dressed as normal as the trendy U.S. teenager, short shorts and tight shirts, the young girls walk in pairs...
This year I finally started to walk the path I was created to walk. That path is hand in hand with the Lord, not running and hiding from him. Being in a relationship not based on emotion or right and wrong or even regulations and traditions. I'm walking this path because I know who I am in the Kingdom of God.
I'm currently leaving Nicaragua with Marlin's unforgettable smile forever burnt in my mind, as he waves goodbye from a huge yellow school bus that pulls away from the beach. Being our last day spent together, the expression on his face communicates an eternal look of deep love and gratefulness that could never fully be captured in words. It was a moment of God's supernatural love that will forever remain in my heart. To be honest, it's one of the few things giving me enough strength to leave Nicaragua and move forward from the beautiful relationships we have built while being here.
I went to the leper colony on Monday to see how Moseleb arm was doing. I prayed all weekend for it and believed it would be healed. I remember driving to the colony telling others how excited I was to see him.
The World Race is teaching me many things, among them is a deeper understanding of God's word. Below are some verses that I've read before, probably even took some time to ponder over
It's a scary phenomenon that happens when we are blind to who we have become by living outside of depenency on God. One way to understand what this broken world has made you is to get into community living and let those around you be your mirror, reflecting the raw image of what is at your core. The Lord has taken these first 7 months on the race to go extremely deep into the core of who I am, which sounds wonderfully devine, but has been one of the messiest, bloodiest battles I have ever been in.
This is where two worlds collide. This is the transitioning point of two great continents. Culture is unique and yet diverse. In a world with 6.6 billion inhabitants, over 1 billion of them live here. Outside my door children run playfully down the street. I'm in a tough place. I can't engage with the children as I know I could or even should. Their tiny beautiful smiles draw me in. They say "hi" and all I can do is reply the same back. I just can't pick the little munchkins up. I can't play games with them. I can't even help them look for a nice little snack in the trash heap. This clash of worlds has never been so hard up until now. All my heart craves to do is love on these little ones. Surely God created them the same as me. Surely He loves them. Surely he could use me to demonstrate His love.
God wouldn't allow it to go on any longer. He leaned in, pressed hard, and asked the question... "Who are you? Do you even know?" "Do you even know?" He quietly emphasized. Then I asked. "Who am I?" as if it were an everyday question. "Wait... WHO AM I???" I asked in desperation, almost with a sense of clarity. I came to the realization that I had NO CLUE who I was. I was lying in bed and just began to cry....
I set my backpack on a counter in the unfinished medical clinic we're living in this month in a small village called Candelaria in Nicaragua. Hearing giggles behind me, I turn around...
I set my backpack on a counter in the unfinished medical clinic we're living in this month in a small village called Candelaria in Nicaragua. Hearing giggles behind me, I turn around to see three little faces peering in the window, three sets of hands grasping the curled metal bars. The children smile and giggle a little more; we chat a little in Spanish, and I turn back to my backpack knowing they are still there, watching my every move...
It's not about our work or about our doing. It's not even about our willingness as Racers to "go" to the nations. It's not about our sacrifices of comfort or putting family and friends on the line for a while.
This city has a European style that is hard not to love. The quaint cafés are comfortable. Volcanoes and rolling green mountains surround the city. The sights and sounds are lovely and fun to take in. Yet....The poverty here doesn't demand attention and apparently it is easy to miss - if you choose not to look.
Two nights ago my squad and I were robbed at gunpoint in the hostel we were staying at in Johannesburg, South Africa. First and foremost nobody got hurt! Praise God we are all alive and safe! However, we got tons of stuff jacked from us. So here is the email I just sent out to the parents of my team.
I am anxious. For the last couple weeks it has intensified. I worry even though God tells me not to. I think about how life was prior to the Race and how my life is now and it is shockingly different. I think about my view of the world before and what it is now, I think about how I can "blend" this life with the prior and it stresses me out. I am anxious and I need prayer.
