CWN.org - Some future church leaders in Europe recently took a crash course in living by faith.
Their training began in a German restaurant and ended at a farmer's market on the French coast.
But they had no money to spend and no time for tourism. They were too busy learning how to become "extreme missionaries."
The group of young people in this German cafeteria weren't sure when they'd have their next good meal. All they knew was they were about to start an adventure in missions.
Gernot Elsner, founder of Gospel Tribe, explained to the group that, over the next 10 days, they would visit four European countries.
"Over and over during this trip, you'll find yourself with people who are sick, or who haven't heard the gospel, or who might even be possessed," Elsner said. "And the mission God is giving us is to pray for these people and share what we know about Jesus."
They wouldn't take money or cell phones. All their belongings had to fit in a backpack.
Soon they met people on the margins of society, like one community of punkers and hippies on the outskirts of Berlin.
"I came here because we were so poor," one woman said. "Homeless, no food, nothing. My family was a little strange and I was looking for a new life."
The visiting team prepared a barbeque, sponsored by German Pastor Joerg, who resigned from a comfortable church to serve the poorest of the poor.
"I have never seen a miracle without first paying the price," Joerg said. "Without first deciding to do something not knowing the outcome. That's when the miracles happen."
Miracles like the life of his assistant Olli, formerly a high-ranking neo-Nazi. But when he met Pastor Joerg, Olli abandoned that lifestyle and began to follow Jesus.
After the meal, residents received an invitation to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
A few days later, the Extreme Missions group reached the streets of Prague, and a new challenge. They would be given a small amount of money with instructions to make it multiply.
"We bought chocolate and went into the city asking people if they wanted to buy some, and we told them about our trip," one participant said. "It turned out pretty well."
"It's really different," another participant said.
But that's not all. With their profit they invited people to a free meal. Many were skeptical, but three people accepted the offer.
The group kept traveling, meeting the needs of the needy and always learning along the way.
In the French port of Marseille, they faced one last challenge: Asking the vendors in a farmer's market to give them food. The result was surprising.
The Extreme Missions trip touched many lives. For ten days, these 15 people traveled and worked with minimal resources.
And most importantly, they learned to share God's love with people in all stages of life.