Rome (MNN) — Jesus Christ was born and fulfilled His powerful ministry in the Mediterranean. Yet of the 480 million people living there, only a few actually know who He is.
Gary Witherall of Operation Mobilization says they're looking to change this with Transform 2013.
"There are many conferences, and there are many books on missions," says Witherall, "but this is a challenge to come and put the dust of the Mediterranean on your feet, to come and share your faith."
Transformers first spend a week in Rome, connecting with mission-minded folk from around the world. Practical workshops and times of prayer and outreach help participants wrap their minds around the idea of "Transform" before launching out on their own.
Witherall says workshops address questions like, "How do we share our faith to somebody who's fled from war? Or how do we share our faith with somebody who is postmodern and has really given up on God?"
By working out the answers to these questions, Transformers can discover where their talents fit into OM's Mediterranean ministry.
"People can come and discover very quickly that they can have a real impact," Witherall says. "We're not looking to do kind of a tourist experience, but really bring the Gospel in a relevant way."
After getting their feet wet in Rome, participants head into one of 21 Mediterranean countries for outreach. They can serve anywhere from a week to six months.
On the surface, "Transform" might look like just another missions conference or just another short-term missions trip. Witherall says it's anything but.
"Surfing, skate, trekking — there are some teams that are more adventurous, and other teams that are working with refugees or teaching English," he says.
Transform 2013 kicks off on July 15. There are more details here. And, you shouldn't assume "Transform" is just for college kids.
"We would love people from all ages to be part of it," Witherall adds. "When you walk on the streets of the Mediterranean, every age group is there. And there is every need imaginable."
Pray for OM staff as they prepare for ministry opportunities. Pray that participants will see how to use their skills as part of the Great Commission.