Mario is wasted. We see it in his eyes and hear it in his slurred Spanish ramblings. Natalie and I are sitting on the curb across the street from the corrugated steel room, open to the street, that is Salim Iglesia. Church is letting out, "Gloria Dios!" is echoing down the street, the lights are glowing and people are joyfully celebrating their knowledge of the one true God. But Mario sits here with us, watching the scene, his brokenness as evident as the tattoos covering his arm and face.
We woke up early and headed out. I wasn't expecting it to be difficult so I wore flip flops. We started out along the beach enjoying its beauty and watching the crabs scurry away from us. Having hiked parts of the rainforest earlier, we were familiar with the beginning of the trail, but as we entered deeper into the forest we came across an abundance of wildlife; frogs, huge spiders, interesting looking worms, beetles and monkeys!
Walking up a mound of garbage isn't the typical day in my life, but for some people it is. About a week and a half ago, we took a day trip to the dumps in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.
This is Patricia. She is 7 years old and is in the 3rd grade. She likes singing and playing with her friends. When she was 5 years old, her father and mother committed suicide. I want you to walk through a typical day for Patricia.
The last two months have truly been the exploration of making missions a lifestyle for our two World Race squads currently out in the field. The September 2007 squad has been in Central America in locations from Panama to Costa Rica and through Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The January 2008 squad has been all over southern Africa working with orphans, showing the Jesus Film to crowds of people and watching many get saved and even healed.
The September 2007 squad has been in Central America in locations from Panama to Costa Rica and through Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The January 2008 squad has been all over southern Africa working with orphans, showing the Jesus Film to crowds of people and watching many get saved and even healed.
While in Panama we stayed at a place called PROVida. PROVida is a home for children that have been abandoned, abused, or malnourished due to extreme poverty. The children at PROVida are ages 6mo. to 16 years old. "In him we LIVE and MOVE and EXIST." Acts 17:28 While in Panama we stayed at a place called Provida.
Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you for our time at the hospital. I felt emotionally drained today...Lord, I pray that you would strengthen me. Give me strength tomorrow.
Most of us are used to building a relationship first and getting to know someone before presenting the gospel so it was weird just walking up to someone, asking their name and just telling them the good news.
At carepoint #3 in Nsoko, Swaziland I met her, and the smile that took me thousands of miles deep into the heart of The Father. Baby is her name. Right away when you meet Baby you can see that life is harder than it's supposed to be for her.
Lesegho and Limeh weren't the only children there. Close to 60 boys and girls ranging from ages of 3 to 14 were running around. This place is an after school program for children who are HIV positive.
Last night marked one of those moments in my faith that will stand as when things once again have changed. For so long I have heard about a God who heals the sick and calls the Kingdom forth.
Your least favorite animal is the rooster. You have trouble remembering what side of the road you drive on at home. You have more than three currencies in your purse. It has become normal to turn off the shower water as you lather up
Rita is currently caring for 20 children in her very small house, and the 12 older children are staying with Peter and his wife. All of the children sleep on concrete floors and have 1-2 pairs of clothing.
Ministry during debrief has mainly been ministry to each other and time for God to just completely fill us up. A time to process Africa. To look at what has been done and what needs to change. A time to serve each other and pour into each other as well. I am sitting here in Starbucks in Zurich, Switzerland where eight of us have a six hour layover before heading to Madrid. The last several
A series on what passages of Scripture came alive to me during my time on the World Race. Cambodia: Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God
So I know its been a while since a video was posted on this thing. But below is a special video
Last week we went to Nsoko, Swaziland. All we were supposed to do was clean some kids up and provide them with a new outfit. There were five care points to stop at over the course of two days. With th
God's been telling me to love my teammates more. Each day at 8:00am we pray, asking the Lord what he wants us to do and where we should go and each morning he's been telling me to love my teammates an
I think I've run out of "warm-fuzzies" - at least for the moment. So here it goes. I got this passage the other week as I was asking the Lord for a word. Initially I took as an application I could use as an encouragement for others - a useful tool to remind people that God molds us for His glory and purpose. It's the clay that was flawed not the potter's skill. Guess who got stuck in the mud and squashed
...a modern slave trade industry is flourishing around the world... "They are no longer the nameless and faceless. Their stories are etched on my heart and into my mind."
