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The World Race celebrates 5th year anniversary

Ashley Musick was on the first World Race and wrote this blog.   5 years ago a rag-tag group of crazy Christians met in Matamoros, Mexico to leave on this new thing called the World Race. We were quite literally racing around the world to tell people about Jesus. The life I live now is …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Ashley Musick was on the first World Race and wrote this blog.
 
5 years ago a rag-tag group of crazy Christians met in Matamoros, Mexico
to leave on this new thing called the World Race. We were quite
literally racing around the world to tell people about Jesus. The life I
live now is a direct result of showing up in Mexico that cold Saturday,
five years ago.

There were 14 crazy Americans and 9 crazier South Africans on the pioneering squad. 23 people in total.


January 2006 Pioneer Squad

In
the beginning, the World Race looked a lot different that it is now.
Seth Barnes, the Founder of Adventures in Missions had partnered with
Anna Marie Franken from South Africa to develop the program and send us
out on our journey together. Anna Marie actually traveled the entire
journey with us. I’ll never forget the first night I met Anna Marie. We
were spending the night sleeping outside of a bus station. Without
hesitation, she unrolled her sleeping mat, laid it on the ground in a
parking spot, and went sound to sleep beside something that smelled
absolutely foul. She was one tough, mission-ready lady.


Seth Barnes, Filming the Start of the Race, Matamoros Mexico


Anna Marie Franken

Back
in the day, most of our ministry was Spirit-led. There were only a
handful of places that we had ministry set-up in advance and worked with
contacts we knew. Everywhere else we pioneered new ministries,
contacts, and even planted some churches. There were no logistics teams
planning out hostels, buses, or flights.

One
of the most aggravating travel days occurred when we arrived from Macau
to Bangkok in the middle of the night and tried to find a place to stay
within budget. Some people wanted to save, some were ready to spend
after the month in China, some wanted to be together in one location,
and others didn’t care… and it was like 2 or 3 AM in the OLD Bangkok
airport. If I remember correctly, I just sat on the luggage car and
waiting for someone to tell me what to do.

Our
squad debriefed just about every month of the race. Debriefing an
experience that has never been done before was difficult and it is a lot
different than the process we have in place today. Nobody knew the best
questions to ask. I remember Kimmie’s Island Show, our debrief
entertainment at our hotel in Phuket. It included the Newly-Wed game,
some beach relay races, rainy day games, and lots of snacks from the
Seven Eleven.


Kim Lynch, Sarah Rinn, and Myself in Thailand

The
World Race was actually a race around the world for our squad. It
started in Mexico at Launch. We kept the times for all our races
throughout the year, 9 total, and then declared a cumulative time winner
at the finish in South Africa. Some highlights included buying our own
vehicle with the intent of selling it later. (That’s a story). We
traveled across borders and climbed a volcano in Guatemala. We got
ripped off by a “private” shuttle service that actually took all the
teams to Mexico together. We completed a Chinese scavenger hunt in
Mandarin. There was the one in Thailand that included eating bugs,
throwing water on other teams, climbing temples, snorkeling in the
Tasman Sea, writing a paper on the difference between Jesus and Buddha.
Some people watched a snake charmer at the Taj Mahal in India… I did
not participate. We booked the same flight to Malaysia and the winners
were the ones whose bags came into luggage claim first. We raced through
several of the churches of Revelation and performed an original drama
in the ancient theater of Ephesus. At the end we rented cars and drove
across South Africa, ran out on a pier, and took our picture to stop the
clock.


The Final Race Check-In, Port Elizabeth South Africa

The
teams were smaller, the staff at home was much smaller, and the budget
was smaller. Getting by on the amount we had was difficult, only the
Blue team managed to do it. (Casey would be quick to correct me if I
left that one out.) There were times we slept on the street, slept at
train stations, cooked in pots we found in the trash, and lived off
bread and chocolate spread.


Cooking on our home made fire pit. Everything was found in the trash.

We went to a lot more than 11 countries. We saw so many ancient and awesome sights on our journey.


The Parthenon in Athens Greece

We planted a church in Mexico in one week. 60 people were attending from the village under a tarp in a man’s backyard.

We
worked with a brand new church, only one month old, in Guatemala. A
young gang member and drug addict named Zacheo came to the Lord there.
Teams rebuilt homes after mudslides had destroyed the area.

 We
left tracts in temples in forbidden, faraway places under the cover of
darkness. We were introduced to reality of sex trafficking in Asia.

There
was an orphanage full of children in India who didn’t have anything to
eat, and an amazing Man of God who had been captured, persecuted, and
released that shared the reality of total surrender to the Lord.

Summer
brought camps in the war-torn and hardened areas of Eastern Europe.
Egypt revealed a long line of people, Coptic Christians, who have
committed their lives to Christ and suffered persecution in the Arab
world.

Eastern
Africa showed us the hunger people have to know and experience the love
and power of Christ, and the hunger that extreme poverty has left them
to deal with day in and day out.

We
taught high school students about AIDS, abstinence, and Jesus. One 10th
grade girl asked me to pray with her because she was HIV positive.

The
world became smaller that year. Stories became realities. There were
faces and names and memories to things we had only ever heard about. It
was the beginning of something bigger.

It’s been five years
today. There are approximately 500 WR Alumni now, and 420 WR’ers on the
field. There are now 62 people on World Race staff, including those in
our Apprentice Program. The growth of the program is astronomical, and
it’s only just beginning. It’s been an honor to continue to serve the
vision, Seth Barnes, and Michael Hindes.


WR Staff at Stirred Conference

Getting
on the plane to Mexico was a fork in the road. I have no idea where I’d
be, what I’d be doing now, or even who I would have become if I hadn’t
gotten on that plane. That first trip wasn’t perfect. It was quite messy
in fact. Even though I’ve seen 22 other squads trained and launched, I
wouldn’t trade my journey for any other. That first World Race was
reserved for a special few, and I count it a blessing to have been a
part of the start. I come alive thinking about what is still ahead for
me and for the World Race.

Comments (5)

  • thank you so much for the world race

    the ripple effect of this ministry is eternal for those who went on it in the last 5 yrs, as well as all those touched by world racers

  • it is so true. the WR is truly an initiation into the rest of your life. that is the best description I have ever heard to describe it. i am so very grateful for my experience and the things God has done and is doing in my life because of how I found Him on the Race!

    Thank you, Uncle Seth for dreaming big and stepping out and challenging and teaching the rest of us how to dream BIG Kingdom Dreams! I am grateful.

    And thank you, Ashley for articulating this so well! It is an awesome post!

    kristen nicole.

  • You’ve described life up close & personal and flung far into nights and deserts and broken places…and healing and hope and restoration. Thank you, Ashley.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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