Hi everyone! 

Welcome to my World Race blog! I am SO SO EXCITED to be here, committed to the World Race, writing this post! I will be using this blog to post updates and keep in touch with you all during my time on the World Race. So if you’d like to receive updates about my journey, please subscribe! 

A little bit about me! My name is Alia Hartwig, and I am currently a senior at Tustin High School in California. I love adventure, travel, and exploring new places, and some of my favorite places are the beach and the mountains! I love soccer, volleyball, cooking, baking, spending time in nature, and coffee, of course! 🙂 After graduation in May, I will be taking a gap year with the World Race focused on missions!

So… why am I going on the World Race? As I’ve looked toward graduation over the past year and the expected path of attending college next year, I have felt God calling me towards something different. I didn’t have a clear plan for my life after high school, and I didn’t feel certain about where I wanted to go to college, or what I would be majoring in. I had never considered taking a gap year before, so I surprised myself and everyone around me when I started pursuing it! As I’ve thought and prayed about what I really want during this next chapter of my life, a few key elements kept coming to mind: to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord, to have meaningful relationships with other Christ followers, to get out of my comfort zone, to serve and be a light to others, and to experience some cool new things! After exploring several Christian gap year programs, World Race Gap Year seemed like the perfect fit, giving me the opportunity to serve in four different countries with a group of about 50 other young people between the ages of 18 to 20. The more I prayed and considered my options for next year, God kept placing the World Race on my heart. So, here I am, taking a leap of faith and committing 9 months following graduation to leaning into what God has for me through this opportunity!

What is the World Race? The World Race is a branch of Adventures in Missions, a Christian missions organization that seeks to advance God’s kingdom globally. The World Race has many mission opportunities, but I will be going on the World Race Gap Year mission trip. In late August 2024, I will be embarking on a 9-month long journey, beginning with training camp in Georgia, and then traveling to Guatemala, Romania, Cambodia, and Thailand. Training camp consists of lots of worship, lots of sermons from different speakers, team bonding, and living out of tents (which I’m slightly nervous about😬)! After a month and a half of training camp, we will launch out into the field, traveling to each country for many weeks at a time. During our time in these other countries, we will be partnering with various churches and organizations to meet the needs of the people in each specific country. We will be building relationships and evangelizing to local people, leading children’s and youth programs, and working alongside local people in different ministries. Some examples of more specific things we will be doing are helping to run a soccer ministry in Guatemala (which I am especially excited about since I have played soccer for the past 12 years), teaching English in Cambodia, prayer-walking through the red-light district in Thailand, and working in children’s day camps in Romania.

How am I hoping to grow? Throughout these nine months, I am anticipating and praying that I will grow in so many ways! I am deeply desiring my personal relationship with the Lord to be transformed into something so much deeper than I have experienced before! I am hoping to fall more in love with God and to become more in tune with where He is leading and guiding my life. As I am engaging in evangelism and ministry, I am hoping to grow in my ability and comfortability with sharing my faith with others! I can’t wait to challenge myself in new ways, and hopefully to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable! I also cannot wait to see how God will use me to impact the lives of people around the world! 

How can you join and support me? As this trip quickly approaches, I’d love to invite you to join me in this amazing opportunity! My greatest need right now is prayer! Please pray that the Lord will use me in amazing ways during this trip and that He will open my eyes to where He is leading and guiding me! And … you guessed it 🙂 … I’d also like to invite you to partner with me financially. The total cost of the trip is $17,500 and this will cover everything I need during the 9 months. The best way to contribute financially is through a one-time or monthly donation. All donations are tax deductible! If God places it on your heart to support me financially, I’ve included the link to my fundraising page below. 

Fundraising Page Link: https://adventuresinmissions.servicereef.com/events/adventures-in-missions-3/2024-world-race-gap-year-24g0903/participants/alia-hartwig 

I can’t wait to see how God continues to move in this next chapter of my life! I would absolutely love to tell you all more about this amazing opportunity, so please feel free to reach out to me at (720) 701-1763 or [email protected]! Thank you for your support on this journey!

Much love,

Alia ❤️