The World Race: Changing a Culture of Consumerism Through God's Love

( [email protected] ) Jun 09, 2014 02:47 PM EDT
In a world obsessed with consumerism, the World Race Challenge allows young Christians to spread the gospel to 11 different countries over 11 months. Participants leave behind their material belongings to embark on an adventure in which they tangibly express God's love to poverty-stricken countries.
The World Race seeks to spread the gospel to poverty-stricken countries

Today's culture is obsessed with consumerism. Whether it is money, technology, cars or clothes, our country has become increasingly centered on growth and material acquisition.

However, there is a generation of young Christians who desire a changed world, are seeking a more meaningful life, and are passionately rising to the challenge of seeing the world transformed through the tangible power of God's love.

Though an 11 month-long mission trip called the World Race, "racers" aged 21-35 experience a counter-cultural adventure, giving up their comfortable lifestyles to live like the indigenous people in eleven different countries.

Currently, there are one hundred racers involved with the World Race, which is organized by Adventures In Missions (AIM). Each group works to help those around the world in need of spiritual and physical care.

According to organization's website, the trip is designed to challenge the young Christians to consider if their path in life is too easy and to understand what God made them for. Participants rely on the hospitality and generosity of locals for their everyday needs, learning both dependence on others and survival without common "necessities."

Seth Barnes, founder and executive director of AIM, says that by leaving behind material goods, young people are able to focus on greater things.

"By leaving all of this stuff that has defined us and just allowing God to open up His possibilities, in all different cultures, they find that there's more to life, that this yearning that they've had inside has an answer," he told CBN News.

28 year old Emily Wright left her job, apartment and family to participate in the World Race challenge. Tired of the pressures and busyness of the US, the Virginia Beach, VA native gave up everyday comforts to spread the gospel in poverty-stricken areas. Currently, she is serving in a small village in Moldova, where she shucks corn-the village's primary source of food.

"In these cultures...people don't care what you look like or what you smell like," she said. "They care about the message that you have."

"The only limit is the one you set yourself," she continued. "I'm excited just to be a part of something bigger than myself."

Barnes says that while racers certainly experience adventure, the main goal of the trip is to spread the gospel to native lands and grow young Christians in their faith.

"Many people look at the World Race and get the wrong idea," he said. "They think it's about young people seeing the world."

 "The reality is that, while young people often sign up because of the adventures they know they'll have and the worldview that a year of global travel will give them, it's really an initiation experience," he continued. "On the World Race you learn about what God is doing on the earth and how to join Him in it."

To participate in the World Race challenge, visit the World Race website.