Recently, Zimbabwe struggled with hyperinflation. Under the current regime, the human rights violations continue. Zimbabwe also has one of the lowest life expectancies. Zimbabwe is also home to intriguing ruins and shares Victoria Falls with Zambia. Botswana has the second highest HIV infection rate, second to Swaziland, its southern neighbor. The land itself struggles with drought and desertification yet boasts the largest elephant population in the world in one of its national parks. The majorities of both populations identify themselves as Christian but very much need people like you to advance the kingdom with love and in power.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Formerly the second largest economy in the Soviet union, Ukraine now struggles with poverty. The orphan population is growing and human trafficking is as well. With the Caucasus mountains, its crumbling castles, and the Black Sea, it’s a popular destination for European tourists. It’s estimated that 75% of the population believes in God, but only 37% attend any kind of service regularly. Caught between the East and the West, the past and the future, the people of Ukraine need to know God sees and loves them. Will you go?
Once a part of Romania and a former Soviet Republic, Moldova declared independence in 1991. Immediately after, the economy severely declined. Because it relies so heavily on agriculture, Moldova is the poorest country is Europe. It is also riddled with underground crime and is a vulnerable transit point of human trafficking. Because the main language is Romanian, there's debate as to what the Moldovan ethnicity is exactly. Will you share the peace of God over a land searching for hope?
"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?
osta Rica is a hot spot for surfing and just enjoying "pura vida" - literally, "pure life", it's a concept of a chill, relaxed, laidback way of life. While the natural beauty attracts lots of tourists, large pockets of poverty and family brokenness exist. Much of Panama’s revenue comes from the eponymous canal, expected to be wider by 2015. The double-edge of the canal is the spike in drug-trafficking. Panama also houses the largest rainforest outside the Amazon but suffers from crime in its urban slums. In these relatively well-off Central American countries, you’ll find creative ways to bring more life and light to the people.