It’s the first of the month and around here at It’s Just Life that means that it is time to count the comments! This past month I chose a local group in Mason City called My Happy Place that creates wonderful rooms for kids who have endured or are enduring some crisis in their lives. It is a wonderful way to show these kids that people care and that they can have their own special place. I can not say enough about this organization and the dreams that they are helping to come true. We made a great effort this month with comments and a donation of $226.00 will be made to this great group. Thanks to all who commented!!! You can read the original post by clicking here.
It is always wonderful to see young people step out in faith and pursue a great adventure. It is even better to see children of your friends do something amazing and in May we will all be able to help support the daughter of one of my best friends from our Navy days in Orlando. Virginia and I have stayed connected since those days long ago and social media has definitely helped us recently to rekindle that friendship and I count myself very blessed to have her as one of my friends. One of her daughters, Leslie, is going on an adventure and we get to be a part of it. I “interviewed” Leslie and her words are so fabulous that I hope you will all take the time to read and see what The World Race is all about!!!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself—who you are, education and what your interests are is a great place to start.
I am 22 years old. I graduated from Florida State University one year ago (May 2013) with a Bachelors in Religion (specifying in Western Antiquity). My long term goal is to get a Masters in non-profit business management and to work with missionaries world wide. In my free time, I dance (15+ years of ballet), I work with teenagers (I intern with YouthQuake Live and with St. Peter’s Episcopal’s Youth Ministry), and I am a voracious reader (I read 2-3 books a week).
2..Explain what World Race is all about and how you found out about it.
World Race is not an actual “race”. It is an 11 month, 11 country mission trip through Adventures in Missions. July 2014 to May 2015 I will be living out of my backpack going across the world to help people in need. I first heard about the World Race 11 months before I applied (how perfect is that?!) In early 2013, I was a senior at Florida State University, and slightly terrified with what I was going to do with my life. Every so often I would talk to my co-worker turned friend Paige. She and I would pray for each other in our uncertainty of the future. During one of our talks, Paige mentioned World Race. The idea resounded with me, but God told me to wait. So instead, I prayed about going on World Race.
- What specifically will you be doing as a part of World Race?
My specific route for World Race will take me to the following countries: Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, India, Nepal, Mongolia, and China. Since each country is different and has different needs what I will be doing will change accordingly. For instance, when I am in Romania I will be working with the gypsy population, which is often discriminated against and therefore they find difficulty getting basic needs met. But then, Swaziland has the highest percentage of people with AIDS in the entire world, so I will be working with AIDS patients and AIDS orphans. And then when I am in India (and in Bulgaria too) I will be working with women in the sex trade industry. Every country is a little bit different, but the mission remains consistent throughout the trip, which is to love those who are in need, and to help where I can.
Who has influenced you the most in your life?
The people who have influenced me the most are undeniably my parents. However as that is the obvious answer to this question, the bibliophile in me demands that I name my favorite author as well. So, J. R. R. Tolkien has made indelible impact on my life. Through his stories, he taught me so much wisdom. From the power of friendships to the thrill of adventures, Tolkien taught me that hope is never in vain. Also he is partly responsible for my love of potatoes.
What did you dream you would be when you “grew up”.?
I had several dreams about my future profession when I was little. But the three most important dream job of my childhood was becoming a teacher, a writer, and a missionary. I no longer want to be a teacher. I do not think I have that kind of patience to deal with kids. While I still love writing, I am selfish with my stories. The stories I write are for me (at least for now). I still want to be a missionary, and I have wanted to be one since I was 3. Of course, when I was 3, I just wanted to eat Chinese food all of the time.
6. If you could have one wish come true what would it be?
I really want to live during the Roman Empire. As someone who studied Religions of Western Antiquity, the Roman Empire was my primary setting for most of my academic life. I love all of the nitty gritty details about the Ancient Rome, and I would love to just experience a day of it.
- If you had to describe yourself in 4 words what would they be?
Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
I am such a fan of Myers Briggs personality types that I could not resist using these words. I am an INFP, pretty much a text book definition of one. I am dreamer whose life mission is to help others. I live by a strong moral system. I am creative and imaginative. I love people, but sometimes I just need to be by myself. And I procrastinate.
8. Tell us a bit about your fundraising goals and when you have to have all the money raised.
I need to raise $16,500 for World Race. This goal includes travel expenses, food, lodging, travel insurance, and any supply costs for my mission projects. This goal does not include any of my gear, my vaccinations, medications, or miscellaneous costs of preparing to leave. I need to have all my funds in by January 2015. However, I leave in July 2014. So fundraising, while I’m abroad might be a bit of a challenge.
Make sure you check out Leslie’s cute video and consider donating to her “race” yourself. It will definitely be a great place to put $11. Don’t forget that for every comment on my blog this month on any post Mr. Diamond and I will donate 50 cents to Leslie’s fundraising efforts! Check out her blog here.