For most people, college is the next step after graduating from high school. In fact, that’s my next step, but one of my best friends is pursuing a path a little more unorthodox.
To me and my friends, mission trips have always been attractive. Getting to travel, meet new people and connect with them, and (most importantly) serve the Lord. What a dream!
Typically, mission trips last like a week, maybe even a month… but nine months?
The World Race Gap Year is a nine month mission trip to many different countries across the world in which the missioners serve the poor, evangelize, and live out God’s love in extraordinary ways.
And my beautiful, courageous friend Josie is joining it!
I asked Josie how she found out about The World Race and what really drew her in. She told me that she was originally only looking for a short mission trip, but God called her to more.
“I guess what drew me to it initially was how different it was. It seemed absolutely crazy to me that someone could put off college and just go off to the middle of nowhere for nine months. And the whole time they only have a backpack and a will to help others, while they completely and blindly follow Jesus.”
In August, Josie will leave to embark on Route 3 which includes Cambodia for three months, Ethiopia for three months, Costa Rica for two, and finally Nicaragua for one.
Each day will be different from the last.
Some days she might be teaching little kids in a classroom, other days she might be helping to build a home, or she might pray in a hospital for those who are sick.
And internet connection can be spotty in areas she might be, which means she has to sacrifice the privilege of talking to friends and family everyday.
The World Race isn’t going to be easy, but nothing truly worthy is.
I seriously admire Josie so much. She has taught me to live the life that I want and to be the person that I truly want to be.
God has such great plans for our lives, and it is so encouraging when you get to see a friend live into that!
When I first started writing this blog post I was curious to see if there was anything in the Bible about mission trips. I looked it up and the first bible story suggested reminded me so much of Josie and anyone else embarking on a mission trip.
The story of Na’aman and the little maid is overlooked by many. In fact, I didn’t know anything about it before this.
Na’aman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was really well regarded because with God’s help he obtained the victory of Syria. But he was also a leper.
Those with leprosy used to be forced to live outside the city walls. They were ostracized and believed to have gotten the disease as a punishment from God.
This is where the little maid comes in.
She was taken against her will in one of the Syrian raids and was a servant to Na’aman’s wife. The little maid spoke to Na’aman’s wife of a prophet from her home country. Elisha, the prophet, could heal Na’aman because God was in favor of him.
Na’aman traveled to Elisha and (eventually) did what he said, and he was healed.
“So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” 2 Kings 5:14.
Even though the little maid was taken against her will to a foreign land, she still served the Lord.
She had so much of God’s love in her heart that she was able to spread it to many others and direct them a little closer to God.
Missionaries travel to foreign countries and try to spread God’s goodness a little more. Mission trips often leave the soul feeling refreshed and help to put things in our lives into a better perspective.
If you feel called to serve in this way, I encourage you to pray about it.
God could be calling you into action!
Or if you feel encouraged to help out in some way, but can’t commit to a mission trip at this time in your life, you should consider donating to other missionaries.
Josie also has a little blog up all about her World Race journey, go check it out and give it a read 🙂
“Above all, hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8