Wartburg alumna Bethany Fristad isn’t sure where or what she will be doing the next 11 months, but knows her experiences will change her in ways she never thought possible.
Fristad and almost 300 others are currently a part of the World Race, an 11-month mission trip that partners with different ministries throughout the world.
The group, featured in USA Today and Us Weekly this month, will be visiting a different country each month, only traveling with as much as they can carry.
“This journey is all about adventure, ministry, community and self-discovery,” Fristad said. “World racers are part of a generation that is dissatisfied with the status quo and are actively rising to the challenge of seeing the world transformed through God’s love.”
Fristad began her journey on Sept. 10 and is currently staying in Harbin, China, partnering with universities in the city and forming relationships with college students to encourage ministry.
The group’s goal is to invest in young people and get them involved in churches so ministry will continue even after they leave, Fristad said.
World Racers will be visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia in the next couple months, working on services such as establishing churches, working in orphanages, fighting sex trafficking and prostitution, creating feeding programs and teaching English.
Service in the World Race depends on the ministry they partner with in each country and is subject to change based on the needs of the country and if there are safe conditions for the group.
“The first time Bethany told me she wanted to participate in the World Race, I thought it was crazy,” Ellen Scott, Wartburg senior and Fristad’s best friend said. “Bethany is very passionate and stubborn in a good way and just felt a calling. She knows this is something she needs to do.”
Fristad heard about the World Race while visiting Haiti in January and applied for the opportunity as soon as she could get the chance. A week later she received a voicemail requesting an interview.
“When I first heard ‘11 countries in 11 months,’ I was hooked. All I’ve ever wanted to do is mission work and travel,” Fristad said. “Hearing about the race was a dream come true.”
Fristad said she isn’t sure what her plans are for the future but is going to work on being fully invested in ministry and her life in the world, waiting for God to reveal her next steps.
Being in the field for a little over three weeks, Fristad said she has already learned so much about herself and is excited about discovering herself and helping others.
Because of Fristad’s experiences and decision to join the World Race, Scott has also applied to participate in the World Race next year. She will find out if she was accepted by next Thursday.
“Choosing to participate in the World Race is all about striving to develop your faith and discovering more about yourself,” Scott said.
“It’s a need of this generation to see the bigger picture much beyond ourselves.”