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?
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?
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?
In the news for decades, Sudan has been the site of brutal military conflicts, human rights violations, drought and starvation, and underdevelopment. The longstanding Darfur conflict has ravaged the Sudanese, along with two civil wars and Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Fighting between the North and South resulted in the deaths of at least 2.5 million people and the displacement of another five million. Peace talks eventually led to South Sudan's decision to secede from Sudan and form their own independent nation on July 9, 2011. Devastation covers a land looking to start anew. Help local partners improve conditions of schools and orphanages. Love on children orphaned by civil war. Be hope to a nation seeking a fresh start. Will you help build foundations —both physical and spiritual— for South Sudan?
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!
The lore of Dracula brings thousands to explore the history and beauty of Romania, from its castles to the idyllic countryside dotted with horse drawn buggies and endless herds of sheep. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Romania is quickly rising out of the impoverished state leftover from that era. Still, economic growth is an impossible dream for many orphans and widows, who struggle to for food and hope for the future. Will you share the good news of being remembered and loved by God with those who feel forgotten and alone?
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.
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?