Sunday, 29 July 2012 by Paul McKinley
Fellow Beltonian Elizabeth "Liz" White returned June 29 from The World Race, an 11-month mission trip in 11 countries around the world.
The trip was organized by Adventures in Missions, an interdenominational organization based in Atlanta.
White learned about The World Race through a classmate at Abilene Christian University, where she graduated in May last year. The World Race organizes trips through their contacts around the world, sending individual teams to work with the various local organizations.
During the Race, White was a member of Team Cannonball, which included Erin Miller of College Station, Tommy Chapman of Baton Rouge, La.; Sara Ball of Milford, Dela.; Jenny Meunier of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada; Carl Prox of Yucaipa, Cali.; and Allie Elliot of Edinboro, Penn. They traveled, lived and worked together throughout the trip.
Team Cannonball participated in mission activities in Kakamega, Kenya; Mbarara, Uganda; Kabuga, Rwanda; Manila, Phillipines; Phuket, Thailand; Takeo Province, Cambodia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Harbin, China; Odessa, Ukraine; Draganesti-Old, Romania; and Tiraspol, Transinistra before returning home to Belton via New York City.
Some of the services they provided in the mission activities included children's ministries, Bible studies, teaching English, trading tea for cigarettes, ministering to prostitutes in Thailand, ministering to teens recovering from addiction and college ministry, among others.
White's most memorable experience was working with the prostitutes in Thailand.
"There was one night where we were at the bar and all the electricity went out," White said. "That was a big deal because they run all day and all night. For us it was like God making a statement that he didn't like what was going on in the bars. Also meeting the girls that were working in prostitution, because it put a face on what you hear in the news – it made it more real."
White said her most challenging experience was being sick in Africa, due to the water and food there.
"A lot of us got really sick just from the food and water," she said. "It's really hard to be sick and have to stay down while everyone else goes to ministry."
White said the experience has changed her.
"It changed the way I view the world," White said. "It's made everything a lot more real. It really helped me not take the things I have for granted, like food every day and good healthcare, things like that. Everything makes me want to do more, to be a missionary, to help people.
"It was really great being able to see the world and not just hear about it, and to really find your passion for things. People around the world aren't that different from us. We're all people. Getting to know people was good."
What's next for White?
"I'll be home for 6 months, and then I'll be going to the G42 leadership academy in Migas, Spain starting in January and running through June 2013," White said. "G42 is similar to a missionary training school. We will study non-profit work such as starting a non-profit organization. They provide mentors for us who are experienced missionaries, and classes for pretty much everything like media, and bible teaching."
White is a lifelong member of Belton First United Methodist Church. There are photos of her World Race, links to her blogs, and a page covering her upcoming work at G42 on the church website at http://www.fumcbelton.org. Look for the links in the navigation bar on the left: you'll need to scroll near the bottom.
White was supported in The World Race through donations from her family, friends, and church members. Donations can be made through her World Race blog at http://lizwhite.theworldrace.org. She will also be depending on donations for her work at G42. She needs to raise $6,000 for this school, plus another $4,000 to cover her student loans from ACU. Readers can donate to her support account at http://www.g42leadershipacademy.org/donate (click on "Intern Support", be sure to add Elizabeth White as the intern) or by sending a check to "G42, P.O. Box 130611, Houston TX 77219-0611. Be sure to put "Elizabeth White" in the memo on your check.