Perth Bible College is planning our first Outreach and Educational Tour to Greece in July 2022. During the four weeks in Greece, students will have the opportunity to participate in an outreach to rural Greece, visit several ministries and churches in Greece, and visit some of the New Testament sites in Greece.
International Mission Teams and Greece
Throughout the decades, PBC has given students the opportunity to take part in cross-cultural ministry in various countries as they learn about the culture, religion, and worldview of the people they visit. In 2016, International Mission Teams (IMT) was established as a ministry of PBC, focusing primarily on taking teams of students and staff to places where believers do not always have the opportunity for theological education and training. Apart from providing education, students also engaged with local believers and ministry leaders to understand their context and to build relationships that would cross race, culture, and generations.
From 2008 until 2019, students were introduced to ministries in Cambodia, and in addition from 2016 onwards, to several countries in Eastern Africa. During the last IMT outreach in December 2019, the team visited Kenya, Uganda, and Greece, providing training to local believers and refugees. It was during this outreach that a combined outreach and educational tour to Greece was envisioned, giving students an on location understanding of the geography, history, context, and culture of Ancient Greece, in which the Apostle Paul and others ministered, together with an opportunity for practical outreach and exposure to ministries in Modern Greece.
Purpose of the Trip
During the four weeks in Greece, students will have the opportunity to:
- understand more of the background of the New Testament book
of Acts and some of the Letters by visiting various archaeological sites
and museums; and
- to experience modern day Greece, the peoples,
the culture, and daily life while engaging in ministry and visiting
various churches and ministries.
When we read the Bible, we read about different people living and traveling in different countries, speaking different languages, and following different cultural expressions. It is sometimes difficult to fully understand the geography, history, culture, and worldview of the peoples mentioned in the Bible when we are living more than 2,000 years later, distanced from these people, speaking a different language, having modern technology, and trying to navigate our own culture.
Visiting one or more of the Biblical lands gives us a better understanding of the context in which the Scriptures were written. Greece, one of the Biblical lands, is especially important to understand some of Paul’s Letters and the Acts of the Apostle. But the New Testament was also written in Koine Greek, the trade language in the eastern part of the Roman Empire in the 1st Century AD. Through the campaigns of Alexander the Great (who was indeed not a Greek, but a Macedonian educated in the Hellenic way by Aristotle), the Greek culture and language invaded the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea, Persia and as far as India. Therefore, to have a better understanding of the whole New Testament, a better understanding of Greece, Greek and the Greek culture, will be beneficial to understand the text and the message of the New Testament.
Modern Greece looks very different from Greece 2,000 years ago, but there are still many similarities in the language, culture, and the landscape. Greece was the first country to be evangelised in Europe, and as we know, the New Testament was written in Greek. But Greece never went through a reformation, and many people have a nominal or cultural religion, without a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are also various minority groups in Greece today, including many refugees and Roma Gypsies.
The outreach part of the tour will give students the opportunity to visit and experience different ministries reaching out to Greeks, refugees, Roma Gypsies, and other minority groups. Reaching each of these people groups has unique challenges and students will learn how to contextualise the Gospel towards the people group they are reaching out to. Students will also experience modern Greek culture, food, and everyday life, visiting rural communities and larger cities.
The planned dates for the Tour are the 28th June – 28th July 2022.
Arriving in Athens, students will spend a couple of days being briefed on the context of Greece before joining Hellenic Ministries (HM) in their annual Bible distribution campaign, Operation Joshua, from the 1st – 9th July. We will join believers from around the world distributing thousands of New Testaments in Modern Greek to rural towns and villages. Students will have the opportunity to meet believers from Greece and around the world, as well as meet full-time missionaries and Greeks ministering in Greece.
For the next two and a half weeks, we will visit most of the Biblical sites on continental Greece, including Kavala (Neapolis), Philippi, Thessaloniki, Verea (Berea), Athens and Corinth, as well as other important historical sites. While visiting these sites, we will also study some of the Biblical texts corresponding to these sites to have a better understanding of the Biblical text and the message for the original receivers and the church today.
