We’ve been having internet issues. The local response to that statement is, “Welcome to Rome!”
We went to the place where we got our internet contract to find out why our internet was barely moving at a snail’s pace and they told us we had already used all our high speed for the month and now we only have a very, verrrry slowww speed internet until May 5 when it renews for next month. I guess we used all our high speed on skyping with our kids and grandkids. Today, kind friends invited us to their apartment to borrow their internet. (Big thank you, Jen and Tessa!)
So here’s an update and some prayer requests…
- There is very little Sunday School material available in Italian. So, Hope and I have started working on a curriculum project for preschool – elementary age children. This is one of the reasons that I believe God brought us here. I’m so excited to see what God intends to do in and through this project! Please pray for God’s leading, creativity and grace as He establishes the work of our hands, as well as lasting fruit that will bless both teachers and children as we hold out the Word of Life!
- Last week and the week before we had a nice conversations with a man from Egypt who runs a Kebob place nearby. He spoke some English so we asked him what brought him to Italy. He said that he was tired of the religious persecution in Egypt. He’s from a Coptic Christian family. There were no other customers, so we asked him to sit with us and tell us about what they believed. It opened the door for us to share our faith and the main difference in our beliefs, primarily, the difference between religion and a relationship as well as our strong conviction that we are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of the cross. We quoted Eph. 2:8-9, then he quoted James 2:18 “You have faith; I have deeds. “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” It was a very friendly conversation (not argumentative in any way). But then he went on to say that he knows that he’s not walking with the Lord. He said that it may be easier for us because we probably haven’t seen real any persecution. He believes in Jesus, but said that he told God, “You are there and I am here. Let’s just keep it that way.” I had to do everything I could to keep the tears from flowing as I felt God’s heart for this young man. To make a long story short, he said that he knew that God probably sent us there that day! We invited him to church and yesterday he came! Please pray that he gives his heart to Jesus!
- Also, the other day I met a lady named Alexandra from California. She’s lived here for 15 years and makes a living singing in a bar. When the conversation started turning toward spiritual things, she quickly said, “I’m pretty much a pagan.” So I said, “Well, that’s where we all start out before we meet the Lord.” Please pray her and for many more open doors to share the good news!
- Pray also for grace in learning conversational Italian! In the mean time, praise the Lord that He seems to be strategically placing us in the paths of people who speak English!
- Refugees and immigrants are everywhere. Most of the locals are a bit frustrated with the situation, in part, because the job market is pretty slim as it is. You may have heard about the 700 people who died trying to get to Italy, but their boat capsized in the Mediterranean near Libya last week. Reports like this are in Italian news every week. One boat load of people threw all the christians who were onboard overboard, so it’s a good possibility that radical muslims make up a percentage of the immigrants coming in on boats. Italy’s migrant crisis is starting to draw the attention of the EU and UN as they try to figure out what to do with the boatloads of people entering Italy from the war torn regions south of the Mediterranean. Pray that they will come up with reasonable ideas to rescue the thousands of immigrants who are just seeking safety, yet find a way to keep those with wicked motives away. (Or better yet, that God will impact and change their hearts with His love!)
- This week we are going to Perugia for the Italy Calvary Chapel Conference. Please pray for God’s anointing, grace and much lasting fruit!
- As always, your prayers mean the world to us! Thank you so much!