As a young adult just graduating from high school, you have a lot of decisions to make. The decisions you make now will set the foundation for your future, and you want to make sure you are doing it right.
That’s why we created the World Race: Gap Year program.
It’s a 9-month Christian gap year program designed for young people like you. Taking a gap year, especially a Christian gap year, will help you discover more of who God created you to be. It will also impact the choices you’re making for the rest of your life. By stepping away from the classroom, intentionally serving others, and being an active part of what God is doing in the world on a gap year mission trip, you will make a positive difference in the world. But that’s not all! You will also settle some foundational questions about the Lord about why He created you and why He loves you.
It changes everything.
You don’t just have to take our word for it. Mackenzie Tkach, current World Race: Gap Year participant, shares her top five reasons you should not only take a college gap year, but go on the World Race: Gap Year mission trip.
5 Reasons You Should Do This Gap Year Program
You should go on the World Race.
I’m serious. If you’ve ever looked at photos on Instagram of people on the World Race, read World Race blogs, or met people who’ve gone on it and thought, “Oh, that sounds like something I might want to do,” …you should do it. If you know someone who might want to do something like this, you should tell them to do it.
Side note: The deadline for 2020-2021 World Race: Gap Year routes is coming up soon, and I’m sure there’s at least one high school senior or college student reading this who’s still unsure about what they’re doing in the fall.
I just started month 8 of my 9-month Gap Year. So far, this gap year has been the craziest, weirdest, hardest, most fun, and most amazing experience of my life. And you should do it, too.
Here are my top five reasons, in no particular order:
Reason #1: You’ll find the best community you could ask for on the World Race.
Whether or not you have a good Christian community back home, the one you will find on the World Race will probably be different from anything you’ve experienced before. Before you brush this off by saying, “Sure, your community might be great, but mine will be a totally different group of people!”…let me tell you why World Race community is so amazing.
The World Race is very intentional about creating a healthy community, and they give each squad (the group of people you do this thing with) plenty of tools to do that.
Feedback, the act of encouraging and calling each other higher, and maintaining healthy boundaries are just a couple of examples. And of course, Christ is always kept at the center. Also, most people who are willing to leave home and raise the money to go are going to be willing and excited to create deep and meaningful relationships within the squad. All this adds up to some of the best friendships you could ask for that will hopefully last long after the World Race.
Reason #2: You’ll go deeper in your relationship with Christ on the World Race.
This is a given for a Christian gap year, right?
Well, kind of. I went into the World Race knowing it was going to help me go deeper in my faith, but I had absolutely no idea what that was actually going to look like. Not only is your walk with the Lord prioritized on the World Race, but you’ll be surrounded by mentors and leaders who are constantly pointing you back to the Father. You’ll get countless teachings and lessons to help you go deeper with your faith and make it your own.
For example, check out this video.
Reason #3: You’ll have some crazy cool gap year stories to tell your grandkids.
I lived in a tent for three months.
I worked beside incredible missionaries who are making a real impact on the Kingdom of God.
Took dance classes with a school that danced with Justin Beiber.
I saw over and over again all the different ways God loves me.
Bungee jumped in Costa Rica.
These are just a few I’m already excited to tell my grandkids. Whatever stories you end up with, your grandchildren are definitely going to think that you were pretty cool when you were eighteen.
Reason #4: You’ll most definitely get pushed out of your comfort zone on the World Race.
In one way or another, the World Race will push you all the way outside of your comfort zone. Even if leaving home for a 9-month Christian gap year to live in a different country excites you and doesn’t scare you, you’ll encounter discomfort.
Anyone who knows me could tell you I was more than comfortable moving to another country, but things like evangelism, dance ministry, and living with thirty, yes 30, other people have definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and have helped me grow so much. God will find some way to make you uncomfortable and teach you how to rely on Him in ways you’ve never had to before.
Reason #5: You won’t recognize yourself by the end of the World Race.
You won’t. I still have about 2 more months left on the World Race, but I know that month 1 Kenzie wouldn’t recognize me now at all. I’ve grown so much, and so have all my squad mates.
There’s so much to learn about God, yourself, and the world around you while on the World Race. Obviously, you have to make the choice to make the most of your time here. But if you do, you’ll come out of it so much different than you came in, in all of the best ways.
The World Race will change your life.
AND a Bonus Reason! You don’t have to be perfect to go on the World Race!
I had to add this last one is for anyone who thinks they aren’t good enough to go on a mission trip. If that’s something that is keeping you from the World Race, I’ve been there. But God doesn’t use perfect people (and perfect people don’t exist).
A lot of my new gap year community came into the World Race thinking we had to put on a front of being a perfect Christian to be here. But we soon realized that we weren’t perfect, and neither was anyone else. We’re all broken. We all have struggles. We all have parts of ourselves we don’t like.
But those things we think are broken or ugly are probably the things He will use the most. So don’t let it stop you from doing the things He’s calling you to.
There you have it! Five (actually six) reasons you should go on the World Race. You’re now ready to sign up!