Amazing Race: Mission Edition teaches Florida students about missions

Lake Placid, Florida

50 students participated in this year's Amazing Race: Mission Edition.

From October 16 to 18, 50 students and adult leaders met at Lake Placid Camp & Conference Center for the third Amazing Race: Mission Edition, sponsored by the two Florida districts' Nazarene Missions International and Nazarene Youth International organizations.

Kathy Mowry, an intercultural/religion professor at Trevecca Nazarene University, and six of her students were the primary resources for conducting four Bible-based sessions and other activities. 

The students and adult leaders were divided into four tribes. The Trevecca student leaders created four different tracks that led the teams to a simulated overseas mission assignment to the village of Simba-Wilson. The adult leaders served as village inhabitants, including a king, law enforcement officers, a witch doctor, and village orphans.

Border patrol agent Ingrid Kiper (a former volunteer Nazarene missionary to Thailand) inspects the visitors' documents and belongings while speaking Thai.  Her assistant (left) is Trevecca student Karinda Newton. 

The four teams were each given different preparatory training skills, as a medical missionary, career missionary, creative access missionary, or volunteer missionary. Each team was required to interact with a grumpy border agent before entering Simba-Wilson. Their main assignment was to go before the village king to seek permission to build a church and share the story of Jesus with his residents.  

“This weekend impacted me to call out to God more and tell Him I am here and ready to serve Him,” said Eunice Paul, a college senior from Naples.  “After going through the simulation, I realized the life of a missionary is more difficult than I ever imagined." 

Some students are assigned to the seminary where “Professor” Mary Elizabeth Waters (a Trevecca student) teaches Bible translation techniques.

Mowry spoke four times to the group — using the stories of Samuel, Isaiah, Abraham, and Peter — on discovering where God is working and then how to follow Him in the calling process to where He is working. She instructed the students to study and reflect on Isaiah 58 and Luke 4:14-21. She also met separately with adult leaders providing background and information on teaching and working with millennials and the iGeneration (middle and high school students).

“Dr. Mowry really inspired me to keep saying, ‘Here I am, Lord’ and ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,’” said Patricia Bolanos, a college junior from Miami. 

The Amazing Race: Mission Edition resource group from Trevecca Nazarene University (left to right): Valerie Kiper (who led the student effort), Lindsay Tempro, Karinda Newton, Kathy Mowry, Lindsey White, Laura Beth Winchester, and Mary Elizabeth Water. 

The weekend ended with a Sunday morning Communion and commitment service where Mowry emphasized that Jesus gave His body for the past, present, and future of our lives and callings. 

“Without question, The Amazing Race: Mission Edition is one of the most important events we do to help assure a new generation not only understands but embraces God’s call to servanthood and service in His kingdom,” said Wes Eby, NMI co-president of the Florida District.

--Church of the Nazarene Southern Florida District via NCN News submissions

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