I borrowed this from a blog from Mike and Sydney Drinkwater, two long term missionaries with Extreme Nazarene currently serving in Arequipa, Peru. I thought it would help me share what Extreme is all about, and what I get to be a part of!
There are three main components to Extreme Peru:
2. Short-term volunteers
3. Long-term volunteers
Method: seeking, training, and deploying 40 non-Peruvian and 40 Peruvian missionaries. These 80 young people are sent to share the good news of Jesus Christ through planting community-centric churches using evangelism, compassion projects and systematic, personalized discipleship. The 40 non-Peruvians first go through intense language training for 3 months. Following, they meet up with their partners - they are paired off (1 foreigner, 1 Peruvian) – and go through an intense 6 months of job training to prepare them biblically, culturally, and spiritually for the work ahead of them.
Goal: To plant 120 self-supporting churches in southern Peru within 3 years.
Each missionary is carefully selected as they are the backbone of Extreme Peru. Each pair will be entering very secluded Amazon River villages, small mountain towns, or dense urban areas of Peru armed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ultimate purpose of 40/40 is to carry the light of Christ into the dark places of Peru so that God can transform individuals, communities, and entire cultures.
Update: The first of three cohorts has 8 missionaries – 4 from the USA, 4 from Peru. They are finishing their job training in the city of Iquitos TODAY and will be moving to their service city, Puerto Maldonado, in just a few short days.
Method: seeking and deploying short-term volunteers for up to 2 weeks for preparation for and support of the 40/40s. These volunteers participate in many outreaches in the communities – all places where future 40/40s will be working – and also construction projects to build facilities for the 40/40s and their support families to live.
This part of the Peru Project is quite dynamic. There have been 3 projects completed already and the 4th one is currently underway. Each project takes from 20 to 400 people. People of all ages come. Impact projects consist of women prison’s outreach, plaza evangelism, puppet shows, Magdalena films, Jesus films, Men’s drug rehab center outreach, children’s hospital volunteer work to spending time sharing Christ’s Love with the elderly living in assisted living facilities.
Update: The 4th and current project is in Puerto Maldonado, where approximately 30 volunteers are sweating a lot in the jungle! Several of them have participated in outreach activities each day, resulting in several decisions for Christ. The rest of them are wrapping up the work on the building which will house the first 40/40 Cohort and their support family, the Smiths, who all move in in a few days! This is a huge moment in the Peru Project as the backbone of why we’re all here is finally beginning. The 40/40s will begin the work for which they were called to Peru and, God willing, 12 community-centric churches will be planted in the town and surrounding area of Puerto Maldonado.
But don’t forget! The short-term volunteers have already had a giant impact on their respective communities. Here are the Decisions for Christ from the first 3 projects:
Arequipa 0: 175
Arequipa 1: 316
Puerto Maldonado 1: 40 Praise the Lord!!
As you might be able to tell from above, this type of work takes LOTS of planning and support.
· There are at least 14 people on the ground in the U.S. – most of which work full-time mobilizing and recruiting short-term, long-term, and 40/40 volunteer missionaries for the work in Peru.
· There are now 32 40/40s on the ground with the last 48 being deployed in February 2010.
· There are about 30 other long-term volunteers on the ground, each with a very specific position.
One could definitely say that this is not a traditional missions organization; however, each and every position is so important to support the 40/40s in their work.
· Contrary to common understanding, this method is quite different than the Work&Witness model. We are not W&W missionaries nor organization. W&W has had great effect in the world, but we are trying something different!
· Extreme is an incredibly quickly-growing organization and sometimes it is impossible to capture all news/events/updates that go on all over the world. Please also regularly click on the link to the right to view updates on the Extreme website.
I am a 40/40 missionary, headed for Peru as part of Cohort 3 in February. I love hearing the ways God is transforming lives! I can’t wait to get there, but keep me in your prayers!