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, the people of Guatemala hunger for the Kingdom of God. Will you share the beautiful truth that there is so much more to this life with people in Guatemala?
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.
"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 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?
The smallest, flattest, and driest continent, Australia is known for its beautiful beaches, large Outback desert, and Great Barrier Reef. Though claimed by Great Britain as a penal colony in the 1700’s, it is now one of the wealthiest countries on earth. The nation also has many first world struggles, with some of the highest housing prices—and household debts—in the world. Over 60% of the population is obese, and 22% don’t claim to practice any religion. Though materially wealthy and comfortable, many Australians need to experience the hope of Jesus. Will you live your faith in the Land Down Under?
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?
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?
Cambodia boasts the famous Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple that later became a Buddhist monastery. Hidden for centuries under dense jungle, today Angkor Wat is one of most photographed places in the world. Cambodia itself is struggling to heal from one of the worst genocides in modern history. In the 1970’s, the Khmer Rouge killed over 1.5 million men, women, and children. Faced with inconceivable poverty and desperation, Cambodia became a source, transit point, and destination for human trafficking. The people of Cambodia are hungry for hope and healing. Will you share it with them?
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.
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?