Gelato, pizza, Rome, Florence, family, Parmesan cheese, gondola rides … all words that probably come to mind when someone brings up Italy. And rightly so. Those are all wonderful parts of the culture and fabric of Italy. But so is the tremendous need for Jesus!
Push The Rock has been sending teams to Italy since 2007, starting with a trip to Mestre, a bedroom community to Venice. Since then we have also sent teams and interns to towns on the outskirts of Bologna. In partnership with several churches, we have run clinics and special events for hundreds of kids and their families. Sports have proven to be a very effective tool for reaching these families, especially since sports are an integral part of daily life. Families are indeed such a huge part of the Italian culture, which is probably why they treat sports teams as an extension of their immediate family.
Although we have engaged the communities with multiple sports, we have focused on basketball. Soccer is king throughout much of the world and certainly in Italy, but basketball is pretty big in the Bologna and Venice regions. We have developed close ties with several basketball clubs.
Throughout the summer we run camps in these two regions. Throughout the rest of the year we run daily programs in private and public schools and run special events. From fall to spring we also have the opportunity to coach in the local clubs. In addition to running these camps and daily programs throughout the year, there is much planning and prep work that happens prior to these activities taking place. You would be hand on in all phases of the ministry.
If you consider yourself a “self-starter” and are pretty independent, this would be a great internship for you. In addition to being a part of a team, based out of Mestre, you will frequently want to engage the culture on your own. Every facet of ministry here will require you to take initiative, as will building relationships, learning the public transportation system, and heading into Venice for a few hours.
Again, if those attributes and opportunities describe you, then please prayerfully consider serving with us in Italy!
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