Last Sunday I attended one of the most beautiful "church services" I've ever been to. There were about 25 people in a scattered circle of couches and chairs. One man welcomed everyone, and then led
On the morning of February 29th, I went running and I usually run around Tom and Cindy's house on the mountain for awhile before heading down to the ocean and running along the path. But today God told me to walk immediately down to the ocean because the ladies would be there. To be honest, I didn't know if they would be. I had my doubts and began to think that I had made those thoughts up. I got down there and didn't see them anywhere.
I have still seen no lions… or remarkable animals of any sort. But, upon returning from Mabute (about 3 hours from here)… I can assure you that the bug population is alive and thriving here in Mozambique. As the title suggests… this is going to be about bugs… so if that grosses you out, please x out now, I won't be offended.
Luke 15 tells the story of a son who asks his father to give him the balance of his inheritance before his fathers death. This son, then promptly goes out of his father's home and squanders every last dime of the money. One day, while working feeding the pigs, one of the lowest jobs possible this same son begins to daydream about the joy that was living in his father's house.
This video is uncut... If you've ever wondered what someone like me thinks about after being on the race for nine months, this might shed some light. Towards the end of the video is about 5 minutes of film showing some of the faces and places in Nicaragua- hope you enjoy!
We've dis-boarded our Amazon cruise boat...El Buen Samaritano (in english: The Good Samaritan). Here is a simple picture blog of our time there...El Buen SamaritanoThe Youth of Nauta that we worked w
"Show You Love" This video is a little taste of what we did while we were in the Philippines last month. Music by Jars of Clay
*The cliché—life is short—does not even begin to describe how I feel. Sometimes I just start to think about the goofy little faces he made when he ate—how wide he opened his eyes—and I start to cry.*
I found out Sunday night that Pelile was given some money and sent to the hospital because of her worsening condition. I was glad to hear that she may be getting some help, but this also left the other four children without an adult at home. I wanted to do something for them.
Our time in the Philippines, and Asia, is rapidly coming to a close. I know we aren't supposed to have favorites, but this one definitely ranks right up there. I have loved every minute and have shed many a tear over leaving my precious friends. Pray for Manila and the people of the Philippines in general. And consider coming to visit--I guarantee you will have a fantastic time.
A few of us used our one day off from ministry last week to hike active Taal Volcano. The volcano is under the "lake" that we crossed. We felt steam rising and saw where lava had run down the mountain. The crater was filled with steam and bubbles of smoke and sulffer smells.
Monday morning Krystle and I took Moses back to the hospital. After being there from 8:30am until around noon, and some blood-work and x-rays later, the doctors decided to admit him. They wanted to treat him for pneumonia and malnutrition. It was terrible watching him get poked with needles, but we knew it would be for the better if this helped him grow healthy. Krystle volunteered to stay at the hospital, as
As many of you may know, we have been caring for a baby for the past couple of weeks. We found him in the arms of his dying mother (she has TB and AIDS). Her breasts were dry and her baby hadn't e
Check out where the January 08 team is staying. Can you say HOUSEBOAT!! OK, not really. Click to find out.
