This August, volunteer in the dense jungles of Colombia, sharing hope with people who may have never heard the gospel. Or then travel all over southeast asia, declaring joy in predominantly Buddhist and Muslim nations.
From the Andes Mountains to the Caribbean coastline and the Amazon rainforest, Colombia is one of the world’s most ecologically diverse countries. It's also home to unreached tribes, a large student population becoming more and more distant from the Gospel, and thousands of children living on the streets. In spite of its reputation for political upheaval, mission efforts in Colombia are growing. Whether it's loving on street kids, inner city ministry, or sharing hope and restoration in rehabilitation centers, you will live your faith in Colombia every single day.
Named after the Spanish word for "Equator", this country is full of natural beauty. From the Amazon River to glaciers atop Andes volcanoes, this country is sure to enthrall you. Its people will too. As diverse as its landscapes, the indigenous and Incan influences give this country a unique culture. Although the country is about 95% Catholic, indigenous shamanistic practices are integrated into their faith and traditions. Socioeconomically, more than half of the population sits at or below the poverty line. Your squad could serve in Quito, Shell, and Cuenca through street evangelism, discipleship, children's and/or coffee shop ministry, before heading to Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador for debrief. Ecuador is waiting for God's kingdom to come; will you be his hands and feet in this hurting country?
The cradle of Inca civilization (think: Macchu Picchu) and one of the "Andean states", Peru is full of epic wonder; yet she is barely acquainted with her Creator. Though many natives still practice traditional religions, God is up to something in this country. The Peruvian church thirsts for truth and authentic spiritual breakthrough. Its political past has been riddled with guerilla violence and corrupt leadership, from which the indigenous poor and urban affluent are recovering. Whether you rough it in the jungle or live in the city; you won't forget Peru.
The 17,508 islands that make up the nation of Indonesia are home to over 250 million people, including the world’s largest Muslim population. Certain areas of this country are completely untouched by outside influences. Be prepared to explore uncharted territories and forgotten areas to further the work of the kingdom of God.
This Asian island nation, former Spanish colony then American protectorate, is a country in tension, trying to cross the threshold between the third and first world. The Filipino people love music, dance, and community. While there, you will find yourself living with and giving hope to the destitute, caring for orphans, and challenging the growing number of Christ-followers to rise up.
Facing government oppression and strife for decades, the people of Vietnam are searching for hope in this closed country, where it is illegal to openly share the gospel. Wars in Vietnam left a lot of the current young adult population without fathers and many are seeking guidance. It's our hope that they find guidance in Jesus Christ.
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?
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?
Moldova, one of the poorest European countries, is riddled with a high underground crime rate. This country is vulnerable as a transit point of human trafficking. The main language spoken is Romanian (also called Moldovan) but there's debate as to what the Moldovan ethnicity is exactly. We need people who will bring kingdom and declare the peace of God over a land struggling with poverty and crime.
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!
Sandwiched between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, Latvia is home to the largest medieval church in Europe. Like Estonia, Latvia is a hidden gem for tourism. But it’s not all cathedrals and beautiful architecture – Latvia has a dark side. Often called the “fatherless nation,” Latvia is home to thousands of young people whose families suffer brokenness due to the high unemployment, depression, and substance abuse that run rampant there. Come love the Latvian people and introduce them to the love of God as the father they don’t have. And if you’re there in the winter, you might get to walk on the frozen Baltic Sea!
We at the World Race believe we can transform the world with God’s love.
Do you feel the same way?