CG native embarking on global journey

Published 9:43 am Monday, June 11, 2012

Jared Potter, of Coal Grove, and others from across the country helped in relief efforts. Potter said after helping with disaster relief last June, he felt God's call to join the World Race mission trip. He will visit 11 countries in 11 months and visit some of the most impoverish people and places in the world.

COAL GROVE — In about three weeks, Jared Potter will leave behind his family and friends, his worldly possessions, and trek across the globe.

The 21-year-old from Coal Grove is slated to visit countries such as India, Nepal and Thailand.

Whereas most tourists would visit the Taj Mahal or search for a breathtaking view of Mt. Everest, Potter will visit the doldrums of these countries, the poverty stricken and the war-torn.

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Starting in India, Potter will travel to 11 countries in 11 months for a mission called the World Race.

The goal of the race, Potter said, is to “mobilize people to bring God’s will and his kingdom to Earth.”

“This is where God has called me,” Potter said. “It is in his hands.”

The calling came after spending several months in Alabama, Massachusetts and Vermont last year assisting in tornado and flood disaster relief. After much prayer and consideration, Potter said he felt God had called him to join the World Race.

Up until this point, Potter has had a job, attended college, trained to be an EMT and is a member of the Coal Grove Volunteer Fire Department. He said he is ready to leave those things behind to follow where God leads him.

The reality of the journey is harsh and there is a real threat of danger.

Three squads of 54 people each will split off into teams of six to help build churches, orphanages, pray and spread the Gospel to some of the most impoverished people in the world. Many of the countries Potter will enter are social and politically oppressive and have been known to be hostile to missionaries.

During his 11 months abroad, Potter will travel to India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Latvia/Estonia, Lithuania and another country of his choosing.

Potter said seeing first hand the injustices “the least of these” people must face will be difficult.

“I expect to be humbled and broken, basically,” he said.

He also said he is most anxious to visit India and Thailand, where human sex trafficking is a big issue.

Potter has been raising money for the trip for the past eight months. So far, he has raised $8,700 of the $15,500 required to complete the entire trip. He has to have $11,000 by October and the full amount by January.

To donate to Potter, go to Donations are tax deductible.

The site also has a blog where Potter will post drug his journey.

“It is our best way of keeping in contact with family, friends and supporters,” Potter said.

Potter said he doesn’t know what is going to happen after he gets home from the trip, but that he expects to be transformed by it.

“I realize I won’t come back the same person at all.”