Dropped off at a bus stop, Molly, Krystle, and I walk down a dirt path that seems to split every so often. We keep walking passing many homesteads and fields of food. When we don't see the homestead we're looking for, a friend of Molly's from 2005, we ask two young boys and two mothers. They point back to where we've come from and so we start walking. Then Molly stops to ask four guys playing cards at the front of their homestead. "Excuse me, do you know where Gladys lives?" They respond by letting us know we've come to right place because she lives there
This morning, one foot in front of the other, I ran down toward the beach. The sun was shining brightly and the wind blew just enough to break the heat. I met up with a path that formed itself around the ocean front, some in open area and the other part in the shade under some trees. As I jogged, I admired the view God had created for me; a view with the sun reflecting off the bright blue water. I ran past a group of African ladies with bright yellow vests
So does it get any better? Can Sunday top Saturday? The answer is a resounding Yes. It is, after all, the day set aside specifically and totally for the Lord. So you do that. You be with the Lord and let Him be with you. Again, you give the morning to the Lord in a personal way and then, without really knowing why at the time, consecrate the afternoon to Him in a public way. Then it hits you... tacos. Yes, tacos. Some Racers found a taco and juice stand the other day and have made big plans to go there for lunch. Taxis again and then you arrive to find it's closed o
I don't know how to begin this blog because the thoughts in my head and heart are just jumbled mush right now. One of our ministries here in Puerto Cabezas has been going to the local hospital to pray for the patients there. Last week we went and we met women who had given birth just hours before and they allowed us to hold the precious little ones. Well yesterday could not have been any different than last week.
Surprise, surprise! We have internet this month after all. It never ceases to amaze me that in the middle of nowhere we can somehow pickup a wireless signal. We may not have hot water, American food, or clean clothes, but we have the internet! Praise Jesus, He always provides for us in the ways we can't even imagine.
In honor of our halfway milestone, I decided to do a countdown blog recapping the previous five and a half months. I hope you enjoy!
"This trip is going to stretch and break me in ways I can't imagine. I know it will be an invaluable experience that will prepare me for the rest of my life. I feel like this set apart year will help me become the lover of God and people that I was created to be."
after 17 years of school, i'd love to say that countless lessons stick out in my memory and left a distinct mark on who i've become. only one has come back time and again. it was the end of senior year of high school, and, as you could imagine
We've surpassed our goal of $5000 for the orphanage in Mozambique! The last time we heard we had $5900 either already in or on it's way in! The extra money will go towards things like medical supplies, food, toys for the kids, or anything else that God may guide us to help with. If you are among those that were sending in money at the last minute, please still do so as the money will still be put
I was taking pictures all month for various projects but I wanted to do more. Out of that desire the idea of family portraits was born. When the kids jumped over each other to have their pictures taken and I saw the faces of people who I gave printed pictures to, I realized that they don't have pictures. Once a kid grows up, the only pictures that exist will be in others' memories.
In September 2007 Pastor Ezekiel, the head of the Mnaka Orphanage in Muturara Mozambique at the time, was murdered for sharing the gospel with local Muslims. Since then his wife has carried on looking after the 40 kids at the orphanage with the help of a few others. More recently, the orphanage had to be evacuated as the catastrophic floods hitting Mozambique took away their home. All 40 of the orphans are living in one room together, and in the last few weeks tragedy has struck again as three of the children died in close succession from malaria. Needless to say, this family is in need, and our hope is to meet some of that need.
Life in Chincha is coming to an end. On Monday we are leaving for debrief in Lima, before heading to the Amazon jungle. Before we leave here I wanted to give you some insight to some of my thoughts and lessons in this first month of the World Race. The pictures in this blog are from trees around the church we have been staying at.
There were no flashy lights, no bars, no girls dancing, no facade of "entertainment," it was just an average city street. This past month four of us World Race girls have been working with an organization called Samaritana (www.Samaritana.org ) which reaches out to women working in the red light district of Manila.
In the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Chincha, Peru in August of last year, we've been here seeking ways to serve these families. In this video, our teammate Robby explains some of those ways
It was a cold Friday night in Cheng Du, and we had the option of going to an "English Corner" at the local university. All day I felt a tug on my heart to attend the English corner, and as the evening progressed there was a battle going on in my mind about it….which made me feel like God wanted me to go even more.
There are certain people from every country we've been to who have touched my heart in a such a way that I will never forget them. Last month, that person was a homeless Tibetan man. The first day I saw him I was just wondering around, taking pictures of the area. I briefly noticed the heap of blankets near the prayer wheels as I walked by, but didn't
Walking down a dirt path off the main road that went through town, I saw a huge monastery of buildings, prayer wheels, equipment to help them in their rituals of good luck and hope for a better future and next life. I stopped and just watched as people walked by and spun every single one of the 20 or so prayer wheels and many circled the same building in the same direction over and over.
