I’m sitting here in the JFK airport on a 7 hour layover waiting for our flight back home and reflecting on some of the victories we had in Italy. Its easy to view Italy as a vacation country and wonder why you would want to go there in a mission trip. Thats what I used to think before I started going and helping out some of the churches. Thanks to friends like Brandon Bee and Michael Bahn, we are able to see some fruit from our labor in the country.
1. We helped with the first Christian outreach event that the city of Verbania (a little north of Milan) has had. It was a Christian concert, which is common in the U.S. but is very rare in Italy.
2. We were able to do some song writing while we were in the country. Having close Italian friends to help with the translation is always helpful. The more songs we can get written in Italian the better.
3. We were able to connect with an event promoter. From my understanding he only likes to work with talented acts for events he puts on, and he liked what we did in Verbania so praise God for that!
4. We were able to get a better feel for the country and the needs it has for what our ministry does. Its one of those things that is hard to dream up until you build relationships with locals and hang out in the country.
5. We were able to encourage a church plant in ferrara. The pastor there for years was the only one he knew that has the same beliefs as him. It was only a few months ago that he was able to connect with another small group in the city.
6. We were able to see some of the culture in ferrara and pray over the city. I could literally feel the oppression and lack of joy in the city. It was very heavy. I had to really rely on God’s strength to get me through those few days because it weighed my spirit down.
7. We were able to encourage musicians in the area that dont have a way to share their talents in the church. A lot of them are really talented, but their churches dont want them to play music in church. Therefore, a lot of them just hang up their instrument. It was good to talk to them and encourage them to keep playing!
There are a lot more small wins we had, but these are the biggest on my heart right now.
Yes, it is a beautiful country and yes we had some fun days, but nonetheless we accomplished what God had us there to do. Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. I hope one day we can all go to Italy together!