"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.
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?
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.
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.
Still hurting from the horrific genocide of 1994, Rwanda searches for healing. Originally home to three tribes, the Twa (known as pygmies), Hutus, and the Tutsis, Rwanda’s history of ethnic tension is long. In 1994 over 800,000 Tutsis were killed and two million Rwandans were displaced. Barely two decades later, the memory is still too fresh. While 38% of the population is Christian, it seems the Christian God is synonymous with the traditional Rwandan god, Imana. Will you share the hope and healing of the Living God with the hurting in Rwanda?
Albania, one of the countries Paul visited on his third missionary journey, is in Eastern Europe. Though it declared independence in 1912, this small country was occupied by both Italy and Germany during World War II, lying behind the Iron Curtain and under Soviet Rule until 1989. Not long after the fall of the Soviet Union, conflict on the Balkan Peninsula tore families apart once again. It is a nation of rich history, natural beauty, and people who know the meaning of pain. The people of Albania need to know the freedom and hope of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Often called the birthplace of civilization, Greece is known for its deep cultural history. Ranking high on the list of tourism destinations, Greece is also ranked third in the world for highest unemployment rate. Over the past few years, Greece's financial crisis has topped the news highlights, and most recently it was a major transition point for refugees. Still at the forefront of today’s news, Greece is in need of hope. Follow in the steps of Apostle Paul and share God’s love in a country that was once a hub for Christianity.
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?
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?
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?