Acts Project 2010: Europe
November 04, 2010

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In a land of unique architecture, rich history and extremely scrumptious food, life is more relaxed, more relational…and less spiritual. Five Bryan students made Europe their home this summer, four working with Operation Mobilisation (OM) and the fifth with Saints Equipped to Evangelize.

Acts Project: Ireland

Rice (right) and housemate
explore Ireland.
Diana Rice, a senior business major, joined OM’s team in the heart of Ireland as their financial assistant. She also served as the administrative assistant for their children’s ministry. “My role had changed several times,” Rice said, “Even when I got there, it changed. I just had to be flexible with that, and understand—and not freak out!”

“I wanted to see how I could use my major in the mission field and how God could use me in a finance major.” Rice continued, “When I think about finance, I don’t necessarily think ‘Lets go work in a mission office!’”

Rice was able to gain understanding of the behind-the-scenes support of missionaries, and “not just the frontline of ministry.” She used her accounting skills but also explored her love for teens through adolescent ministry.

Acts Project: France

Becker explores English countryside
on a two-week break from France.
Across the channel in France, Sarah Becker, junior corporate communications major, served as a photojournalist with OM in Paris, France. While she had ample time to explore Paris, she also visited five other countries during her time there and “canvassed Western and Southern France by train like no other!”

Becker photographed everything from tourist attractions to OM France’s ministries to people she met on the street. She also spent a week outside of Paris meeting and photographing African prostitutes. “Telling their stories through photographs is one of the most privileged things I’ve been able to do with my life,” Becker said.

Becker said her summer unlocked and grew a deep passion for storytelling, especially through photography: “It was incredibly touching and life-changing to see the way people reacted to my photographs.”

Acts Project: Spain

Steele (right) and her roommate on the
night that Spain won its first-ever World Cup.
In Spain, Lydia Steele, junior psychology and English double major, had no idea what she would be doing when she got on that plane. Her previous overseas experience—a year teaching school to slum children in India—dominated much of her thought process, and Steele says her time in Spain was a wonderful opportunity to process much of what happened that year.

Her day-to-day life was spent doing administrative tasks for OM Spain, working with the youth and perfecting her Spanish. Several of the youth girls came over to Lydia’s house—where she lived with two roommates—almost every day. She also had a unique opportunity to trek a branch of the Camino de Santiago with her fellow interns and a few of the youth: “The Camino de Santiago is a 109km pilgrimage throughout Europe to Santiago, the supposed burial place of the apostle James.”

Acts Project: Italy

Goff, left, pictured with members of the
Arts and Media Outreach team in L'Aquila.
Junior Jonathan Goff, a Christian Ministry major, fell in love with Italy during the spring of 2009 when he attended Bryan’s Italy Abroad program, hosted by Saints Bible Institute (SBI). Although he expected to have ample alone time with God while he was there, Goff ended up extremely busy during his two-month stay.

He was able to explore both his administrative and artistic side while working for OM Italy. Along with adding to the OM Italy photo collection and being part of an arts outreach team, Jonathan served as the program assistant for one of OM’s first missions conferences in the Mediterranean. Transform 2010 was a July week spent outside of Rome, Italy, in prayer and preparation for the short-term ministry throughout the Med nations that would follow.

Goff said one of the most valuable lessons of his summer was learning more about grace  and the image of God in everyone. After living with several other interns in Italy, “I have less of a tendency to be judgmental or not get along with people because of personality differences.”

Pacurari, left, participating in beach
ministry in Vosto.
On the other side of Italy, junior Christian ministry major Nick Pacurari joined Saints Equipped to Evangelize. About an hour from Venice, SEE is the umbrella organization for SBI (where Italy Abroad is hosted), a language school and two church plants, one of which is in the Philippines.

Pacurari sees his journey as a step of faith, something he didn’t have to do but was called to do: “I was getting on an airplane and going to an entirely different country not knowing what I was going to do and going in obedience to God’s word and what Christ had said to me.”

He spent his summer helping out at SBI, spending time with God, and participating and leading several outreaches throughout Italy. Italy is a place of extreme emotional poverty, and Pacurari’s heart was sold out for the Italian people.

“I think I got it wrong when I thought that my life was worth it when I led one person to the Lord,” Pacurari said, “I think my life was worth it by going and sharing the gospel with someone.”