So I have some news! Many of you know this already…but I want to officially announce that…
Starting in July I will be going on a year-long mission trip called the World Race!
I will be traveling with sixty other young people (aged 21-35) to minister and serve in eleven different countries. In each country, we will be divided into small teams and partnered with local Christian organizations to work and serve with them for the month. What will we do? “Every day on the World Race will look a little different. Some days will be packed full with construction, vacation bible school, building relationships with orphans, or praying for the sick at a hospital. Some days could be slower where we shop for groceries at the market, cook for our team, and spend time praying for the community we walk through. Every day will be focused on being a part of God’s Kingdom work, in every way that could look.” Then, at the end of the month, we will move to the next country. Starting in Ireland, we will travel to Ukraine, Russia, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Malysia, and even one country which is to-be-determined.
Here’s a little introduction video to the World Race:
Sounds cool. So why The World Race?
I have always wanted to travel and see the world. Not just going around and seeing touristy things, but to live with local people, be a part of their lives, and truly experience their culture. Recently, I’ve been learning the raw beauty in sharing life together, really going deep together in community, and I think this will give me an opportunity to understand the puzzle piece that these various cultures bring to the multi-faceted world that we live in.
Also, I have always wanted to see the true condition of our planet. I want to visit the poorest of the poor – to have my heart break with those who are in need, children who are desperate, hungry, dying. I’ve been blessed by an amazing life growing up here in America but at times I don’t feel I really appreciate everything that I do have. I want to have my eyes opened to God’s heart for His children all over the world.
Last, I have heard about amazing miracles in foreign countries – how in Africa, people pray for food to multiply because they don’t have enough to feed the hundreds of orphans, and a few chickens miraculously turns into hundreds. I have heard of healing miracles taking place – the blind seeing, deaf hearing, and lame people walking due to the power of prayer. I imagine that you might pray a little harder when you live in a village where there is no on-call doctor and no pharmacy down the street. Something about this place of dependency awakens the heart of God, and in being taken away from my Americanized consumer lifestyle for a few months, I’m hoping to better live in that place of utter dependency.
How did God call you to the World Race?
In 2009, I got an email describing a volleyball fundraiser that a girl named Jenny was putting on – at the bottom of the email I found out that this fundraiser was for a mission trip she was going on called the World Race. I love volleyball, so I decided to go and meet this girl and hear more about this trip. When she began to tell me about it, something in my heart sparked. Even a few months prior to this, I remember saying, “All I want to go is take my backpack and see what God is doing all over the world.” Essentially, this is exactly what the World Race is.
So I started praying about it. And every time I prayed, I sensed that God was telling me, “July 2012.”
As July 2012 was coming up, I continued to sense a “yes” in my spirit and went ahead and applied for the trip. The two race routes came out, but neither of them seemed right. While I was at work that night, a young man from Ireland came through my check out line at Trader Joe’s. I prayed, “I would really like to go to Ireland. God, if only there were a trip that went to Mozambique and Ireland.” Well, that night they posted a new race route that went to both Mozambique and Ireland. This was true confirmation for me!
Now I know what you’re thinking:
Wait a minute!?! What about Boston?
While I do feel called to Boston, I believe that God is sending me on this journey as a means of training and equipping me in preparation for further work here in the city. As Boston sends people to the nations, and as Boston is a hub of the world’s peoples and cultures, I believe that God is sending me to these nations to gain experience and knowledge in these places. One of our main goals with UniteBoston is to help unite various cultures and people groups in Greater Boston, and I believe this experience will be instrumental in helping to shape the vision and strategy of our work. I do want to be open to how the Lord might speak to me on this trip, but my intention is to return to Boston after the Race.
How much does this cost?
The cost of this World Race Route is $15,500; this goes towards all team costs once the trip begins (food, lodging, air, land, and sea travel, training costs). In raising support the past four months, I have learned to be upfront and honest about my finances – I’ve explained how the World Race is one step along my kingdom journey. Truly, I can’t do it alone! From July 2012 to June 2013, the contributions from people on my monthly support team will go towards the cost of the World Race. I am grateful for your willingness to consider the opportunity to partner with me on this journey! If you would like to contribute, you can visit http://kellysteinhaus.theworldrace.org/ and then click the “Support Me” tab on the left.
I truly can’t do it without you. Thank you for being a part of my life!
What will you do to prepare for this journey?
1. The biggest challenge in front of me right now is to prepare UniteBoston for my year-long departure. UniteBoston is still a very young organization (a year and a half old) and I feel like I am carrying a lot of the load right now. Yet, I am confident that God will supply every need of ours, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). You can join me in praying for volunteers and people being willing to come alongside our small team to labor for the kingdom of God in Greater Boston. We have a connecting team meeting on February 9 that we are promoting and publicizing throughout the area and I am believing God for ten people to attend this gathering.
2. I will be learning common phrases and greetings in the seven languages that are spoken in these countries (Russian, Swahili, Portugese, Hindi, Urdu, Nepalese, and Cambodian.) I would also like to become fairly proficient in both Portuguese and Russian. Here is a cool opportunity for you! If you know some common phrases and greetings in these languages (Uncle Gordon?) you can help me fill out my World Race Language Chart. This is a google doc that is editable so if you’ve done some traveling you can definitely help me here by filling in some of the blanks!
3. I am also taking the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course this spring. This course teaches “how every believer can be intimately woven into the story of God using His people to be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth;” I have heard multiple people express how this course changed their life. It’s taught as a college-level course, and is nationally-recognized with different instructors around the country flying in to teach each of the evening lectures. I am really looking forward to gaining this knowledge and understanding about missions before experiencing His kingdom in person all over the world!
4. I will be attending the World Race Training Camp in Atlanta, Georgia from May 19-26 – this is a chance for everyone in our squad to meet each other for the first time, do team-building and training activities, and begin to build relationships with one another before our journey together.
What are you racing for?
Contrary to the name, It’s not actually a race. It’s just a cool name and honestly I get a little excited whenever I hear the word “race.” I think that’s the competitive rower in me coming out. :-)
In Isaiah 6:8, Isaiah hears the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And he replies: “Here am I. Send me!”
Today, I say – “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” I feel incredibly humbled and blessed that God is giving me this opportunity. To the nations I go…