Upon graduation, many Lipscomb students choose to face the real world with business suits and briefcases, but this is not the case for 2014 graduate, Andrew Hunt. Instead of stocking up on professional attire, Hunt bought a sleeping bag, packed a backpack, and signed up for a great adventure: The World Race.
The World Race is a unique ministry that sends missionaries to 11 countries over the span of 11 months. The small teams of about 6-7 people range in age from 21-35, and there are routes all over the world. Though each team sets out with a specific route assignment, these are subject to change for various reasons. Hunt will spend one month in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Turkey, Albania, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
Hunt fell in love with discovering new cultures while he was a student, as he participated in Lipscomb Missions and Global Learning. He has traveled to Cozumel, Mexico and Shiloh Camp in New York on mission efforts. “If it wasn’t for my exposure to Lipscomb Missions, and learning so much through those mission trips, I don’t think there’s any way I would be taking this leap of faith to go on the World Race.”
Like Lipscomb Missions, The World Race utilizes relationships with host partners in each country. These host partners may take the form of churches, nonprofit organizations, schools, orphanages, or other ministries. Hunt gained experience in this type of relationship in Cozumel and New York, and feels prepared to represent organizations that are on the ground year-round. “Lipscomb Missions equipped me for working with host partners. I know that while we’re there, we’re not only representing ourselves, our faith, and our God, we’re representing that organization and its reputation.”
This is one of many aspects of the World Race that Hunt feels his experience with Lipscomb Missions prepared him for. As a student team leader for the Cozumel trip during his senior year, Hunt feels confident in this ability to foster healthy team dynamics. He also credits Lipscomb for the development of many cherished mentorships. “I’ve had an incredible community at Lipscomb, I have mentors all over the place on campus. Being thrown out of the Lipscomb bubble and into the real world, to go serve with out all the cushions and protections and mentors, all the life vests that have kept me above the water, will be difficult. But I’m incredibly grateful for the support and mentorship that I’ve gained while a student.”
As one can imagine, a venture like this is costly. “Donors are important, they are vital to the Kingdom. It may seem easy to just write a check, it may not seem like you're doing much, but you’re having a humongous impact,” notes Hunt. He was tasked with raising almost $17,000, and still has about $10,000 to go. This cost covers food, lodging, travel, training, debriefing, and more. If you would like to donate to Hunt’s efforts, visit his fundraising site and blog at http://andrewhunt.theworldrace.org. If you cannot assist Hunt financially, you can support him in prayer. He asked specifically for prayers of perseverance, smooth relationships with his team members, and success on their mission.
Hunt’s involvement with Lipscomb Missions started him down a path that has changed his life. He encourages students to take part in mission trips with Lipscomb, even if they don’t want to do something like the World Race upon graduation. “You can learn a lot from Lipscomb Missions. You don’t have to become a missionary after you graduate to make your experience worthwhile, you can take what you learn and apply it to whatever you do, wherever you go.”
Lipscomb Missions is thankful to be a positive influence in Hunt’s decision to go on the World Race, and is proud to have another alumna, Lauren LaCava, participating in the same mission effort (http://laurenlacava.theworldrace.org). As a small office on a small campus, we have been shown time and time again how big our God is, and how He is not limited by numbers or expectations. It is always encouraging to see our students and alumni continue their journey in the mission field. We would like to encourage our readers to pray for Andrew, as he embarks on his journey September 6.