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Where am I going??? What am I doing??
Philippines – January
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. It offers a variety of landscapes – beaches, mountains, volcanic lakes – and languages, with Tagalog as the national tongue. The Catholic Church is a substantial piece of the religious pie, however, and Islam is growing in the island of Mindinao. The Filipino people and culture love music, dance and community. While there, you may find yourself living with and giving hope to the destitute, caring for orphans, and challenging the growing number of Christ-followers to rise up.
Thailand – February
The kingdom of Thailand, known as Siam until 1939, is the only country in the region not colonized by Europe. Their 2000 census showed that 94.6% of the population is Buddhist, 4.6% are Muslim, and 0.7% are Christian. Approximately 600,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. With nearly two million people estimated to be forced into prostitution, it has become one of the most popular places for sex tourism. Change lives in the city-where you, like Jesus, might befriend prostitutes-or in the countryside-where you may serve youth, care for orphans, and encourage a remnant of believers.
Cambodia – March
Cambodia houses one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple and monastery built during the Khmer empire in the 12th century. It later became a Buddhist complex a century later, and today, just over 96% of Cambodia is Buddhist. Almost 30 years ago, 1.5 million Cambodians died at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, Cambodia is a source, transit point, and destination of human trafficking. Unfortunately, the government is struggling to stop it. The people of Cambodia are thirsty for the hope you can bring.
Vietnam – April
After nearly a century of French rule, in the mid-20th century, Vietnam was split into communist (north) and non-communist (south) halves. By 1975, Vietnam was made whole again, but as a communist country. Even with the economic reforms and restoration of diplomatic ties human rights are limited in Vietnam, especially freedom of religion; most of Vietnam is Buddhist, less than 10% is Catholic. Here you’ll be fed with pho, delicious beef noodle soup, and in turn feed believers and pray God’s light and presence everywhere you go.
Malawi – May
Known as “the warm heart of Africa,” Malawi is a place you visit to ignite your passion for God’s love. This country has a beautiful landscape and an even more beautiful culture and population. This month, you’ll fall in love with the people of Malawi and bless them with the love of God. Chances are you won’t want to leave.
After years of British colonial rule, Zambia became independent in 1964. Since then, the economy has grown and the official religion has become Christianity, but there are still great needs in Zambia. With the country near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index, the Zambian people still suffer from poverty, short life expectancy, malnourishment, lack of clean water, and the AIDS crisis. Zambia needs encouragement from missionaries who can remind them of God’s faithfulness in the face of challenges.
Zimbabwe – July
Formerly a British colony known as Rhodesia, Zimbabwe boasts intriguing ruins and shares the majestic Victoria Falls with Zambia. According to Amnesty International, the current regime is allowing human rights violations to escalate. Zimbabwe also has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. The majority of the people identify themselves as Christians but very much need people like you to advance the kingdom with love and hope.
Ireland – August
Ireland boasts a heritage of Christianity through Catholicism. Yet the lifeless display of faith reveals that this nation is farther from God than ever. Rampant alcoholism and suicide rates reveal a desperate need for hope. Through sports, children’s outreach, street evangelism, pub ministry, and the relationships that just happen along the way, the World Race reintroduces a life-giving faith to this beautiful, historic culture.
Bulgaria – September
This southern-central European country is the 16th largest in Europe. Its geography is varied with mountain ranges, plains and a coastline along the Black Sea. Its economy is growing, but among all the European Union members it ranks lowest in terms of income. Organized crime is an issue as is human trafficking. Bulgaria is mainly a source of trafficking in persons yet also, to a lesser extent, a transit point and destination of trafficking. Here, about half the population claims to be orthodox and over 10% are Muslim. You can bring light and hope to this nation caught between “developed” and “developing.”
Moldova – October
Once a part of Romania, this former Soviet republic declared independence in 1991. 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 clarity and declare the peace of God over a land filled with confusion and chaos.
Romania – November
The northern regions of Romania are home to the gypsy community. Though strangers in their homeland and forgotten by society, the gypsies are a strong and vibrant people who embrace the light of Christ in an inspirational way. Here, you will teach English, lead sports camps, live life with the gypsies, and more. It will be an exciting time of learning about a people group you may not have known even existed.