Sep 2020 — May 2021

Indian Ocean Route

Love and learn alongside orphans and their faithful caregivers
Route Completed
Indian Ocean Route
4 countries

Route Guides

Hope Mendola-Wong
Hope Mendola-Wong
Program Exec
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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!
Hope Mendola-Wong
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
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
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
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.
Jewel Macauley
Jewel Macauley
Alum Squad Leader
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Joel Groves
Joel Groves
Alum Squad Leader
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Nicole Stepp
Nicole Stepp
Alum Squad Leader
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Drew Stamey
Drew Stamey
Advisor
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Taylor Flickinger
Taylor Flickinger
Squad Logistics
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Where They Went - What They Did

South Africa

Eswatini

South Africa
Eswatini

Eswatini

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Location: Nsoko, eSwatini
Ministry: Serve eSwatini alongside the Adventures in Missions base.
Focus: Children’s Ministry, Community Development, Leadership

During the first three months of your journey, you will partner with the Adventures in Missions eSwatini base. The team there is bringing new hope to a country where thousands of children have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At Carepoints around the country, the local eSwatini staff provides the children with food, clean water, education, healthcare, and discipleship. We will equip you to holistically care for these children and teach them about Jesus. Breakaway from modern life as you serve in Nsoko, a place marked by incredible sunsets and the simple pace of African rural life.

David and Jenna Towns felt they had a call to Africa on their lives and yet God was directing them to Nepal for a season. On the way to Nepal they spent 7 months in eSwatini and truly fell in love with the community, people, and beauty of the country. As they were realizing the Nepal Base wasn't going to be in their future, God put eSwatini back on their heart and began calling them 'home' to eSwatini. They, along with their two boys Manning and Azariah, have been instrumental in stewarding Gap Year teams in Nsoko, eSwatini. David enjoys sharing through spoken word and Jenna loves working with her hands to create artisan crafts with the Gogos through Timbali Crafts. They have such a heart for drawing creativity out of people and helping them flourish in their identity and calling.

What we do in eSwatini:
The team focuses on fighting poverty in the Kingdom of Eswatini through training the next generation of leaders. Our program leaders focus on personal development and form strategic partnerships to lift communities upward and onward.

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Africa

South Africa

Africa
South Africa

South Africa

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Location: Jeffreys Bay
Ministry: Global Leadership Academy
Focus: Community Outreach, Children’s Ministry, Leadership, Teaching

In month three, your squad will split up by gender for a month of intentional ministry - the women will travel to South Africa to spend the rest of your time in Southern Africa serving with Global Leadership Academy (GLA) in Jeffreys Bay. Your team will primarily serve through teaching classes and helping with admin and improvement projects around the school. In the afternoons, your team will be involved in various community outreaches. The men will spend their time at the Adventures in Missions eSwatini base doing outreach, focusing on leadership and also doing children's ministry.

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East Africa

Ethiopia

East Africa
Ethiopia

Ethiopia

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Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ministry: Watch God move during your time with HOPEthiopia.
Focus: Children’s Ministry, Elder Care

Serve with HOPEthiopia in Addis Ababa, a ministry that creates safe communities for people at the margins of society. Show God’s love to at-risk children and spend time caring for the often neglected elderly population while you listen to their stories and build relationships. Join this community as agents of change by bringing physical restoration through reforestation projects, and spiritual restoration through the hope of the Gospel. Ethiopia is unlike any other country in Africa. The people maintain a unique cultural identity and welcome you in like family.

HOPEthiopia is committed to the restoration of both the people and the land of Ethiopia. This will be accomplished by the implementation of four distinct project initiatives, each working together to produce a hopeful nation.

Watch HopeEthiopia's video.
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Southeast Asia

Cambodia

Southeast Asia
Cambodia

Cambodia

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Location: Cambodia
Ministry: Network of Local Ministry Partners throughout Cambodia
Focus: Community Outreach

Join our partners as they minister to local street kids, teach English, and share the hope of the Gospel with local families. Even after a devastating genocide wiped out a generation, the Cambodian people are rebuilding with a resilient outlook and a generous heart. Watch God rebuild this country as He continues to build your faith. From the modern city of Siem Reap to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the Kingdom of Cambodia intrigues and inspires.

While you’re in Cambodia, you will get to know Shannon and Vikki Bobb, and their daughter Zoe. The Bobbs spent many years serving in Cambodia before joining our base and we are so excited for what God has in store! Check out their blog and meet their family.

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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: Agape

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Becca Engstrom
Becca Engstrom
North Kingstown, RI
Chloe MacMillin
Chloe MacMillin
Northbrook, IL
Catherine Ricker
Catherine Ricker
Dallas, TX
Hailey Smith
Hailey Smith
Gastonia, NC
Libby Stipp-Puffer
Libby Stipp-Puffer
Mansfield, TX

Team Name: Align

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Delaney Bonfield
Delaney Bonfield
Liberty Twp., OH
Jen Opdahl
Jen Opdahl
Fairfax, Virginia
Emma Redmon
Emma Redmon
Thompsons Station, TN
Kaylin Stanley
Kaylin Stanley
Easley, SC
Madison Stephenson
Madison Stephenson
Jacksonville, FL
Layna Tolton
Layna Tolton
Fredrick , MD

Team Name: Kenosis

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Ben Bigcraft
Ben Bigcraft
Salt Lake City, UT
Wesley Cannon
Wesley Cannon
DUNCAN, SOUTH CAROLINA
Samson Densmore
Samson Densmore
Ankeny, IA
Brent Long
Brent Long
West Chester, PA
Gabe Montanez
Gabe Montanez
McGaheysville, Virginia
Carter Tran
Carter Tran
Superior, CO

Team Name: Shathal

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Brooklyn Dilley
Brooklyn Dilley
Ankeny, IA
Kailey Grueser
Kailey Grueser
Barboursville, WV
Jamie Schroeder
Jamie Schroeder
Edna, TX
Sydney Spears
Sydney Spears
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Angelina Torres
Angelina Torres
Miami Beach, FL

Team Name: Stride

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Morgan Applegate
Morgan Applegate
Amherst, NY
Emma Austin
Emma Austin
Camino, CA
Andrea Gallina
Andrea Gallina
Largo, FL
Anjali Joy
Anjali Joy
Huntingdon Valley, PA
Mackenzie Tkach
Mackenzie Tkach
Troy, OH
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!

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