Adam Mollica is preparing for the World Race.
The 20 year old leaves on Sept. 5 for a mission trip that will take him to 11 countries in 11 months.
"There have been over 1,500 racers who have done it so far," he said. "It started in 2006. It’s part of Adventures in Missions, which has been around for years."
By the time he returns home on Aug. 1, 2013, Mollica will have gone to such countries as South Africa, India, China, Ukraine, Moldova, Honduras and Costa Rica.
"The two countries I’m most excited for," he said, "are Ukraine and Moldova. They are kind of the kingpins of sex trafficking."
Last semester, while attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, he was involved in raising awareness and funds for International Justice Mission.
The human rights agency works to rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
"We will be working with victims there," he said of the time he will spend in Kraine and Moldova. "We will minister to whatever the need is in the country. It’s pretty much just spreading God’s love, because that is what people need, and living in community with people."
This is the not first such trip for the 2010 Waupaca High School graduate.
Mollica’s freshman year of college was at Lawrence University in Appleton. During his time there, he learned about the opportunity to go to a Bible school.
"I did it in Costa Rica last fall for four months," he said. "It wa the best four months of my life."
Each week, Mollica studied a different principle of Christianity.
During those months in Costa Rica, he also volunteered at soup kitchens and helped rebuild a school and the home of an elderly woman.
After Mollica returned to Waupaca last November, he prepared to head to UW-Eau Claire for the spring semester.
"Now, I’m taking a break again," he said. "I realized again that life isn’t about myself."
Mollica said that one day last spring, he asked God to show him what he should do.
"Later that same day, I was on the Internet watching a video on You Tube. It was someone on a mission trip," he said.
The video was not advertising any particular trip.
However, when Mollica clicked on a link, it took him to the World Race.
"I prayed about it. I really felt God was pulling my heart toward it," he said.
He applied for the trip and was accepted.
Noticing there was a $150 deposit deadline to secure a spot on the trip, he knew it was time to tell his parents, John Mollica and Brenda Bosetti, about his plan.
Both his mother and father expressed concerns about whether he will return to college but also understood his desire to do mission work.
"When I get home," Mollica said, "we’ll see what happens."
He wants to study Spanish.
"My dream job is to be a missions outreach organizer in a church, specifically to Spanish-speaking countries," he said.
Since deciding to go on the World Race, Mollica has also been working to raise money for the trip.
The total cost of the trip is $15,000.
That includes travel, food, lodging and also emergency funds in the event he would have to be lifted out of a country.
"It’s going phenomenal," he said. "By the end of June, I had to have $3,500 and met that deadline."
His next fundraising deadline is Aug. 18.
"I have to have $6,500 to launch on Sept. 5. I’m not worried. I know it will be there," Mollica said.
People can donate toward the cost of the trip on his blog – www.adammollica.theworldrace.org – which he already started.
When he leaves on Sept. 5, Mollica will be one of about 240 people going on the next World Race. Two other groups previously left this year.
Mollica traveled to Georgia in July for a week of training.
"It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone," he said.
The training prepared them for what to expect.
One night, he slept on a bus. Another night, 16 people shared an eight-person tent. There were no daily showers, and lost luggage is to be expected sometime during the trip.
Mollica, who will be on a six-member team, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 920-358-4041.
The cost of the mission trip is comparable to the cost of a year at a state college.
"I’ll learn a lot more there (on the misson) than behind a desk," he said.
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