How do I even begin to wrap up, let alone relay to you what happened in 2007. It is virtually impossible and I am overwhelmed at the task. But here I go
My guitar weighs 14 pounds. That's 6.35 kg. I've weighed it at many an airport check-in. I've been lugging it around for the last 7 months. Sometimes my teammates have been lugging it around for me. I've played here and there, but mostly just for the maintenance of my own sanity, not necessarily for or with other people. Lately I've been regretting bringing it and wishing I had brought my laptop instead.
Today we went to the beach. Now you're probably thinking it was a group of 20 somethings taking a day off and hitting the waves with surfboards, laying in the sun, and sipping on drinks with little umbrellas in them. Well that wasn't the case today! A small group of us had the idea to go out to the beach near the community of Tambo de Mora with numerous children that were more than happy to accompany us. So after getting parental permission we were off.
"So you're a missionary, right? So what is your ministry?" Well this week I spent lots of time with 3 babies under the age of 8 months and a few sleepless hours taking care of them overnight. Ran after 2 year olds who are learning their way around. Cooking for 20 Filipino women, cleaning up lunch, washing the covers of electric fans, cleaning out all the cabinets and doing a scrub down of the kitchen floor.
Today I walked among the rubble and remains of people's lives. I held a 2 year old baby on my hip, the hand of a 10 year old girl on my left, and the hand of a 6 year old girl on my right, as we made our way over heaps of concrete and debris. They wanted to show me where their room used to be. They pointed out their kitchen, which is now nothing more than broken brick scattered in a heap. They showed me their living room where they used to set up their Christmas tree. They pointed out the town square where there used to be "grand parades", but now is just a collection of trash and ruins.
Our ministry in the Philippines is varied, productive, and Spirit-led--just the way we like it
As we were walking another woman came toward us screaming something in Spanish. All I could pick up on is that somebody just died
I'm currently in the Philippines, and this has been my toughest week on the World Race by far! It hasn't been the living conditions or anything like that
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to climb the Great Wall of China. The path we chose led us down back roads where we were dropped off at a trail head in the middle of nowhere. No Great Wall
Everyone has those moments in life. Some are tragic and heart wrenching, others are adventurous and exhilarating. They are the moments that forever change your course of life and faith
If you have read any of the blogs that my teammates have posted you already know that China was not the experience that we thought it would be.
One thing that my team did this last month was ATL "Ask the Lord." We went to a city without any contacts set up, and we just asked the Lord to lead us to where he wanted us to serve.
It is Christmas Eve here in Hong Kong and I am sitting in a living room looking at a Christmas tree. How we ended up here is completely a God thing. Here is my story
Hey everyone!! Greetings from Manila. Lets see…as a team we were pretty busy this last week. Colleen and Jackie have continued doing an awesome job teaching down at the school. They have been working hard with Lindsey and some other volunteers trying to get ready for the upcoming x-mas program.
Well, our crazy little adventure ended a few days ago. I knew the month would go fast but it really breezed by! We got to end our trip together at the beach (our favorite!) We traveled back to an island off Thailand called Phuket. It's actually a large island with numerous different beaches. Our activities included mopeds around the island to the different beaches, a day tour to the Phi Phi islands, getting our nice Christmas tans and lots of chillaxin.
Hello everyone, we're "back!" We're currently in Hong Kong where it's safe to disclose that I've been in China for the past month. I still won't be able to post what city(s), what I was doing, or who I was with.
We had a wonderful time at the seven falls today. It was our free day and it couldn't have been planned more perfectly. Many of you have showed great concern for our team with the Marvin situation. I appreciate your prayers and support; I've never seen the church work so incredibly over such a great distance. Thank you. We are all doing very well considering.
