When the spread of COVID-19 caused many countries to close down their borders, we unexpectedly had to bring over 500 World Race participants back to the United States within just a few days. But the World Race is just the beginning. Our hope is to awaken and activate people to a bigger journey, one where the Kingdom of God becomes a way of life.
Life is ministry. Ministry is life.
We created the Hope Rising blog to continue sharing stories of how our alumni, ministry partners, coaches, and others within our network are spreading the hope of the Gospel in hope that others will be inspired to do the same.
Alumni and partners all over the world are making a difference through feeding the hungry, praying for the sick, providing Bible studies for prisoners, and so much more. We’ve been able to use this platform to raise funds to assist them in meeting the tangible needs for a world plagued by the ongoing pandemic.
Claire Burton, World Race: Gap Year alumna (September 2019) realized quickly after returning to Texas from her gap year that God’s miracles and power were not limited to villages on the other side of the world. Many of her own neighbors were also fighting illnesses. Her heart broke for the ways she had neglected to minister to, pray for, and love the very people who lived right next door to her for many years. She writes, “Whether we’re overseas or in our home states, we serve the same powerful God. The same miracles He performs in the remote villages of Southeast Asia are possible in suburban neighborhoods of America. God’s power isn’t dependent on where we are – it’s not dependent on us at all, actually, because He doesn’t change.”
When Ryan Breakfield, World Race alum (January 2020) had to abruptly end what he expected to be 11 months on the World Race after only 2 months, he was emotional, confused, and honestly a little angry. While quarantining with some of his squadmates back in the United States, Ryan found a renewed vision from the Lord. The structure of the World Race might be over, but he knew “Life is ministry. Ministry is life.” He led the team in seeking out partnering with a local ministries, including a food pantry that had lost it’s high-risk, elderly volunteers at a time when meeting the tangible needs of their community was increasingly relevant.
Julia Piecka, World Race alumna (2018) is just one example of someone who is continuing to create a life of ministry 1 year after returning home from the World Race. After her experience on the World Race, She knew she wanted to continue working to fulfill the Great Commission through outreach and meeting the needs of others. She’s been able to live that out by working with a faith-based nonprofit located in Pittsburgh, PA, where she has the opportunity to invest in the lives of at-risk children, youth, and their families to help them grow as followers of Christ.