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A world of adventure awaits

2008 Rosemount High School graduate Emily Werness had better get used to living in a tent. It will be her home when she spends 11 months traveling the world to do mission work.

After graduating college, Emily Werness went to work at a desk job in her field. While she’s grateful to have found employment, it quickly became apparent that she wasn’t in the right place.

“I’ve had a couple of days at work where I realized I really don’t have a heart for this,” said Werness, who works in marketing research.

What Werness does have a heart for is helping people and travel. So the 24-year-old decided it was time to be brave and take a risk. She signed up for The World Race, an 11-month Christian missions program for young, single adults.

Werness is a 2008 Rosemount High School graduate. She holds a communications degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The World Race will take Werness on an 11-month sojourn to 11 countries around the world. She will depart in September.

While the trip varies for each World Race Squad, Werness will travel to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Turkey, Albania Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

In each of the countries, Werness will do volunteer service. Werness said the service varies depending on the type of need in each area. Other groups have built structures such as schools and churches, planted gardens, helped in orphanages, taught English and ministered to people along the way.

“I want to see more of what God’s doing in the world and I want to show people that God loves them,” said Werness of her upcoming journey.

Werness learned about the World Race program several years ago when working on a ranch in Colorado. Several of her co-workers had done it and it sounded interesting.

At the time, though, it seemed impossible. However, she kept the idea in the back of her mind.

As she became increasingly dissatisfied with her job, Werness said a little voice kept nagging her to look further into doing The World Race. Finally, this past winter Werness acted on that nagging little voice and she signed up.

Werness has never traveled outside the United States.

The program promises to take participants out of their comfort zone. Werness will live out of a one-person tent and a 65-litre back pack for nearly a year. She also will live in close quarters with a team of people she has never met.

“I expect to be challenged and to struggle. I know my world will be turned upside down,” said Werness.

But the idea of the struggle is exciting to Werness.

To prepare for the trip, Werness will spend a week in Georgia in July. At that training camp, she will get a taste of what she’s in for. During that training, Werness will get to meet her squad mates.

Werness has also taken it upon herself to get in better physical shape.

Werness will work until mid-August. At that point, she plans to sell her car and spend some quality time with friends and family before her departure.

As all things do, the journey will cost money. Werness needs to raise $16,000. She’s gotten some financial support from her church, City on a Hill, and her family. She also will put the money from her car towards her costs.

Werness is looking for all the help she can get, though.

For more information on ways to provide support for her journey visit Emily’s blog at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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