Known as "The Land of Eternal Spring", Guatemala is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Central America. Tourists travel from all over the world just to climb its volcanoes, drink its coffee, and zip line through the the rainforest. However, the true beauty of Guatemala is its people. Gripped by poverty and bound to religion, the people of Guatemala hunger for the Kingdom of God. The majority of Guatemalans practice a form of Catholicism that is a mixture of tribal religions and cultural tradition. Will you help them find the freedom of a relationship with Jesus?
"Hondo" comes from the Spanish word for depth and there's lots of depth to Honduras. It's home to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, whose ruins are still stand. Honduras is mostly mountainous and the weather's as tropical as it gets. What really runs deep in Honduras are its needs. Honduras is the third poorest in the region, after Haiti and Nicaragua. Like her neighbors, Honduras has had her of share political/military troubles, e.g., the six-month constitutional crisis in 2009. There's a need to reach out to the youth, not just to keep them out of trouble (e.g., gangs) but for them to know their worth and that they're loved.
Called “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” thick rainforests, rugged highlands, and beautiful beaches define Nicaragua’s beautiful landscape. Its rich history dates back to the Spanish conquistadores. However, hopelessness, addiction, destitution, and poverty plague many in Nicaragua. The poorest nation in Central America, almost 80% of Nicaraguans live on less than $2 a day. One in four Nicaraguans is either starving or suffering from malnutrition. Entire families live on and scrounge for scraps in city dumps. The people of Nicaragua need to know they are seen, loved, and not forgotten by God. Will you share this life-changing truth with them?
A hot spot for surfing, Costa Rica is an adventure seeker’s paradise. Between its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and beautiful people, it’s easy to enjoy "pura vida" there. Outside of the tourist destinations, however, are large pockets of poverty and family brokenness throughout the nation. The country itself is transitioning from self-sufficient farming lifestyles to more urban living. Traditional morals and lifestyles are giving way to a modern, consumer-oriented world. The people of Costa Rica need to remember the unchanging love of Jesus—and that it is still real and relevant to their lives. Will you GO?
Known for soccer, safaris, and shark diving, South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. It's a land of adventure. It's also land of deep pain. Several decades since apartheid formally ended, South Africa still needs healing and reconciliation. Social injustice and racial prejudice are still rampant. Although they live in one of the wealthiest countries on the continent, most of the population outside of big cities are poor. And like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, this country struggles with a high rate of AIDS/HIV. Will you share the adventure of the Kingdom of God in South Africa?
One of the most beautiful countries in the African continent, Mozambique is a favorite location of World Racers for a variety of reasons: the people, the landscape, the ministry partnerships, the miracles that this country has seen, and more. The former Portuguese colony is seeing signs of redemption and economic recovery; because of, or in spite of, the extreme poverty gripping the nation, the church grows. You will teach, preach, and practice "true religion" with widows and orphans while you grow in your identity in Christ. One of your most interesting travel "days" may happen here.
The small mountainous country of Swaziland has a dark secret: the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world. This pandemic has broken almost every family in Swaziland. Because of a promiscuous culture, the ancient tribal tradition of polygamy, and many myths about casual sex, 40% of Swazi children are orphaned. Words like "rape" and "abuse" can be found in elementary students’ workbooks. Mothers are often left widowed and with no means to support their hungry children, due to lack of education. Will you share the promise of hope for the future with the orphans of Swaziland?
Behind Thailand’s beautiful beaches, its people’s smiling faces, and the tropical jungles lies a terrible secret: modern day slavery. In Buddhist culture, women work to support their families so men can earn spiritual merit as monks. Many parents send their daughters to work in cities where the only option is prostitution. As the country’s natural beauty continues to draw visitors, sexual tourism continues to grow. It’s estimated 60% of tourists visit the Red Light Districts—and 90% of Thai men visit local karaoke bars for the same reason. Will you share the freedom of Christ with the broken in Thailand?
In a struggle for independence, first from Britain, then from its own government, Burmese political groups have fought an ongoing war for over 60 years, full of rebellions and insurgencies. This political unrest has led to nearly 200,000 refugees in Burma, many fleeing to neighboring countries like Thailand. When the cyclone hit in 2008, it not only left $10 billion in damages in its wake, it also resulted in nearly 140,000 people losing their lives. Natural disasters, a sinking economy, and corrupt government have led to despair and poverty for many Burmese people. Bring hope to refugees, the lost, and the broken, in a country fighting to embrace tradition while moving away from the old regime.
Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia has one of the most competitive economies in all of Asia. Known for the tallest twin towers in the world, the Petronas Towers, it is a rising power in our global economy. With a large number of immigrants from India, Thailand, China, and Burma, Malaysia is culturally rich, with heavy influences of Hinduism and Buddhism. However, this culturally diverse and rapidly developing nation is mostly Muslim. With 61% of the population practicing Islam and 19% claiming Buddhism, the majority of Malaysians have never heard the Gospel. Will you share the love of Jesus in Malaysia?
Known for its diverse terrain of mountains, volcanoes, and beaches, the Philippines is a popular haven for tourists. A melting pot of cultures, religion, and tradition, the beautiful people of the Philippines are very diverse, with influences from America, Spain, and other Asian countries. More than a getaway for Westerners, this 7,000 island archipelago is home to many who earn less than 15 cents per day—giving them the status of “ultra poor”. In order to survive, some have resorted to prostitution and human trafficking. Will you share the freedom of life in Christ in the Philippines?