Romania is home to a large gypsy community. Though strangers in their homeland and forgotten by society, the gypsies are a strong and vibrant people who embrace the light of Christ in an inspirational way. Here, you could teach English, lead sports camps, live life with the gypsies, and more. It will be an exciting time of learning about a people group you may not have known even existed.
This Eastern European country is caught between its past oppression under the Soviet Union and the desire to be accepted by the West. People in the West tend to be more nationalistic than those in the East, where Russian is more commonly spoken. There’s a substantial orphan (social and full) population and human trafficking’s an issue here, too. Most people claim to belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox church, which is subdivided into three bodies. God’s desire is to bring hope, peace, authentic relationship with himself, and unity to this nation; you’ll find out how exactly you’ll participate in that!
Ireland boasts a heritage of Christianity through Catholicism. Yet the lifeless display of faith reveals that this nation is farther from God than ever. Rampant alcoholism and suicide rates reveal a desperate need for hope. Through sports, children's outreach, street evangelism, pub ministry, and the relationships that just happen along the way, the World Race reintroduces a life-giving faith to this beautiful, historic culture.
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."
Located on the famed Silk Road, Sri Lanka has been colonized or inhabited by the Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Dutch, Portuguese, and English. This diversity contributes to their rich history, but has also meant conflict for the Sri Lankan people. The Tamil Tigers and the government engaged in a brutal two-decade civil war, violating many people’s human rights. Buddhism in Sri Lanka date back to ancient times--it's said to be the place where Buddha's teachings were first recorded. A recent Gallup says Sri Lanka is the world's third most religious nation, but only a small minority of the people are Christians. The majority are locked in works-based customs, seeking to earn salvation. Come bring peace and the truth of a relationship with Christ to the people of this island nation.
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...
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.
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.