What natural network connects many of Europe’s major cities, as well as hundreds of towns and villages, reaching from the North Sea to the Black Sea? Rivers!
The geographical river network of Europe is a unique and beautiful way to travel through the heart of Europe, and now, we want to see the Gospel message travel these rivers as well.
For a number of years, we have been discussing how we could use the river network to reach out to Europe’s 700 million inhabitants. Out of this discussion came the Riverboat Project. We hope to operate a river-going vessel to use this European pathway to share the Gospel and mobilise the Church to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.
In order to achieve this vision, we will prepare to charter a vessel for a 3-month trial period at the end of 2017.
Ministry along the rivers of Europe can play a significant part in sounding the message of Jesus loud and clear across the continent. Within Europe, there are still large numbers of least-reached communities. From the multitude of migrant workers and refugees, to the masses that live on the continent who have rejected or failed to understand, both need the compelling message of the Christian faith.
We desire to build a mobile platform that can challenge the Church to respond to the massive needs of the least reached in the world. The Church, responding to Christ’s message to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15), is the mechanism God has chosen to reach those in Europe and the world.
We also desire this vessel to be a place to introduce people to Jesus. We hope one day to tell the stories of those who met him and put their faith in him on board.
We hope to secure a passenger river vessel with space for around 100 people to live on board. There will be accomodation, plus adequate space for dining. We will identify a vessel that has sufficient carrying capacity to store materials for ministry, and technical items for vessel safety and operation.
The key aspects of this vessel, however, are to invest in the life of the crew and reach out to visitors, challenging them for missions. There will be several ministry spaces to accommodate these goals.
An innovative and interactive environment, Global Village allows teenagers and adults to take part in a simulated missions experience. Encountering a broken world face-to-face, participants discover God’s heart for the lost, being challenged to reflect Jesus in difficult places. OM missionaries then debrief visitors on their Global Village experience and discuss OM’s pray-give-go strategy.
This is a unique opportunity to not just hear about mission, but experience it! Global Village has impacted many to go out and make a difference in the world.
To support and add to the challenge of the Global Village, there will be a conference facility on board, big enough to hold up to 100 people. This provides a venue to invest in training our on-board crew, as well as host various groups for evangelistic and mission-mobilising events.
There will also be a shop and café on board. This will attract the public to visit, relax and have conversations with the crew. Here we can sell various products to support missions projects around the world, while funding ongoing operational expenses of the riverboat ministry.
We are looking for an international team of 80 people to help with this project from September to December 2017. If you are interested, please contact your local OM office at www.om.org/contact.