It's been quite a while since I've hopped on my own blog site. China turned into Hong Kong and Hong Kong turned into LA and LA turned into Boston within two winks. That's how fast it all came and went. I look back on the year and think, "Man, that was the longest year of my life," but then I think, "Whoa, where'd that year go?"
We have been busy busy busy since arriving in the Phillipines. Here is a glimpse into a big part of our ministry this month......CONSTRUCTION....dun dun dunnn....
What a month so far! As if the ministry hasn't been amazing enough, I've had a lot of fun just goofing around with the locals.
This little guy captured my heart from the moment I saw him. His body was weak and feeble.
Two years ago I began a journey that I didn't understand. I didn't understand that the hand of the living God was on something so much bigger than me
Pastor Rubio rides his bicycle for 2 days to reach the ICM office. He does this once every three weeks and often with his wife on the handle bars
I watch the rise and fall of the horizon as the ship sways to either side, gasping to catch my breath at the sight of the magnificent mountains in the distance
I don't advise giving hugs to people with contagious diseases, but if the Lord calls you to...well...then trust that he has a reason for it and that he is going to protect you
This is to confirm that all of our teams are in the clear from typhoon Mitag as it inches its way toward the Philippines this weekend
"You have to immerse yourself into another world in order to better understand your own." I heard this quote the other day in a movie, and I have been thinking about this a lot the past few days.
Updated 11/22 10:30a.m. Teams have been contacted and are in safe places for the anticipated landfall of typhoon Mitag on Sunday
325 days 15 countries 75 hours on planes 270 hours on busses 105 hours on trains 35 hours on taxis
The SUN lives in the heavens where God placed it. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat (melting ice, scorching deserts
Oh my goodness! What in the heck have I gotten myself into?! I tell ya, there ain't gonna be no getting away from this now. If I try, God will hunt me down til I finally give away everything He's given me over this past year. I call it my "burden of knowledge." And that's exactly what has to be given away - knowledge. And this knowledge came from several months
The World Race teams who launched in January 2007 have crossed the finish line!
It's a small yet significant change when I choose to open my eyes.
Their home is regularly flooded, their meals are rice with cabbage
After a couple of hours I would leave the slum and eat dinner, but these women
Losing every dream, achievement and relationship for the Gospel terrifies me.
The past two weeks at the orphanage have been so refreshing and uplifting. The orphans who have "nothing" have seemed to remind me of so many real "everything's."
This network of tunnels was used by the Vietnamese guerrilla soldiers
Some people would say those things make me charismatic. I say they make me Brady.
The orphans who have "nothing" have seemed to remind me of so many real "everything's."
Life on the World Race is just like marriage except I married 6 people that I didn't even know, let alone choose.
There is so much restoration that needs to take place. The land cries out
Just spoke with teams in China. They are doing great. They did have some snow
It has almost become cliche on the World Race, this idea of coming fully alive.
Welcome to the World Race photo blog, where you can get a taste of what it's like to travel the world for a year, living out of a backpack.
As the team cook I have journeyed through many a market throughout this world. Each market proffers exotic fruits, rare sea foods, and peregrine plants that find their existence amidst the unknown. And more than the tasty food is the addictive experience of a new culture.
An eerie feeling swept over my body as I stepped through the barbwire-draped entrance into Teoul Sleng(S-21 prison as it is commonly referred to). What was once a high school now represents a house of chaos and heartache, helplessness and hopelessness. The pain I felt upon entering was intense. I had no idea what I was going to see. I knew that my eyes would be open to even more evil in the world. There is an enemy out there that wants to steal, kill, and destroy us and he does it in a number of ways. In Cambodia, he planted an evil in the hearts of men that literally destroyed over 1/3 of the country.
A lot of you have been asking me the infamous question of 'where are you going?' Well... I still don't know. But below is an example of what the World Race itinerary could look like. If I remember correctly, this is the route for January '07, which mine could look incredibly similar. You check this out and read these stories. They're good. I've read all of them.
