Contact: Jeff Goins, Adventures In Missions, 615-512-5488, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.theworldrace.org
GAINESVILLE, Georgia, Sept. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- In January of this year, 50 North American Christians left the comfort of their homes and possessions in search of the abundant life of faith and adventure. They're calling it a pilgrimage – an opportunity to find themselves and really experience God outside of the box.
The World Race was birthed in 2005 as a pioneer missions effort to encourage young people to move away from American comfort and into a year-long discipleship program. It was founded by ministry entrepreneur Seth Barnes, founder and executive director of Adventures In Missions, a short-term missions organization in Gainesville, Georgia.
"This is not just another mission trip; it's a commitment to a transformational discovery process," Barnes says. "The World Race taps an ancient human compulsion to take a spiritual pilgrimage. A whole new rite of passage is waiting to be born, and millions of young people are waiting to respond."
Participants travel to 11 different locations, spending a month working with local churches in the area to serve the needs of the community. They "race" to each location and start each month with friendly competition; for example, in Peru, they had to do a scavenger hunt around Lima. However, the vast majority of time spent in each location is focused on ministry and service. This is only the second year of the Race, and already hundreds are flocking to be a part of this experience. Many more are expected to follow.
Barnes predicts, "Thousands and thousands of young people are going to eventually embark on this pilgrimage around the world, because it provides a context in which they can discover themselves and who they are in Christ… and how they fit in the world. Many people in their twenties are looking for answers. They've got more questions than they've got answers. And what better place to find them than as you go on a pilgrimage around the world?"
With nothing but a backpack, these young travelers live simply, traveling from place to place in hopes of discovering a faith that is authentic and vibrant. They depend on the hospitality and generosity of strangers, just as Jesus instructed his followers to do in Matthew 10.
World Racers are transformed by this unique mission trip and in effect, become world-changers themselves. '06 and '07 participant Chad Mast, from San Diego, CA, remarks on his travels with this Race: "How can I possibly make a difference in this life? God has given me a glimpse into this world as to where he wants me to begin to find out. He has let me touch families that have suffered from hurricanes in Guatemala. He has shown me the life of persecuted orphans in India. He has shown me a revival in the Catholic church of Poland. He has shown me what AIDS is doing to the entire continent of Africa. I will never be the same. I never want to be the same."
This year, three World Race groups will be sent out on this missionary journey, and four more are scheduled to leave in 2008. To find out more, visit: www.theworldrace.org.