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?
The Republic of Madagascar, which contains the 4th largest island in the world, is a nature lover’s dream - over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on earth. Its name has even been thrown out as a loose possibility for the location of the biblical Garden of Eden. Yet while this land is so full of evidence for the Creator, its people search for God in the wrong places. Over 50% of the population practices traditional religion and ancestor worship, while most of the 41% who practice Christianity - Protestant and Catholic - do so while mixing in traditional religious practices. Though paradise, the people of Madagascar live in darkness. You will spend your month on this island in the Indian Ocean living the light of Christ and pointing everyone you meet to their Creator.
Founded by Genghis Khan in 1206 and under Communist rule until 1990, Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world. 30% of the population is nomadic. The capital, Ulaanbaatar, is home to almost half of the country's population. The people of Mongolia are highly independent, used to relying on themselves and their immediate communities as they live and travel throughout the land. The majority of them are either non-religious or Tibetan Buddhist. Most have never heard of Jesus. Is God calling you to share the Gospel in a land where His name isn't known?
Home to the Great Wall and a sixth of the world’s population, China is one of the most exciting and strategic places to be a missionary. While China has grown in leaps and bounds industrially, intellectually, and economically, it's still a politically closed nation. Depending on where you travel, you may meet Buddhists, Muslims, and Taoists—but very few Christians. However, the underground church is extensive and continues growing (and even thriving!) amidst persecution. Will you encourage the long term missionaries in China and share the love of Jesus in a country where His name is not known?
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. Commonly called Burma, but officially now the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the political unrest has led to nearly 200,000 refugees in Myanmar, 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.
With nearly a sixth of the world's population, India is home to 29 languages, the religious practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and tribal religions, some of the spiciest food on the planet, and a highly segregated rich and poor class. Thanks to the ancient caste system, crimes of social injustice, discrimination, forced prostitution, and human trafficking occur daily. Baby girls are often killed and abandoned, simply because of the financial burden on their families. Lepers are treated as untouchables, and the poorest of the poor live in slums. Will you share hope with the poor, abandoned, and outcast in India?
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.
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?
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?
El Salvador is the third largest economy in the region after Costa Rica and Panama and the smallest country (in land mass) in the Americas. A coup d'etat in 1979 led to civil war from 1980-1992 in this country. Oscar Romero, a Catholic bishop well-known known for supporting liberation theology, advocating for social justice in El Salvador, and protesting the government's persecution of the church was assassinated in 1980 while conducting mass. Much of the country's revenue comes from remittances. In a land whose name translates to "The Savior", you'll be the signs that point to the one true Savior - not a better political system or economy - Jesus Christ.