There are a lot of days that I eat my own words, that what I write and what I say comes back to haunt me. I talk about living lives of love, about being Jesus' hands and feet to the world around me, basically I paint myself and some others as ‘super-christians' that purposively proclaim our brokenness in an attempt to make ourselves appear more holy than what we really are. We serve the poor, crawl in the ditches, sell what we own
When I found out about the World Race I began to read stories from the racers that were out in different parts of the world. I read stories of miracles, struggles, and everyday life. All of which amazed me and touched my heart. They pushed me to grow in my faith
I made it safely to Cambodia. We are in the capital city working with "Love in Action" orphanage. We live at the orphanage, and spend our days just being with the kids. The kids here in Cambodia break my
This month has been filled with amazing sights, sounds, people and experiences. I feel like I have seen all of Thailand and I only scratched the surface of this beautiful country. There were times when I could barely keep track of where I have been, so I know all of you have been trying to follow closely as well. For fun, I thought it would be great to post some pics of the amazing places and
Life In Cambodia After a 14 hour long, grueling, bumpy, loud, bus ride, I'm back in Bangkok, Thailand before flying to Hong Kong tomorrow. One of the highlights of this month has been the relationships with students in my Bible study. Only 30 years ago 30% of Cambodians were killed in a massive genocide. After years of war the country is just beginning to rebuild. The college students I got to work with are at the beginning of the post war generation, they are the upcoming leaders of their country (about 75% of Cambodians are under the age of 30.)
Watch this great slideshow of Team Seven:Eleven's work in Thailand.
Maybe everything I see is starting to break me down; maybe as I begin to hear more of each girl's story, I am seeing the enormity of the pain in their hearts; or maybe living with seven other people day in and day out is taking its toll.
The sound of grieving children had never been such an assault on my ears before. I closed my eyes and felt their agony. It was unbearable. And I remembered how only hours before I had felt such a sense of annoyance at their very presence.
The entire class claimed to be Buddhist except two kids. The Lord laid it on my heart to give an invitation for those who wanted to ask the Lord into their hearts and 16 kids shot out of their chairs.
The six of us joined a tour group early this morning and set out to explore the Mekong Delta. A two hour drive out of the city through the rice paddies took us to the Upper Mekong. Along the way our tour guide, Hai, found out that the six of us are from America. He paid special attention to our group, "I am very happy to meet you. I served with the American Army during the war.
We stepped off the plane on to a small runway, we had come to a stop just 20 yds before the strip turned back in to field- one airstrip in the middle of fields, trees and shacks, a large group of locals stand at the fence watching us land. Flights come in and out only 4 times/week, so it's still a novelty to watch the planes...I realize many probably have never been on a plane and wonder what it would be like, they stare probably wondering who these people are who come on and off their island.
I have really been establishing some awesome relationships at the temple with my new monk friends. This last week has been really a breakthrough with them. So here is a quick recap of my week in ministry (perhaps one of my favorite ministries of the year. Who else gets to go in to a Buddhist temple with absolute permission to share the gospel?)
One would think that after traveling around in mostly 3rd world countries for 9 mos, I would've already wrestled and dealt with this issue of poverty. It has been more of an ongoing wrestling, taking different forms- from justice vs injustice to how I am personally affected. Here in the Philippines, more than anywhere else we've been, I've really been hit by the poverty we've found ourselves submersed in. Being urban poverty, the affects of it are much more evident (vs rural - which we've seen a lot of , but they still have a lot in that they have a garden, often land for free, build their own homes and everyone around them lives the same way).
Cambodia has an unbelievable history. Not ten years ago, tanks were running through the streets of Phnom Penh in yet another political, civil war.
When we were walking around the mass graves at the Killing Fields, I kept getting distracted by the butterflies. Even when we stood by the tree where children were killed against, butterflies roamed around oblivious to the cruel nature of the place.
All World Race teams in Thailand are safe and sound.
World Race teams in Southeast Asia were unaffected by the earthquake.
