How committed are you to serving God? For Emily Sutton of Clinton, the answer is very much. Her commitment is going to be 11 months beginning in January because Sutton has accepted a call to serve on the mission field for 11 months through the World Race organization.
“The World Race is an adventure in missions,” explained Sutton. “I will be leaving in January and returning at the end of November. During that time I will serve God in 11 different countries.”
Sutton will begin her trek in China, then travel to India, the Philippines, Uganda, Albania, Romania, Tangier, Kenya, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The cost of the mission trip is $15,500, money she must raise. She will prepare for her adventure in ministry by attending training in Atlanta in November.
The young lady just qualifies to go on the World Race because she will turn 21 in November; the age range for the adventure is 21 to 35.
Why would anyone want to subject themselves to what Sutton will be exposed to as she travels?
“I have been called by God to go. My mother and I have both known since I was very young that I would be involved in missions. The opportunity became available and God let me know that now was the time for me to go,” expressed Sutton.
Sutton explained thatwhile in school in Wilmington, studying to become a cosmetologist, she started attending Port City Community Church. According to Sutton, this church has a very active missions program and many of the college students that attend the church are involved. After discovering the World Race and having a roommate to leave in July, her belief in God’s call to go became even more real.
Sutton has one semester remaining and thought that the timing for the trip could not be better. Once she graduated and began to build her clientele, she said, it would not be good for her professional situation.
What is World Race? The first World Race squads launched from Mexico in January 2006. Literally knocking on doors and sleeping on streets, it was a raw adventure of faith. While in Swaziland in 2007, the Lord told Seth Barnes to structure the World Race for a movement and to give it away to our generation, as stated on their website.
The World Race continues to change. It is expanding overseas and in the states, yet its foundations stay the same. It is a journey to 11 countries in 11 months to serve “the least of these” while amongst real and raw community. It facilitates discipleship through the process of discovering into the abundant life He promised. It births partnerships with ministries around the world. It requires Luke 10-like faith, it notes on the website.
“The mission trip calls you out of your comfort zone and gives you exposure to what God is doing in the world before you commit to the American dream. Because it’s not about you, it’s about the Kingdom,” stated Sutton. “I know it will be a tough trip but I want God to break me of my worldly and materialistic views so that I can be a better servant for him. The mission trip will be a humbling experience and I will learn to depend on God rather than myself to survive,” remarked Sutton.
Sutton is the daughter of Lorie Sutton and Chris Sutton. She attend Clinton Worship Center locally and is attempting to raise the over $15,000 to go on the trip.
“World Race allows you to continue to raise the money while on the trip. It doesn’t have to be all paid up front but it would be nice and reassuring to have the majority of it paid. I am selling T-shirts and Threads of Hope bracelets in order to raise the money. Hopefully others will help with donations to help me with the cost,” said Sutton.
Threads of Hope bracelets are items made by people in under-privileged countries where missionaries have shown them how to make the bracelets as a form of income and part of each bracelet Sutton sells goes to support that ministry and the remainder goes to help offset the cost of her trip.
World Race is interdenominational and is comprised of young people from all over the United States. Sutton shared that one other person from Wilmington and a total of four from North Carolina would be going in her squad. The squads are divided once they get into the countries they are visiting and they will be ministering by assisting churches that have already been established with whatever needs they may find.
“We will be working with established churches and helping to develop plans for new churches. We also will be working with women and children, especially those that have been subjected to human trafficking. Our main goal is to share the love of Jesus Christ with anyone we meet, everywhere we go,” explained Sutton.
Sutton’s squad, as all the others on the World Race, will not be staying in five-star hotels on their trip. They will be sleeping in tents or possibly a host church. The young missionary stated that they were only allowed 30 pounds total for the trip. “That 30 pounds includes the tent, clothes and anything else we must have to survive for the 11-month trip,” cited Sutton. Missionaries will be carrying one backpack and a day bag with all their belongings for the trip.
“The people at World Race have told us the two most important things we will need and should not cut expenses to purchase are a good pair of walking shoes and a quality sleeping mat,” stated Sutton.
The squads will have a debriefing every three months where they come together and discuss their progress and refuel, especially on medications that they need. Since prescriptions can be filled for three-month periods, it is necessary for the missionaries to have a way to get the needed medicines. The debriefings will allow for this to occur.
Sutton also shared that they are not to carry cell phones. But if an emergency occurs at home, the family will have a number to contact to get in touch with the squad leader.
“We are not to carry cell phones but we will be carrying our laptop computers. We will be blogging our experiences on our individual blog sites and share what we are doing. I hope there will be many people interested in learning about the World Race ministry and what I am experiencing during my trip,” reported Sutton.
Sutton’s blog site is www.emilysutton.theworldrace.org. Contributions for payment of her trip can be made directly to her blog site for anyone wishing to do so. The blog will make it possible to communicate somewhat with family and friends but it will mainly be used to share what work God is doing through them as they travel to the 11 countries. Emily will be blogging throughout her entire mission trip and has already posted several entries on her blog currently.
This is Sutton’s first mission trip and she requests that people be in prayer for her and for the World Race as she prepares to go away for the extended time and as she raises the money for the trip.
To learn more about the World Race visit their website: www.theworldrace.org