After 6-country World Race, Hammett’s headed to AU

Published 2:02 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

After watching a video on YouTube, Straughn High School graduate Bailey Hammett was inspired to race around the world to spread the word of God with the World Race.

Hammett traveled to India, Nepal, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lesotho and eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland.

“I’ve always been very passionate about traveling,” Hammett said. “And I was in a really good place in my relationship with the Lord, so it was a perfect way to connect the two.”

Her parents were quite skeptical on her traveling for nine months in several foreign countries.

“I think my dad was a little more skeptical than my mom,” Hammett said. “But in the end, when they finally realized I was serious, they were very supportive.”

After feeling the call to be a missionary, Hammett applied to the World Race and waited for her acceptance.

“They asked a lot of questions about my relationship with Christ and about my story,” Hammett said. “My story was one of the things that made me want to do this in the first place, I wanted to share it with the world.”

After being accepted, Hammett had to fundraise $14,951 for her trip. She decided to do anything that could help her reach her goal.

“I sold Christmas ornaments, T-shirts and had car washes,” Hammett said. “I was very grateful to have a church family that helped a lot with fundraising.”

Hammett said that the hardest part of the experience was her time in India.

“People aren’t allowed to be Christian missionaries in India,” Hammett said. “So most of the time we were in India we were not allowed to post anything about it, it was very secretive. We were in India around the middle of the trip, so it was physical and emotionally draining for all of us on the trip, but the people were so great.”

Despite having a rough time in India, Hammett said that her time in Guatemala was her favorite part of the experience.

“The people that we met there were great,” Hammett said. “We were also in Guatemala for the longest time out of the countries that we traveled to, so we were able to have better relationships with the people.”

Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala while Hammett was there.

“I am glad that we were all safe,” Hammett said. “We were actually supposed to leave on June 4, but that was the day the volcano erupted so we had to stay an extra two days before we could leave.”

By spreading the Gospel, Hammett was able to learn more about herself during the experience.

“When people ask me what the main thing I learned from the experience was, I always say that now I’m prepared,” Hammett said. “Before I left, I was shy about telling my story and now I feel way more confident in sharing my testimony.”

Hammett is excited to be back home and share what she has learned on her journey.

“I am really excited to see all my friends at home and tell them my story to the full extent,” Hammett said. “Most of them know a little about my story, but I have never been able to tell them everything, but now I am able to come back and see with a different set of eyes.”

Being alone across the world away from family has its challenges, Hammett said.

“I really missed my family,” Hammett said. “I also missed the ability to be able to be by myself. During this trip, I don’t know if I was ever alone for more than five minutes and I never realized how much I needed alone time.”

But God works in mysterious ways, Hammett said, because she made it back in time for her sister’s wedding in six days.

“I just sort of worked itself out that way,” Hammett said. “I have missed my family so much and now I get to be my sister’s maid of honor.”

Hammett said that even though she missed her family the whole trip, she found a new family in the team that she was assigned to.

“I had two different teams,” Hammett said. “The first one was co-ed and they were my absolute best friends. I love them so much. The second group was all girls, but I didn’t get to spend as much time as I did with the first group.”

Hammett said that it was amazing to meet people from around the nation that had the same love for Christ that she does.

“It was incredible that all of us were from different parts of the nation, but we still had that same love,” Hammett said. “We all grew up differently and had different views on things, but we came together for one purpose.”

Hammett plans on traveling more, but not any time soon.

“I think I’ll stay home for a while,” Hammett said. “I have missed my family and friends a little too much, but I will definitely keep on traveling in the future.”

While Hammett was in India, she decided to apply to Auburn University.

“I knew that I wanted to go to Auburn so I decided to apply in India,” Hammett said. “When I got to Guatemala I found out that I got accepted.”

She will major in agricultural communications with hopes of being a writer.

Hammett is the daughter of Matthew Hammett and Selena Hammett.