While in the Phnom Phen, we were able to tour the city and learn a bit of the history of Cambodia. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that only 30 years ago a genocide occurred here … but what is more astonishing is the fact that I had never even heard about it. The Khmer Rouge … the Killing Fields … 1975-1979 over 2 million Cambodians murdered. In his insanity and drive towards creating a Communist Cambodia, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, killed off anyone in his way - the educated class and their families, doctors, teachers, students, engineers, Buddhist monks, foreigners, etc. He believed that by having an uneducated mass of followers, he could more easily create a working class which would help to establish the Communistic "equal" society that he dreamed of for Cambodia.
The World Race is about saving me. Saving me from a life of complacency. Saving me from
Right now, there are three World Racers on the field who need your help to stay there.
Freedom escapes him. Real life eludes him. And the prospect of death chased him
As God continues to be the author of my life, I see that the World Race is
The last night in Africa was spent in much reflection over our personal journeys. Living in community always provides
Truthfully, I didn't want to leave Bangkok. I wanted to stay in the city
We are getting ready to debrief and leave Thailand so I thought I would share
1. While making dinner ash/dirt falls into the cauldron and everyone is OK
"Gong, Gong, Gong," the church bell echoes throughout the tiny village
Tonight was a special night, because we got to take our new friends out
The last 4 or 5 days our team has been living in a village called Ban Din
From the moment that I crossed the border into Botswana
Our days have been busy helping in the NightLight office
We walked to the end of Soi Cowboy, one of Bangkok's most notorious red light
One hour before we leave to go again on an outreach to the Nana District
Meet our contacts for this month, Pastor Panya and his wife Ratrapee
The recent fighting between Russia and Georgia centered on developments in South Ossetia, the other breakaway region, where Georgia launched a large-scale attack on August 7 after a week of http://brtres.freetzi.com/index.html tiava porno portno clip free haredcore porn video big tit matjre podno sex hikaye video erotik tanga jartiyer bikin mature naal sex bhig tit clip
So here I am, in Maun. In the middle of the Kalahari Desert. It's sandy. And hot. And dusty
I have not been able to sleep much since we have arrived in Thailand
"Maam, do you have some money? My car broke down and I'm out of gas
It's been very interesting to watch my definition of "normal" evolve and mutate
I often laugh when I pause to think about my current life
So, many of you have been wondering what a week looks like for a world racer
I've come to a startling conclusion. I don't care if I do anything of greatness in my lifetime
Our first destination was Durban, east of Johannesburg and not closer to
Pictures are sometimes better than words
Motivation. What motivates us to do the things we do? What motivates us to seek God?
"ZIMBABWE COLLAPSES," was the big headline of the South African newspaper
I get hugs, high-fives, and a couple of kids asking to be held
Call it being too antsy or just wanting to do something productive, but we
The pioneering spirit leads the adventurous through the wilderness
This is the first time that I remember on this trip that we have been the ones
For so long I couldn't see that I was held captive by the chains that covered me
Here are some of the beautiful faces of the children we have had the privlege to get to know this week at Refilwe
Swaziland is a dying nation. Some say the amount of people infected by HIV and AIDS
10. You’ve learned that it really is more about the journey than the destination
There was no better way to bond as a team, than to jump off a bridge together
I realized she was on the floor because she was too weak to climb up
I don't even really know this man. I've seen him around as we've been here in Swaziland doing our monthly debrief. There are tons of people around though so he blends into the crowd. All of Squad A and B are here, plus now the June racers have joined us, the top dogs and all their wives are teaching,
My group has not yet decided what ministry we will be involved in for the next month. A trip was arranged to visit the Nazarene Hospital in Manzini, so I signed up to check it out as a possible ministry sight. Even after my time in Antigua, hospitals still make me uneasy. My stomach flip-flopped as we entered the grounds of the hospital which was made up of different buildings containing various wards. We ent
It's day 162…exactly half way through this 324 day adventure. We've been climbing this mountain for the last 5 months, and I'll honestly say it's been one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've been challenged physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. I've learned more about myself and living in community than I ever thought possible. We haven'