While visiting Athens, we will also be able to visit some churches and ministries, understanding the modern challenges ministering cross-culturally to various ethnic and cultural groups.
Dr Anton Beukes will be lecturer for all units and tour leader in Greece. Dr Beukes has been to Greece over 20 times over the last 12 years and is currently preparing to move to Greece as a full-time missionary with Hellenic ministries. He has taken part in seven Operation Joshua projects (from 2010 to 2018) and has led four Vision Tours for churches and church leaders to Greece. Dr Beukes is accredited to teach New Testament, Missions, Church History, and several other ministry-related units up to master’s level at Perth Bible College. Please contact him at [email protected] for any inquiries.
Enrolment and Costs
Students can enrol for one New Testament unit and one Ministry unit as part of this Tour. There are a few units available, and you will be advised what units will be the best for you. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Counselling, will need to consult with Mr Steve Poisat to find out if there are any units you may enrol in.
The cost of the Tour will depend on your enrolment for credit. The cost includes tuition fees, airfare, meals, accommodation, outreach costs, entrance to archaeological sites & museums, and tour guides. Any gifts towards this outreach would be tax deductible (meaning, students may do fundraising towards the additional costs of the Tour).
Enrolled for two units:
- $4250 per unit ($8,500 total), for undergraduate students, plus airfare (approximately $2,000); or
- $4570 per unit ($9,140 total), for post-graduate students, plus airfare (approximately $2,000).
Enrolled for one unit:
- $4250 for the one undergraduate unit, an additional $2,500, plus airfare (approximately $2,000); or
- $4570 for the one post-graduate unit, an additional $2,500, plus airfare (approximately $2,000).
Non-students or non-enrolment:
- $5,000; and
- Airfare (approximately $2,000)
Costs not included:
- Passport application or renewal (if necessary)
- Visa (if applicable)
- Personal spending money
- Any Covid-19 testing
FEE-Help and College Loan:
Students who want to pay for their units through FEE-Help, will be able to add $500 extra to the basic units cost ($2250 for undergraduate students and $2570 for graduate students) to be covered by FEE-Help. The additional $1,500 per unit will have to be paid either upfront by the students, or students can apply for a loan from the International Mission Teams. So, instead of receiving a loan from the Government, you may receive a loan from the College. International Students will be able to borrow the extra $2,000 per unit from the IMT, but will have to pay for basic unit fee upfront.
(Please note that we are waiting for more confirmation regarding FEE-Help. We hope that domestic students may be able to add the full amount of at least one, but hopefully both their units to FEE-Help. As soon as we get confirmation, we will inform all students).
For more information on the loan from the IMT, please contact Mrs Kari Minetto at the PBC Office.
Application and Payments
An electronic application form will be available and must be completed before 15 April, 2022. At least five participants must be part of the Tour for it to go ahead. Applicants will be informed within one week if they have been approved for the Tour, and whether the Tour will go ahead.
$500 deposit (towards the airfare) must be paid by 12 April if approved (or arrange for a payment plan with the College Office).
All outstanding fees to be paid by 1 June 2022 (or arrange for a payment plan with the College Office).
- Complete the application form with all applicable documentation attached before 1 April.
- A valid passport, with at least 6-month validity from the day of return.
- If not traveling with an Australian or New Zealand passport, you may have to apply for a visa.
- At least 18 years old; if not, to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
- Always adhere to the PBC Code of Conduct.
- If enrolled in units for credit, complete all requirements before, during and after the completion of the Tour.
- Be healthy and walking fit.
Although Covid-19 vaccinations are not required for entry into Greece as of March 2022, the Greek government may change this directive anytime. Entry into certain public places is restricted to nonvaccinated persons and regular Covid-19 tests may need to be done.
Likewise, a double vaccination PLUS a booster shot is now required to return to Western Australia without having to quarantine. We strongly encourage all participants to receive at least a double Covid-19 vaccine (preferably a booster shot as well) at least two weeks before the departure to Greece.