April 9, 2009
While many university students and faculty enjoyed good weather, minimal homework, and no morning classes during spring break, Mike Bruce and his wife, Teressa, spent the break waking up early, working most of the day, and going to bed late during their trip to Italy.
Bruce, an assistant professor of communication arts at Oklahoma Baptist University, and his wife spent their spring break in Italy doing work for the International Mission Board using the talents and abilities God gave them to further His kingdom. The Bruces worked alongside members of the IMB's European Peoples Forward Communication team in Italy to help document the work of IMB missionaries living and working in the area.
"Their desire is to use media to communicate the spiritual condition of the people of Italy to Southern Baptists in the States," Bruce said. "They hope this will generate prayer for their work and also volunteer workers."
While in Italy, the Bruces and their associates from the mission communication team interviewed IMB personnel working in Italy and shot video footage and photographs of the people and places in Italy. . They worked long days and nights traveling throughout Italian cities. The team recorded more than 500 minutes of video footage and shot hundreds of photographs. The video footage and photographs will be edited and turned into four or five different video projects that can then be used to help support the work of missionaries in Italy.
Doing the majority of their work in Naples and Rome, the team primarily worked in public places such as markets, universities and public transportation spots to enable them to meet and talk with everyday Italian residents and better convey what the culture of each city is like.
This past spring break marked the second time the Bruces have traveled to Europe and work as volunteers.
"Teressa and I have a heart for the people of Europe," Bruce said. "Americans often think of Europe as a tourist destination. However, spiritually much of Europe is lost. We hope our projects convey that Europe should be thought of as a mission field. While we accomplished a lot of work while in Italy, much of the work still remains."