Doe River Gorge Ministries to host Wycliffe mission event

Published 9:20 am Friday, February 27, 2015

In just two short weeks, people from across the country will be coming to Carter County to face the outdoors while raising money for Bible translation efforts.

For the third consecutive year, Doe River Gorge will host the Wycliffe Race to 2025. This event will take place March 13-15 and will challenge participants to overcome physical, mental and spiritual challenges during the course of the competition.

Doe River Gorge is one of several sites hosting the race, which includes locations in Michigan, Montana, New York, Washington and Wisconsin as well as events in Canada and Thailand. The mission behind the race is to see a Bible translation in progress in every language that requires it by the year 2025.

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The first Race to 2025 event was held at Frontier Lodge in Alberta, Canada in 2007. A few years later, the first race event was held in the United States at Camp Bighorn in Montana, Race to 2025 Coordinator Robert Clementz said.

“Derryl Friesen, my Wycliffe colleague, dreamed up this event after being challenged by young men to promote missions through an outdoor event,” Clementz said.

The Race to 2025 combines the adrenaline rush of adventure sports and the extreme challenge of making disciples of all nations. Physical activities featured in the race include hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rappelling. Participants will also face various challenges along the way and hear from veteran missionaries about serving God in demanding areas of the world, as well as  learn about the fascinating world of language and linguistics.

As the event began to grow, Wycliffe began to search for venues to host more races.

“We were looking for a summer camp similar to the venue in Montana in the eastern part of the U.S.,” Clementz said. “Wycliffe colleagues had connections with staff at DRG, and we approached them in early 2012 about partnering with us. It has been a great partnership as they support our goals and DRG gets exposure for staffing opportunities for their summer programs.”

Teams of four work together to complete the race and its various challenges while raising money for the Bible translation project.

“The goal of each team is to raise $2,000 per team or $500 per individual to specifically support Bible translation for the deaf in Africa,” according to information from Wycliffe on the event. “While this is the goal, if teams do not raise the entire amount, they will still be eligible to compete.”

Each year, approximately 125 people participants in Race to 2025 events at four different locations, Clementz said. “The nature of the event at any given location only supports 10 coed teams of four,” he said. “Last year we had nine teams at Doe River Gorge.”

In addition to raising money for a worthy cause, participants are also eligible for prizes at the event.

“We offer great prizes in lots of different categories,” Clementz said. “Three $1,000 scholarships are available, plus product prizes for winning some of the 10-12 challenges the participants will encounter during the two-day event.”

Doe River Gorge has partnered with Wycliffe by designing, staffing, and promoting the race. EMS and local volunteers, foreign missionaries, students from Columbia International University and international students from the Emmanuel School of Religion have all taken part in the race by providing people to man checkpoints, provide safety, and to staff the “Foreign Village” that helps to culminate the race with a very challenging linguistics task.