|We are the best!|
However, sixty days from today, Xtreme Impact mission trips will begin and I will be leaving for Venice, Italy within the next few days! I can’t believe that it is almost here; it is a very surreal feeling! I have always wanted to visit the “City of Water”, and I’ll have this amazing opportunity to help lead high school students with an awesome leadership team that I have become friends with over the past year.
|Where we will be staying|
My team will be partnering with a bible college located near Venice. The focus of the ministry uses dramas and street evangelism. Many of you may be thinking “why go to Europe, they are all Catholic, why not go to someplace in Asia or Africa where there is more of a physical or spiritual need?” I know a lot of our students have had this question asked of them this year. The truth is that Europe may be Catholic, but that is often only culturally or in name only. We are interested in them having the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Italy is technically within the 10/40 window, and Italy has a lower response/interest rate to the Gospel compared to many closed countries. Also, there is a high attrition rate of missionaries in Italy, this means that often when they go on furlough, those missionaries will not return to Europe. Thus, the need is great.
*For the Leadership– our spiritual growth, being good role models for our students.
*For our students– spiritual growth, fundraising
|We can see the Swiss Alps from our base|
*For the Missionary Contacts– for the planning, that we’d be useful in their mission
*For the Team Leaders/ Directors– health- (our main leader tore his ACL in Costa Rica this year and is leading two trips to Italy this summer before his surgery in early Fall), planning (as there are several other trips that will be taking place as well to: Uganda, Costa Rica, Italy, Bahamas, Brazil, Thailand, and India)
*For those in Italy– that their hearts would be opened to receive the message that we are sharing.
|Pizza, that I am told I will get sick of. I don’t see that happening|
One of my personal preparation goals for this Italy trip is to try to learn Italian. I studied Spanish for five years in high school, then visited Brazil and found myself able to function as a basic translator. (My friend and I joked that we had to learn Portuguese, because can you imagine us not talking with the people?). An amazing free website that I have found for language learning is www.livemocha.com. It has tons of different language and quite a bit of free resources. You even have the option of having written or recorded oral exercises graded by native speakers (who can actually comment on your accent).
Another goal is to reflect on my prior missions trips, and what I’ve learned from each of them. (I thought this would also be a fun opportunity to share those experiences and pictures with you all throughout this summer :0) ) So, look forward to that!