Who hasn't heard of Kenya in their lifetime? The Kenyan people are colorful, musical, artistic and hungry for the love of Christ. The Maasai bush, the Nairobi metropolis, and the Kibera slums comprise a country diverse yet unified in history. As a new era dawns in Kenya, so does the gospel of truth and faith. By meeting felt needs in the bush and the city, participants help bear lasting fruit with current ministry partnerships (ministries like evangelism, orphan care, and community development), and build foundations of future partnerships.
Once a kingdom and British protectorate, for most of the later half of the 20th century, Uganda was under military rule, first under Idi Amin, the subject of the film The Last King of Scotland. Much of northern Uganda was also troubled by the Lord's Resistance Army, which heavily recruited child soldiers. Referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is diverse in topography and wildlife. You may find yourself in the north partnering with ministries that are bringing still-needed healing and reconciliation or in the south working with churches to evangelize and disciple the next generation of Kingdom workers.
Many who hear "Rwanda" immediately think, "genocide" - it was 16 years ago when 800,000 people were killed over the course of about three months. According to the U.S. State Department, Rwanda (once colonized by France) has the highest population density in sub-Saharan Africa; and like much of sub-Saharan Africa, this nation also is fighting hard against HIV/AIDS. This nation played a part of the genesis of this human rights organization and inspired this song; as you help bring healing to a country still recovering from this deep wound, God may birth a dream or vision in you...
Once Europe’s ”best kept secret” as claimed by Lonely Planet, Estonia’s lush forests, beautiful coastline, quaint countryside, and charming cities are only some of its boastings. It's also home to Skype’s software developers. This former Soviet Union nation still shows evidence of its darker, colder times, while its people search for liberty. Usher in a spirit of freedom as you carry God’s presence into this oft overlooked country.
Sandwiched between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, Latvia is home to the largest medieval church in Europe. Like Estonia, Latvia is a hidden gem for tourism. But it’s not all cathedrals and beautiful architecture – Latvia has a dark side. Often called the “fatherless nation,” Latvia is home to thousands of young people whose families suffer brokenness due to the high unemployment, depression, and substance abuse that run rampant there. Come love the Latvian people and introduce them to the love of God as the father they don’t have. And if you’re there in the winter, you might get to walk on the frozen Baltic Sea!
Step back in time to Baroque cities and old-world countryside when you set foot on Lithuanian soil. Once one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union, Lithuania’s unemployment rate spiked due to the recent global financial crisis. In addition, Lithuania also has the highest suicide rate in the world. This nation, these people need the light and love of Christ to restore hope in the midst of darkness and despair.
Host of the 2008 Summer Olympics and home to 1.3 billion people, China’s not just grand in land mass and population. Beside the Han Chinese, there are over fifty minority groups. While China has grown in leaps and bounds industrially, intellectually, and economically, it's still a politically closed nation. Depending on where you are, you may meet Buddhists, Muslims, and Taoists; there are even churches - government approved and regulated. The underground church is extensive and continues growing, even thriving, amidst persecution. While there, you'll have to pay homage to the Great Wall, and bring light and hope to a people in darkness and depression. How you'll do that exactly - you'll find out once you get there.
The kingdom of Thailand, known as Siam until 1939, is the only country in the region not colonized by Europe. Their 2000 census showed that 94.6% of the population is Buddhist, 4.6% are Muslim, and 0.7% are Christian. Approximately 600,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. With nearly two million people estimated to be forced into prostitution, it has become one of the most popular places for sex tourism. Change lives in the city-where you, like Jesus, might befriend prostitutes-or in the countryside-where you may serve youth, care for orphans, and encourage a remnant of believers.
Cambodia houses one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple and monastery built during the Khmer empire in the 12th century. It later became a Buddhist complex a century later, and today, just over 96% of Cambodia is Buddhist. Almost 30 years ago, 1.5 million Cambodians died at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, Cambodia is a source, transit point, and destination of human trafficking. Unfortunately, the government is struggling to stop it. The people of Cambodia are thirsty for the hope you can bring.
With nearly a sixth of the world's population within its borders, India is a country bursting with people and culture. Home to a diverse array of beliefs from Hinduism to Islam, to a blend of folk religions and other faiths, it is a country of pluralism with twenty-nine languages spoken by over a million native speakers, multiple religions, cuisine, socio-economic classes, and political parties. India's struggles with poverty and crimes of human trafficking, forced prostitution, religious persecution, and more. You might work with local churches to encourage believers and most likely be challenged by their testimonies. Your presence will bring hope and truth to those that society deems "untouchable."
Home to Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, Nepal literally sits on top of the world. In addition to adventurous experiences you will have here, you may also visit widows and orphans in their times of distress and protect the innocent who are prey to human traffickers. This month of your World Race experience will submerge you in a culture that is desperate for an encounter with the living God.