“Young, hopeful, enthusiastic, energetic, bright, courageous, full of faith, available... These words come to my mind when I think about the 22 Europeans who gathered together for a two-week cross-cultural training course called TransIT,” exclaims Renata Ramanauskaite, a student ministry leader in Western Europe.
Agape Europe staff who plan to serve in a new country or culture for a year or longer were invited to Budapest at the end of June for intensive cross-cultural training to equip them for their new assignments. This course was organised by Agape Europe in cooperation with our parent organization, Campus Crusade for Christ International.
There was a time when Agape Europe was a sending area, followed by a period of "silence" when only a small number of missionaries and workers were sent to other parts of the world. This year we are happy to see a growing number of Europeans being sent to Latin America, Western and Southern Europe as well as Eurasia.
The new Euro Stint team, that also participated in the TransIT program, is a group of the people being sent to pioneer new student ministry locations. This year, teams will go to Corsica (France), Sicily (Italy), Malta and Cyprus.
"I am humbled and impressed by the Euro Stint teams’ teachability and how they treated each other with respect and acceptance, despite being very different,” says Renata.
Renata worked closely with John McNeill, the Agape Europe Student ministry director, to help the new team lay a firm foundation for their mission by developing a correct Biblical understanding about how to build new movements, and understanding God's and their role in the process. Participants also received training in essential ministry skills needed in the next year. Everyone agreed that the they still have to learn a lot, but now they are ready for the exciting and challenging adventure of ministry outreach abroad.
One TransIT participant from the Netherlands confessed that he was a bit critically minded about participating in the beginning, but he was encouraged and touched by the profound principles covered in the sessions and the chance to go much deeper than a normal “surface level discussions”.
Trainers came from different parts of the world, giving participants and authentic perspective on what it is like to live in a different culture.
Renata remembers her long-term vision, which is now becoming reality: “About 15 years ago God put a deep desire in my heart to send young people to different parts of the world. This year He reminded me of this passion and conviction. I am so honoured and thankful that God has given me [and others in Agape] a role to play in sending Europeans to reach their fellow Europeans.”
Last Saturday morning, I woke up to the shouts and shrieks of children playing in the park below our apartment. Confused and a little annoyed, I shuffled sleepy-eyed to the window to see what the commotion was about.
Caradonna helped me put into words the process I was experiencing with God. Because we write a message on our bodies, it must be short and impactful. Caradonna helped me find words to convey my experience and encourage others through my message.
"Europe needs more Jesus." - Christian Pichler, speaker at Revive Europe.
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