Louise High Senior Kourtney Vitera will be graduating this spring with different goals than most of her classmates.
“Next year, instead of attending a college or a university, I will be stepping out in faith to go on the World Race: Gap Year,” she said.
World Race, a program through Adventures in Missions, is an interdenominational nonprofit missions organization that focuses on discipleship, prayer and a relationship with God and his people. Established in 1989, it has brought more than 100,000 people to the mission field.
“I am so honored to have been accepted into this program in order to bring the Word of the Lord and His love all around the world,” she said.
Her travels will take her to Guatemala, Ecuador and Nepal starting in September.
“I will live in each country for three months,” Vitera said. “Although each country, month, week and even day will look different, some of the things the team will be doing includes ministering to children who are living on the streets, providing a safe house for rescued victims of trafficking, spending time in local villages, evangelism and teaching English. Lots of super cool stuff going on for sure.”
Vitera is passionate about sharing the Word and helping others. During her junior year she began searching for ways to do that when she came across the World Race.
“I genuinely feel as if the Lord has called me to spend my first year out of high school serving Him in radical ways, and I think the World Race will be that perfect opportunity,” Vitera said. “I have such a heart for missions, and getting to partake in this would fulfill so many dreams of mine.”
World Race appealed to Vitera for two reasons.
“The first reason being, I want to grow. I know that with the World Race I will grow tremendously in ways I had no idea that I could. I believe that in order to give continuously, I must always seek growth and improvement in my own walk with the Lord,” she said. “I will take the experiences I attain in Gap Year throughout my entire life as a disciple for Christ’s love. A personal motto of mine is, ‘Know God and make Him known.’”
Secondly, the World Race would allow her to bring that motto to life.
“This is something I know God has called me to chase after,” she said. “The challenges I have faced in the past year have lead me to question what the future has in store for me, but I have never questioned my future in the World Race. Although God does not divulge his plans for the future, he has spoken clear enough for me to know that applying for Gap Year is something He calls for me to do.”
During her time overseas, Vitera is hoping the local community, family and friends will pray for her and her team of approximately 30 guys and girls.
“Pray that each of our gifts be used to bring Him glory ... for the people we will encounter ... that we can use our stories to make connections and form awesome, lasting relationships,” she said.
She is also asking for prayer, that she will be able to receive financial support in order to participate in the mission trip.
“I am asked to raise $15,800. That being said, please pray about financially supporting me through this trip,” she said. “Any amount is genuinely helpful. My fundraising goal includes the costs of training, travel, lodging, food, and other necessities while abroad. I know that the God who called me to this is faithful to provide. While you may not be traveling to a distant country, you are still doing something significant by enabling me to walk out my call and be the hands and feet of Jesus. By supporting this mission, you are a part of God’s kingdom work.”
Vitera is a member of Grace Community Fellowship in Wharton and the daughter of Kem and Robert Vitera.
To raise funds, Vitera is doing an adopt-a-box fundraiser, selling T-shirts and will be having a dinner fundraiser.
Donations can also be made by visiting her website: www.kourtneyvitera.theworldrace.org. Also, on this website, one can follow her blog to keep up with her journey.
Other ways to donate are via Venmo @KourtneyVitera, or by contacting Vitera at 979-332-5038 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While she is not sure what her plans will be after the World Race, she hopes to major in business at a Texas university.
“Though I don’t know now, I’m confident that God’s going to step in and speak over what my next steps are after Gap Year,” she said.