Short-term Mission Trip to Italy - info
I. WHY JOIN A PMc COHORT?
There are a number of reasons why joining a PMc Cohort might be for you. For starters, if you are a Christian you are called to be involved personally in God’s global mission of reaching the lost and building the church. This call is expressed in all four gospel accounts plus the book of Acts. It’s for all Christians, not a select few. Joining a short-term cohort is one way to be personally involved in Jesus’ mission around the world.
Another reason that joining a PMc Cohort might be for you is that serving Jesus in Italy is not too far of a stretch for you as an American. There are many people in the Lord’s church who have the means to be involved in the Lord’s global mission but they are too afraid to go. Why are they afraid to act? Often it is because what they know of missions has to do with extreme physical situations: jungles, amazons, poverty, dirt, disease and things like these. Simply put, not everyone is actually called to face those extreme conditions. What many don’t know is that countries like Italy are made up of millions of people which together are less than 1% evangelical. They are an unreached people group, but they live and dress much like you and I. The difference is that they have not yet heard the Gospel. This is another reason why you should consider joining a PMc Cohort. You have the Gospel and they need it or they will perish. Joining a cohort enables you to play a role with a group of others in bringing the Good News to those who most need it and you don’t even have to worry about going to the bathroom outdoors or getting a rare jungle disease. Italians live in cities and towns much like yours, only older.
II. WHAT IS A PMc COHORT
A PMc Cohort is a small group of people that put themselves to Jesus’ service in Italy to reach the lost with the Gospel. They put aside their differences and remember what unites their hearts; Jesus and the Gospel. Joining a cohort is great because each member is different and has something to offer the rest of the group. Each member becomes dependent on the other members and together everyone is better and more lost people are reached by Jesus Himself operating in and through the group.
A PMc Cohort is a relational mission meaning that we don’t just do services, but we ‘go’ to the people and engage them through evangelistic efforts. All our efforts contribute directly to the larger scope of church planting because the full-time missionaries follow up with new contacts and make them into disciples of Jesus (according to His will) and welcome them into the growing church family. The church then continues to grow and reach more and more people.
III. HOW DOES A PMc COHORT WORK
PMc Cohort members arrive in Italy and are picked up and hosted by PMc full-time missionaries living in Italy. Each group is taken to their living quarters will they will be staying. They live out of a small home fully equipped with beds, armadio, bathroom, luggage storage and even AC, a rare commodity even in Italy. PMc takes care of organizing and providing lodging, transportation, food (Italian meals) and ministry supplies.
Once settled in the team begins intense ministry training to equip the group for the variety of outreach activities to be done. If all goes well the group will begin outreach on day two, usually in the afternoon.
Mornings will typically be used to distribute flyers from house to house and in all the small shops, coffee bars, gelato shops, laundry mats, etc… The flyers are custom-made tracts created and printed by PMc to engage the people on topics that connect with their hearts. They are not your typical tracts yet time and time again the Lord has blessed them to cause Gospel conversations to happen while distributing them and while causing people to contact us for a free booklet or conversation.
At lunchtime, the group eats together and then takes a rest or pause (riposo) because all Italy slows down from 12.30-3:30 pm.
Around 3:30 pm the group gathers again for a time of prayer and devotion, perhaps even singing an Italian song. We then spend the afternoon at the children’s park in order to reach kids, parents, and grandparents through puppet shows, stories, games, face painting and other things like these. This serves to get the Gospel into the kid’s hearts in simple and fun ways. At the same time, we begin to build relationships with the locals and the church gets a name in the local community. Lord willing we will also be able to follow up on the lives of parents and lead whole families to Christ.
At dinner, we take a pause from about 7-9 pm to enjoy another authentic Italian meal and get reenergized for some evening ministry.
Evening ministry leads us to the piazza (town square) we will go and perform short dramas with music but without words. The short dramas work to draw together a small crowd of curious people. When the drama is finished one of the cohort members steps forward to explain the message in the drama and invite people to talk. We give out free literature for people to take home and read and we spend time engaging the people in the piazza to hear their stories and share the story of Jesus Christ and how it touches their lives through the Gospel. Great conversations happen this way and the group will do it into the evening as long as people are still out and about. When the evening is over the group will close the day in prayer and go back to the lodging to sleep.
The next day is a repeat but with different people to be reached in different parts of the city.
One day during the 10-day trip is set aside as a day off. This is a day to let the cohort members go and enjoy and explore the Italian life a bit by wondering the streets and canals of Venice. The final evening will be a time for enjoying an authentic Italian pizza dinner while getting certificates and sharing testimonies.
IV. RESULTS OF JOINING A PMc COHORT
There are many positive results from serving on a PMc Cohort. Most people who serve this way find their faith to be strengthened once they see that it is possible to reach more people together and that all people have thoughts about God. Usually what lacks is people to whom they can discuss the things of God within a safe and comfortable way. We all have fears about evangelism and we all fail to do it as well as we ought. After laboring together with others it is not uncommon to find new courage and skills in sharing the Gospel with lost people. People often go home more excited and able to engage people in their own community as well.
The Italian church receives a much-needed boost as they easily become discouraged because they are so few among so many unbelievers. The church also gets a better name as locals become aware of the church's existence and see its presence among the people. The church reaches people they simply could not on their own reach. Many Cohort members find a new God-given burden for the lost and commit to purposeful prayer and participation in places like Italy. Lost people actually saved and introduced to a church family where they can grow in grace. All cohort members experience the joy of serving Jesus in evangelism and above all, God is glorified.
V. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DO A 10-DAY PMc COHORT
Prices change according to Dollar to Euro conversion rates and according to market prices. At current, for 2020 Cohorts we are estimating a cost between $1,200 - 1,400.00 per person. This fee covers all lodging, meals, transportation while in Italy and a PMc t-shirt. What is not covered in this price is airfare and travel/medical insurance. Each member will purchase this on their own and schedule their flight to arrive in Venice Italy on the date set by PMc. We encourage all short-termers to raise the funds from their churches, families, and friends and to have it sent to PMc. Once a cohort member’s application is accepted they will then be given further instructions and deadlines for fundraising.