Sep 2019 —May 2020

Guatemala Thailand

This Gap Year route starts close to home and ends up on the other side of the globe.
Route Completed
3 countries

Route Guides

Hope Mendola-Wong
Elder
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I thought I was a Christian, but when I was 19 my view of everything (Jesus, the Bible, Church, Christianity) came tumbling down. I found myself angry and confused as I questioned what I had been told all my life. Little did I know I was on the path to making my faith my own. I spent the next few years figuring out who God was and what I believed. By the time I was 21, I decided Jesus was the answer. Since then, God has taken me from the slums of India to the mountains of Africa. He's transformed my heart, strengthened my faith, and given me purpose beyond myself. My story has given me a passion for the next generation because I know firsthand how influential those first few years out of high school are. I can't wait for you to join us on this journey!
Madison Goodwin
Squad Mentor
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As a six-year-old, I was baptized. I made the decision to take this next step because it was what was expected of me, not because I was committed to Jesus. I spent the next fourteen years of my life wondering why a God, so big and so far away, cared for me. In high school I gravitated towards and chose to hang out with the party crowd, and I found myself veering from my values. When I graduated high school, I began taking classes at Auburn University (War Eagle!). It was there that I really started to search for something more... more than the status quo, more than the cute boys, more than the sorority scene, and more than religion or a set of rules to live by. I had a longing in me for something that was missing, so I began visiting Christian college programs and churches in the area. In 2013, as a twenty-year-old woman, I committed my heart, my soul, and my spirit to God, and my life has never been the same! In 2016, I launched on the World Race, and I fell in love! I first fell in love with our creator. He took me on a journey of discovery with Him, and everything began to change. As I grew in love with Father, I grew in loving myself and in loving God's children all over the world! Over the last three years since my race, I have dedicated myself to empowering and leading racers in their own journey. I am passionate about the Kingdom of God, and I am so excited to walk with you in this next incredible season of your life!
Kendra Coco
Coach
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Matt and Kendra Coco have been married for 29 years. They live in Lafayette, Louisiana, also widely known as Acadiana, the center of Cajun and Creole culture in the United States. They have two WR children, Brandon (11in11 - Jan 2016) and Amelia (Gap Year - Sept 2017). As a family, we enjoy the gym, Cajun dancing, cooking, card games, board games and co-leading a church discipleship group. We were inspired during a Romanian PVT and encouraged by squad leaders and coaches to prayerfully consider coaching for the WR. Once a field engineer in the oil & gas industry, Matt now serves on church staff for buildings and grounds. He volunteers his time to music ministry, leading a solo acoustic Wednesday night worship with hymns and a 7 person (5 instruments) worship band in Southern Gospel Revival Hymns on occasional Sundays. He is also a sound & stage tech volunteer for worship and special events. Outside of church, Matt enjoys being part of the local MenȹƑƉs Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Kendra is involved in community organizations where she can teach others and build relationships as a childbirth and lactation coach, a youth human sexuality class instructor and an adjunct Psychology professor. She is also involved with Bible studies, Vacation Bibles School (VBS), church events promotions and is an avid tennis player. As parents of world racers, we learned their journey was our journey as well. We look forward to all Lord will do within the lives of our racers and parents.
Matt Coco
Coach
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Matt and Kendra Coco have been married for 29 years. They live in Lafayette, Louisiana, also widely known as Acadiana, the center of Cajun and Creole culture in the United States. They have two WR children, Brandon (11in11 - Jan 2016) and Amelia (Gap Year - Sept 2017). As a family, we enjoy the gym, Cajun dancing, cooking, card games, board games and co-leading a church discipleship group. We were inspired during a Romanian PVT and encouraged by squad leaders and coaches to prayerfully consider coaching for the WR. Once a field engineer in the oil & gas industry, Matt now serves on church staff for buildings and grounds. He volunteers his time to music ministry, leading a solo acoustic Wednesday night worship with hymns and a 7 person (5 instruments) worship band in Southern Gospel Revival Hymns on occasional Sundays. He is also a sound & stage tech volunteer for worship and special events. Outside of church, Matt enjoys being part of the local MenȹƑƉs Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Kendra is involved in community organizations where she can teach others and build relationships as a childbirth and lactation coach, a youth human sexuality class instructor and an adjunct Psychology professor. She is also involved with Bible studies, Vacation Bibles School (VBS), church events promotions and is an avid tennis player. As parents of world racers, we learned their journey was our journey as well. We look forward to all Lord will do within the lives of our racers and parents.
Brittany Standridge
Alum Squad Leader
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Connor Gaul
Alum Squad Leader
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Kyndal Broome
Alum Squad Leader
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Aimee Dias
Squad Logistics
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Where They Went - What They Did

Central America

Guatemala

Central America
Guatemala

Guatemala

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Your first month starts in Central America in the “Land of Eternal Spring” – Guatemala. This is a country where Adventures has an established base. Guatemala is one of the most evangelical countries in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside local believers working to bring the Word of Christ to a new generation. You might spend your days building relationships with youth who are at risk for falling into gang violence, but you could also teach English or kick a soccer ball around in the lush rainforest terrain with volcanoes dotting the skyline. Life in Guatemala is slow and focused around hospitality, and it’s a truly stunning place where God is raising up a generation to serve His Kingdom.

