By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
An Oklahoma State University student is hoping to raise the last of $15,000 to complete a mission trip to 11 countries in 11 months.
Jacob McLafferty, 25, is participating in “The World Race,” which will take him to countries including Bulgaria, Romania, Rwanda and Uganda.
“I am about $1,286 away from being fully funded,” McLafferty said.
McLafferty said he began sending out support letters and preparing fundraisers around Stillwater as soon as he was accepted.
“Since being on the mission field, it’s been a challenge to raise money because you’re away from home,” he said. “But, if it’s the Lord’s will for me to be fully funded, it will happen.”
McLafferty said he is about to embark on the fifth month of an 11-month tour as he prepares for Moldavia. He has already visited Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Romania.
“The craziest thing that I have experienced was in Nicaragua,” he said. “One day, as we were leaving to do a prayer walk in a town far away, I prayed that God would show me someone to talk to. As I was praying, God gave me an image of a man in a yellow shirt (and) blue hat. I told another one of my teammates about it. As we were driving, guess what walks beside us? Yep, a man in a yellow shirt (and) blue hat! I was internally freaking out. I was like, ‘There’s no way that just happened!’”
McLafferty said he believed it was important for him to participate and raise the money for the trip because he wanted to be an example of the Lord’s love.
“The goal of this trip is to present the love of Christ to everyone we meet,” McLafferty said. “But, we are not here to convert people to Christianity. We are here to love them and show them who Christ is.”
If McLafferty raises the remaining amount before Dec. 31, he will return to the U.S. in June 2013. If not, he will return sooner.
McLafferty is hoping for donations which can be submitted through his online blog at jacobmclafferty.theworldrace.org. Donations take a few days to be posted.
“We honestly don’t know what the remainder of the mission trip is supposed to look like,” he said. “Everything has been changed from the start of this trip. God has everything in control and that’s another thing I’ve been learning. The father has everything already planned out; we just wait for him to tell us what to do.”