Race to 2025 – GFU Team: A summary of our experience

Race 2025 George Fox Team

A team of Four George Fox Students, Bethany Widdicombe, Mary Owen, Nick Largusa, Kyle Webster, raised $2,000.00 for a 2-day race that "bridges the adrenalin of adventure sport young people and the extreme challenge to which the Jesus Christ calls His church- To make disciples of all". The race is ran by Wycliffe Bible Translators, originated in Canada, in efforts to raise enough money to have the bible translated into every language by 2025. This years, Race 2025 was held in Plains Montana and the team competed in simulated challenges missionaries might experience. They were also challenged with basic linguistics training.  The Four George Fox students were funded $400.00 from the ASC Academic Need. 

Message from each of the recipients:

Bethany Widdicombe

I cannot describe in words how much doing ‘Race to 2025’ has impacted my life as a  whole. Although it was only a two-day race, my heart has changed through the lessons I  learned within it. We mountain biked for 9 miles, canoed for 15 miles, rock climbed, boulder climbed, and rappelled 450 feet. It was absolutely incredible to experience. It was a  good wake up call in my character as a person and what is really important.

During the first  mile of the race a girl on a different team was injured, but our team stopped and stayed  with that team until the nurse came. If it weren’t for her injury, we would have not gotten  to know that team so well. We stuck with the team, known as Isu, almost the whole race. Our team was called team Weh, and we decided to combine our names into Wehsu. Even though it was technically a competition, and some teams did take it that way, we took it as a good experience to do new things and to meet new people.

I learned a lot about the importance of Bible Translation. Prior to participating in the race, I did not realize how much Bible Translation is needed in the world. I did not occur to me that it was even an issue. Thanks to the race I am now aware of Bible Translation and how I can be apart of it, even if I am not a linguist.

The race not only informed me on a global issue, but it helped me grow in character. Coming into the race I was hesitant with what I would be able to do. I have tendonitis that shoots pains through my wrists and hands, and I was concerned I would be a weak link in the team if I were unable to do something. My wrists took a pretty hard beating, but it built me stronger and I am able to tolerate a lot more. I have had a lot of health problems over the past two years, but doing the race showed me what I am actually capable of achieving. God gave me strength when I had none left.

God showed me community through this event, and people who had loving passions just like me. My limits were pushed and my patience with myself was tested, but God showed grace. I learned to give God everything and trust him completely. There were intense times in the race where I felt I had no strength left, and my mind started filling my thoughts with doubt in myself. I prayed hard to God, the hardest I had prayed in a long time. I could feel God with me during the whole race. Even when I got dumped into the rapids, I could feel God’s hand on me.

My team was awesome and very encouraging. I would suggest to anyone who loves adventure to take this opportunity to find yourself, find community, and find knowledge about God’s word. Doing ‘Race to 2025’ has helped me experience joy in God through seemingly impossible situations. It has opened up new doors for me as well as showed me how to truly trust in God and give him my everything so that I may be filled with him.

Thank you for sponsoring our team in participating, it truly was an astounding experience and I would encourage other George Fox University students to participate in ‘Race to 2025’. I know from first hand experience in doing this, don’t think you cannot achieve something, because through God, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Thank you for sponsoring our team in the United States’ first ‘Race to 2025’.
Bethany Widdicombe

Kyle Webster:

Thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to go to Montana and partake in the Race to 2025.  It was an awesome event that I really hope continues here at Fox.  It was definitely a challenge, but that is what made it so beautiful.  It really causes you to lean on others and God for strength and support.  It is NOT something that can be done alone.  It was also so much fun doing such adventurous things in such a beautiful place!  This race definitely pushed me to my limits.  Countless times while mountain biking I wanted to just stop and quit, but it ultimately caused me to lean on the Lord for strength and perseverance.  I also loved this trip because it opened up a whole new possibility to what I could do with my life.  The Bible translation was amazing and I am planning to go on a trip through Wycliffe next summer!! Without this trip I would have no idea how much I truly love the idea of working on mission.  Thank you so much!

Mary Owen:
Thank you so much for providing our team with the rest of the funds we needed to register for Race to 2025. This whole experience was a wonderful learning and growing experience for me.
From the beginning there were a lot of things that I learned about good (and bad) leadership. In organizing the team, I was really impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of my co-participants. The preparation for the Race was humbling for me, because I realized some of my weaknesses in leading such as tending towards individualism and impatience.
Thanks to the hard work of my team members, we were able to pull together some fundraisers that really accomplished Wycliffe’s goal of informing our friends and family and the students here on campus about the need for missions and especially Bible Translation. It was fun to interact with the student body and see people get excited about what they were contributing to as well as the possibility of more Race opportunities in the future.
The race itself was a ton of fun. I was stretched in ways that I didn’t anticipate. There were humbling moments, moments when I realized that I needed to step back and allow my team mates to lead with their strengths instead of thinking that I could do it all on my own. There were exhilarating moments, like when we finished the 450foot rappel or when we made a breakthrough in the linguistic challenge. I loved the evening stories from missionaries. My passion is for Bible Translation and their stories and enthusiasm really encouraged and blessed me. By the end of the Race I was exhausted but so blessed to have gone.
I was especially blessed to have the team that I did. Each member taught me something about myself and about what it means to work together in Christian community. These individuals were a tremendous blessing and inspiration to me during the race, and now that we are back at George Fox it has been so much fun to reconnect and develop these friendships throughout the semester.

Nick Largusa:
A weekend in Montana hiking, biking, floating, and completing challenges with a team of Fox students was wonderful along with furthering my understanding of bible translation based missions.  I had a lot of expectations going into this weekend long adventure race hosted by Wycliffe Bible Translators but I got a lot more than I was expecting.  Getting to know other brothers and sisters that had hearts that were kindred to mine, not to mention the relationships gained with my team mates.  While the race was hard on me physically, it was even more difficult emotionally.  Limiting myself for the rest of my team created a lot of internal conflict within me.  In the end, I grew.  Any occasion that encourages me to lean not on my own understanding but on His understanding is worth it.  

My thanks to ASC for providing the funds that allowed to pursue this endeavor of representing Fox at the Race To 2025.