Wednesday, September 3, 2014

missional focus: holly & the world race

Last week I reached out to a sweet girl I went to high school with who is about to embark on a year long mission trip around the world! She has always had a very clear heart for the Lord. I remember even back when I was an atheist seeing it in her and being impressed by her obvious devotion and passion, and recognizing that she was not like the judgemental, holier than thou Christians I had known before. Now that I'm a Christian, seeing on Facebook that she was about to go on this journey was so exciting and inspiring, I just had to have her share with all of you!! Without further ado, meet Holly!

Hi, my name is Holly Swaney and I am about to embark on a mission trip called the World Race. The World Race is an eleven month mission trip to eleven different countries. It is based out of Gainesville, Georgia from Adventures in Missions.  Before I go into the details about the next year of my life allow me to introduce you to myself a little bit and explain how God led me to the World Race. 
These bags will contain Holly's life for the next 11 months. Such simplicity is inspiring!
As a young girl, I have always had a passion for missions. At the age of sixteen, I accepted the call to serve God in full-time ministry. At the time, I was not quite sure what that may look like. Missionary work was always in the back of my mind, but leaving the comforts of home had always been scary to me. I have been on five overseas mission trips since the age of eighteen and I have loved each one, but they were only a week long at most.  As I was nearing the end of college, I felt God calling me to serve him in a more long term mission work. It was at this time I found out about the World Race, but my own selfish desires led me to saying no to what God was calling me to do. 
This was her training camp with all the soon-to-be missionaries, learning what this journey is going to be like for them!
For the past six years, I have been serving as the Children’s minister at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. I could not ask for a better job. I have loved every minute of it, but I still felt God tugging at my heart telling me I needed to give him more. After a year of hardship and trials, I was placed in a season of life where I really had some self-revelation and healing.  I started seeking God more and the World Race kept popping up everywhere I turned. After much prayer and consideration, I applied for the World Race and was eventually accepted. It was not an easy decision. I have to admit that fear, anxiety, and stubbornness all tried to hold me back, but I had already said no one time and I was not going to say no a second time. Since that day, God has confirmed it many times that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I am so excited to see how God continues to work in my life and the lives of others through this next year. 
These guys look like they're having so much fun. Missionary training is also about bonding with others going on the journey too.
On next Tuesday, I fly to my first country Haiti. Over the course of the next year, I will travel to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The types of ministry each month varies including working in orphanages, street ministry, construction work, sex trafficking ministry, and agricultural work. I will travel with my forty squad mates to each country and once we are in the country we will split into smaller teams. I am on a team of seven girls. As a World Racer, all of our funds our support raised. I have to raise a total of $16,000 to cover my airfare, lodging, food, ground transportation, and training fees. 
Holly & her team. I cannot wait to hear about what these ladies are learning and how God is using them!
There are several ways for you to partner with me on this journey.  This journey is not about me, it is about furthering the kingdom of God.  First, you can visit my World Race blog  This is a great way to find out more about me and my calling in more detail. As a travel, I will update my blog with pictures, videos and stories from the field so that you can be connected to this trip as well. Second, if you feel led, you can click the “support me” tab in my blog to contribute to my world race fund. Lastly, I am always in a need of prayers. You can partner with me just by committing to praying for me and my team as we tell others about the love of Jesus Christ. 

I am so grateful for next chapter in my life that God has called me to. My goal and prayer for this year is for God to transform my heart and my mind, to renew me, to heal me, to show me who I am in him, and to reveal my true calling and identity as a daughter of the king so that I can better be a vessel for him to bring the good news of the kingdom. So I challenge you today, to look into your own heart and ask God what is He calling you to do?  
I told you you would love her. Please join me in supporting Holly with our funding and our eager prayers. She's going to be providing a few updates here and there for all of us over the next year, and I cannot wait to hear what the Lord will do through her and her missions team!

Seasons with the Strattons

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  1. Replies
    1. I know! I am so inspired by her courage and passion and cannot wait to hear more of her journey!

  2. This is incredible! What an amazing journey she's going to go on. I can't even imagine how excited and nervous she is! I can't wait to follow her on this adventure.

    1. Seriously! She's incredible and I am so excited for her and to see where this all takes her.

  3. I can't wait to hear all about her adventure! What an opportunity to be a light to so many different people in so many different places! I love hearing stories like this!

    1. I am so excited to keep sharing as she is able to provide updates! Her story is so inspiring.

  4. Thanks for sharing about Holly, Kaitlin. This journey is inspiring and I pray that God would provide more than what she needs, that she would be in good health, and would overflow with love for all that she will encounter.

    1. I agree, it is a beautiful story. Thank you for joining me in supporting her with your prayers!


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