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Okay, maybe you will, but it’s also probably not what you expected.

This blog is BIG. I’m about to announce what I plan to do after this gap year, and tell you the story of how God brought me to do this decision. 

Are you ready? Ok. 





My squad-mates who are also team leading!

Photo taken by Anjali Joy

So what does this even mean? Good question. Let me tell ya.

Alumni team leaders (ATL’s) get to be with their Racers for the first three months of their Race. This means that I will get to lead a team for 6 weeks back in good ol’ Gainesville, GA, and then I get to launch with them to their first country and stay with them overseas for 6 more weeks! During the time that I am with them, I’ll be there to encourage, challenge, and support them as they adjust to the Race. When the three months is over, a member from each team will be raised up and empowered to lead their team from there (but I still get to pray and encourage them from afar)!

The way the Lord led me through this process and got me to this point is pretty amazing, and I’d love to share it with you guys. 



I’ll start by saying that I had very little desire to do this. 

Yeah, you read that right. 

Around the second month that we were in Costa Rica, my future plans were weighing pretty heavy on me, mostly because I had none. College was a big desire of mine, and something I was planning on right after my Race. However, every time I brought college up to the Lord I had very little peace about it. He made it so clear that Costa Rica was supposed to be a season of rest for me and that He didn’t want me making any big moves on my future. Even still, my mind was pretty occupied with my next steps. 

So, one day, I had to put all my plans in a basket and let them go down the river, releasing them to the Lord. I just had to wait and see if He brought anything back to me. 

One day, the Lord spoke a word over me.


He said, you are whole and have been since the beginning. Your idea of success is tied to college and you need to give that to me. I make you whole, not college, not anything you could ever achieve or do with your life. 

So, right then and there, I gave Him college. 

Around this time, I started praying about team leading a little more seriously. 

Yet still, as I prayed about it, I realized it was not a desire of mine at all. 

Realizing this, I told the Lord something.

Lord, if this is something you have for me, make it my wholehearted desire and not just something I resign myself to out of obedience. I will do this for you, but I believe my whole heart needs to be in this for my future team’s sake. 

Even leaving Costa Rica coming into the Dominican, I still didn’t want to do it. 

I wasn’t even sure if I should move forward with applying. I talked to my mentor Madie, and she gave me some insight. I left that conversation feeling that this was something I needed to choose into and fight for first, and that the desire would come later. 

So I fought like crazy. I started the application process, and it was not easy at all. I had to push through layers of doubt telling me that this was not something worth fighting for.

I had another conversation, this time with my squad leader, Nicole. She encouraged me to ask the Lord what He had for next year’s Racers and see if that got me excited to team lead. 

I asked, and let me tell you, He has A LOT in store for this incoming group. What He showed me got me so excited, and I’d love to tell you about it sometime, I’m just not sure I can fit it into an appropriate-length blog. Feel free to ask me about it!

Finally, I was able to get my application done and sent in. As I waited for my interview, I began to feel a growing desire for this role. 

The interview came and went, and left me feeling more excited about it than before (if that was somehow possible). As I waited to hear back about my acceptance, it was incredibly hard for me to be patient. I realized that I wanted this SO BAD. I knew that this was confirmation enough of what God had for me next year, and so I decided that if I got accepted I was going to team lead. 

Well, here I am.

In awe of the Lord and the ways He moves. I always knew that He aligns our desires with His, but this was such a tangible example of that. I went from completely not desiring this to now being insanely stoked for this next season. I literally cannot wait to meet the team of girls that I get to lead this fall. 



This exciting opportunity comes with more news: I’M FUNDRAISING (again)!



Please pray about supporting me as I move into this next season of team leading with the World Race! I would love support in both finances and prayer.

The total amount that is needed for a semester of ministry is $4,000. $3,000 will cover international travel insurance, lodging, Covid tests, most food, and any air/land/sea travel while overseas. The other $1,000 covers any out of pocket expenses, travel to and from major airports, and extra spending money. Because of the different amounts I will need, I would love donations through both Venmo and my blog platform. You can also donate by check! All information is provided below!

I know God has such big things in store for next year’s Racers and I would love to invite you partner with me and see what He does! 

Your support through prayer and finances is SO appreciated.


Here’s how you can be praying: 

  • Pray for my squad and I, that we will continue to stay present and focus on what’s right in front of us as we enter our last two weeks of our Race.
  • Pray for our transition back to the States, that we would grieve, remember, process, and celebrate well. 



Wow, I’m so grateful I got to share this exciting update with you! Stay tuned, pretty soon I’ll get to share the squad and team I will be leading this fall! Feel free to reach out if you want to talk or have any questions.


God bless, 



email: [email protected]

Venmo: Emma-Austin-8

9 responses to “You Won’t Believe What I’m Doing Next Year”

  1. I love the patience you have had with this entire process, Emma. Waiting on the Lord is possibly the hardest thing to do in our lives. We want answers so quickly that we often miss God and what he is trying to show us and teach us about who we are and all the great things He has for us if we would but heed His voice! Love, Jenny

  2. So proud of you Emma! I have been following your journey and it’s incredible how far you have come! I hope all goes well and will see God’s will in your life.

  3. Em I am so proud of you and I will support you! Prayers and financial support as well ! I love you and your heart for the Lord !!!
    Mindy ????

  4. Emma, I see blessing after blessing from the Lord for a Sweetheart of a girl who has learned to wholehearted trust the Lord in all she does. You’ll be used by Him.

  5. And you’re gonna be a great one too!! You’ve added so much to the Squad. It’s exciting to see you go forward with these next steps of letting the Lord complete your journey.

    love, nana

  7. So excited to see how God is using you while He shapes your future, Emma! ??????????