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Africa

Ethiopia

Africa
Ethiopia

Ethiopia

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Next, you’ll head to Ethiopia, a nation unlike any other African country as it evokes a feeling more closely associated to the Middle East. The people here are deeply passionate about families and being together. All meals are eaten from collective plates and absolutely nothing can start without their signature coffee ceremony. There are many organizations working to serve the locals, but very few are sharing the Gospel alongside their work. Many World Racers spend their time helping our partners share their faith in Jesus with at-risk children while helping provide them an education. The elderly population in Ethiopia is often neglected, so you may spend time working to care for senior citizens, teaching the youth to honor and respect them and listening to their incredible stories.

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Asia

Thailand

Asia
Thailand

Thailand

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Your time in Southeast Asia starts in Thailand, known for its stunning beaches, friendly people and bustling outdoor food markets. You will feel welcomed here, and have countless opportunities to share your faith with both locals and tourists. In Thailand, you may spend your days loving on children with special needs or doing projects around our Adventures Thailand base. You will likely spend hours covering this country, your teammates, and the base in prayer.

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*Routes may change if unforeseen issues arise.

Squad

Squad is the term we use at the World Race to describe the 30-45 people traveling with you on your route this year!

Squad

Team Name:3.2

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MadiCarter
MadiCarter
Richardson,TX
MaeganComer
MaeganComer
Colorado Springs,Colorado
NatalieKoppendrayer
NatalieKoppendrayer
Princeton,MN
AlanaStevens
AlanaStevens
Colorado Springs,CO
AliciaYoung
AliciaYoung
Phoenix,AZ

Team Name:Capable

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MaryEastland
MaryEastland
Lawrenceville,GA
JamieJenkins
JamieJenkins
Cliff,NM
RachelRose
RachelRose
Fort Worth,TX
KJWhite
KJWhite
Bossier City,LA
ChelseyWiers
ChelseyWiers
Byron Center,MI

Team Name:Ekklesia

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AnnaBearss
AnnaBearss
Buena Vista,CO
ElisabethMiller
ElisabethMiller
College Station,TX
BriMoore
BriMoore
Severance,CO
KayaMullen
KayaMullen
Staunton,Virginia
SadieReese
SadieReese
Stuart,FL

Team Name:Esther

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ChelseaAdamson
ChelseaAdamson
Cumming,GA
ValeriaGomez Villalobos
ValeriaGomez Villalobos
San Jose,Costa Rica
HannahKeller
HannahKeller
Houston,TX
AmberPifer
AmberPifer
Port Allegany,PA
HannahSullivan
HannahSullivan
Fort Mill,SC

Team Name:Men of God

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GrantHoldeman
GrantHoldeman
paker,CO
DamonHunter
DamonHunter
HARLEYSVILLE,PA
MoNelms
MoNelms
Corinth,MS
MasonRuark
MasonRuark
Selah,WA
BlakeWhite
BlakeWhite
Marion,AR

Team Name:P31

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SKYLARBARBEE
SKYLARBARBEE
bonaire,GA
CharlieBreda
CharlieBreda
New Braunfels,TX
PaigeMattingley
PaigeMattingley
Thornton,CO
MayPelep
MayPelep
Springdale,AR
EvelynSimmons
EvelynSimmons
Franklin,MA
midgeSmith
midgeSmith
St. Matthews,SC
AnaWesthoff
AnaWesthoff
Alexander,IA

Team Name:Unity

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MaddieBailey
MaddieBailey
round rock,TX
EvaGomez
EvaGomez
Elk Grove,California
BaileyKing
BaileyKing
Richmond Hill,GA
MallorySailer
MallorySailer
Fairview,TX
AlexisSimmons
AlexisSimmons
Telluride,CO
melanieWells
melanieWells
Virginia Beach,VA
Application Closed

Stories From the Field

Want to know what it's really like to go on the World Race? Check out our most recent updates from World Racers about life on the field and how you could be a part of it!