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Ashley Loeb, 23 of Bernville, wanted to go on a long mission trip but was unable to do so until now.
“I’ve always wanted to work on some kind of international level,” said Loeb who graduated with a degree in International Human Rights from Lycoming College in 2011.
“It’s not quite the same thing but it will be an invaluable experience.”
She also said that she has been involved in the church her whole life and that she was ready for a lengthy mission trip.
“I’ve taken two separate month-long trips to Haiti and a week-long tour to Ecuador,” Loeb said.
The trip will be to The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Romania and the Ukraine but the missioners are not told which order they are going to the different countries to.
Once in each country the missioners are given different jobs to perform for the month that they are in each country for.
“These jobs can include working with orphans or the elderly to running feeding programs to construction work or going door to door praying for people,” Loeb said.
Loeb is not quite sure what she will be doing as the organization has not been 100 percent clear with her but she imagines that it will be like other mission work that she has heard stories of.
While in Haiti, Loeb worked at an orphanage called God’s Littlest Angels where she took care of seven babies during the day and did work helping the children to develop social skills. She also gave them one on one attention.
In Ecuador she worked with a church to help run a vacation bible school and lead worship services. They also spent an afternoon doing door to door ministry work for the elderly who could not make it out of their homes for church.
Loeb applied to the program in September and said it was a two week period from the time she applied to the time she was interviewed and subsequently accepted into the program.
“They want to make sure that you know what you’re getting into,” Loeb said.
The total cost of the trip is $15,500 plus medical insurance which brings the total cost of the trip to around $17,500 per missioner.
“I have raised approximately $2,500 so far.”
According to their website, The World Race does not pay for the trip and participants are asked to fundraise a significant time before their launch date.
In addition to different donations, Loeb has done a Yankee Candle Fundraiser, a Sheetz coupon book fundraiser, a sandwich sale, a bowling fundraiser and she is also working on another Yankee Candle Fundraiser and an iPad Raffle.
The iPad was donated by a woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, who went on a weeklong mission trip to Quito, Ecuador last summer. The next fundraising event in on March 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Saint Michaels Church outside of Hamburg.
Loeb is grateful for all of the support she is receiving and is especially thankful that her parents are supportive of her endeavors.
The first time I went on a mission trip by myself my parents were really worried just because I was a 22 year old woman going to a third world country by myself,” Loeb said
Though she says that eventually they came around and with each trip they were less worried about her.
“I think that once I went the first time and came back fine, they realized that I’m going to go no matter what and that I will be fine.”
She said that she is a little nervous about being away for a long time but she thinks she will quickly get over it.
“The career path I want to pursue will require me to spend a lot of time out of the country,” Loeb said. The World Race is run through Adventures in Mission which is based in Gainesville, Ga. The World Race began in 2006. It is an interdenominational group that promotes the kingdom of god rather than different sects of Christianity. You can follow Loebs fundraisers and her thoughts before and during the trip on her World Race blog ashleyloeb.theworldrace.org.