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Young Bradner resident embarks on ‘world race’

Stacy Richard - Submitted photo
Stacy Richard
— image credit: Submitted photo

Stacy Richard, who grew up in Bradner, has always had a penchant for helping people. She spent her youth as a volunteer both in the Bradner community and at school. A bit of an adventurer, she has also always wanted to travel, and is no stranger to the hard work it takes to realize your dreams.

She spent several months in Southeast Asia after the tsunami in 2005; readers may recall her stories in the Bradner Barker newsletter. She went primarily to travel, but during her time there she helped to re-build a small Muslim village in Thailand.

While there, she was able to travel to Cambodia and Malaysia as well. The trip opened her eyes to the plight of women and children in that region of the world. Child trafficking and prostitution were very prevalent and her heart ached for the poor victims.

Most of the predators came from North America and Europe, which made her feel even sadder. Stacy often thought about them during subsequent years, and yearned for a way to help them.

After graduating from UFV and working for four years as a dental hygienist, Stacy began to wonder about the path her life was taking. She began to wonder what more could be out there besides her daily routine and working 9-5. She began to contemplate making a huge change in her life, but was not sure what that change should be.

She thought of taking a year off to be a bit of a vagabond and move to another part of the world, to work, but after reading a book (Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) discussing the plight of women and children in many third world countries, the idea of doing missions work was born.

A friend introduced her to The World Race, part of an evangelical based group out of Georgia known as Adventures in Missions. After doing some research Stacy decided that this was something that she wanted to do. She would be able to travel and help people at the same time. Living and working in each area would give her an entirely different perspective than staying in a high end hotel, and she would really get to know the people that lived in each country. Her desire is to show love and friendship and a path to freedom for many of the women and children she has seen and read about and that hopes can be realized.

Author Nicholas Kristof, writes of some children being raped and sold to brothels as young as two years old. One 10 year old child who developed AIDS after being raped in a brothel and who was rescued, asks her rescuers to please tell the predators to stop and think, because for them to have just a few minutes of pleasure, she will now lose her life.

So in January 2013 Stacy Richard will embark on the greatest adventure of her life. She will be traveling to 11 countries in 11 months – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Nepal, India, and her beloved Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. She will be traveling with a team of 6-8 people she has not yet met, a challenge in itself. They will have to learn to be a team, work together and get along 24/7.

This will be a valuable life lesson for everyone in the group.

When they land in each country, a contact person will meet them and let them know what will be expected of them. Whether it be tilling fields, building schools, digging wells, caring for the sick, it will not be an easy or a glamorous trip.

When she arrives in southeast Asia, she is particularly hoping to work with a charity called “Daughters” which helps girls rescued from prostitution to integrate back into society.

While on her journey Stacy must live out of a backpack and carry all her personal belongings with her. She will carry a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, mess kit, and clothes, toiletries, medicines, camera and computer, along with anything else necessary to complete the mission.

Needless to say, this will be an expensive enterprise and Stacy will be looking for donations to help with her cause. She has to raise $15,500.00 to cover basic expenses. This includes meals, lodging, air, land, and sea travel, administrative costs, set-up costs, coaching costs, debriefing costs, and training camp costs.

In addition, she will also be responsible for paying for all of the specialized equipment necessary to participate, medical insurance, vaccinations, malaria medication, first aid kit, spending money, as well as travel to and from training camp, travel to and from the start point, which is somewhere in the US, and travel home at the end of the race. There are also expenses and payments back home, which must be maintained while she is gone.

Stacy will be blogging during her travels, whenever WiFi is available. Locals will also be following her adventures in the Bradner Barker each month. If you would like to read about her journey or follow along, you can do so at http://stacyrichard.theworldrace.org

If you would like to support her, you can click on the Support Me! tab. You can also contact her at stacerichard@gmail.com for more information.

There will be a Burger & Brew Pub Night fundraiser for Stacy Richard this Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. at Jubilee Hall, 7989 Bradner Rd., Abbotsford. From 7 to 8 p.m. your $15 ticket gets you a burger, salad, snacks and a beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). Music will be provided by singer Joshua Clark and local singer, songwriter and producer Ryan McAllister. There will also be prizes and surpises, toonie toss, 50/50 draw, and wine raffle. Tickets must be purchased in advance (to ensure adequate food) and are available up to the day of the event online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/295411 or contact Stacy (778-908-8691) or Lynda (778-908-8690) for more information.

Submitted by LYNDA RICHARD

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