Thank you for your prayers and support through this exciting time of transition. As you know, I (Jeff) had the privilege of spending over a week in Italy with two other :Beta: leaders. As we spent time on the ground, we met with so many incredible leaders who have a heart to see Italy transformed by the Gospel of Christ. What we experienced and saw was that the need is HUGE. Very few cities have much of an evangelical presence. While the country is overshadowed by the power and influence of the Vatican, and most are at least culturally Catholic, there is very little knowledge of and interaction with Jesus. And yet, we clearly saw God at work; we heard the stories of those who have faithfully served and are praying for a movement of God to sweep the land. We desire to be a part of this movement and are thrilled to see how God may use us in the months and years ahead in this incredibly complicated ministry context. Below are a few pictures from the trip.
Rome’s city center is an intersection between ancient history and modern.
Italy’s history is rife with war and violence. Many people lost their lives in the wake of Rome’s continued desire to expand it’s empire.
The Vatican’s power and influence both politically and economically in Italy is far reaching. In Rome alone, the church owns over 50% of the real estate. In Italy, due to the Vatican’s power, evangelicals are still fighting for religious freedom, something most of the West takes for granted.
In Rome there are over 900 churches, sadly today most are nothing more than museums.
We had the privilege of meeting with and praying for Giosue, an Italian in Florence using film as a medium to bring the gospel to light in a dark city.
This incredible group of young people is led by one woman who has a deep heart for her city. In Manfredonia there is no evangelical church and yet Angela disciples, teaches, and leads these young people by faithfully living out and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
Sharing a meal in Italy is a sacred time. Food in Italy is something special and taken so seriously. We were grateful to be invited by our dear friend’s family to their home for dinner. It was incredible.
An unexpected excursion took us to a city called Pescara on the Adriatic Sea. This city was incredible. All three of us sensed God’s purposeful redirection to take us through this city – we’re excited to see what could come of our connections there.
Please continue to pray for us in this exciting season. God continues to connect us with more and more people in this country. We absolutely feel God’s hand leading us to pioneer something new in this incredible country. May we continue to step as God directs our path.