Today marked a great day for ministry outreach here in Bologna. Our Bologna team has a unique situation in which Agape Italia is partnered other churhes and ministries that seek to reach the people of Bologna for the kingdom of God.
Today we, Agape, began helping with the Book of Hope distiribution, or libri di sparnaza. We went to a local high school with approximately 1,000 plus students. There schools are arranged a little differently than what we are used to in the states. Each student has a schedule that in unique to them and only some students come each day. So today, Thursday, and Saturday I will return with Cody and Kelly to continue passing out the book of hope at this school in hopes that each of the students there gets one. (Yes, I said Saturday to those who were reading carefully. Even though Monday, and Tuesday were a holiday here in Italy with no school, the schools are on stike on Friday, so we will be going to school with the students on Saturday.) Other teams are focusing on other high schools in the area.
Now, this is very strategic because members of our team went to some of those same schools the week of Thanksgiving and shared about the history of the American holiday. Ester, an Italian that we partnered with also shared what she was thankful for, GOD! Now this was tricky because they were only allowed to share their experiences. Thankfully, there were students who were both believers and non believers that asked just the right questions that the team was able to share the gospel with the students in the audience of several of the presentations. Hallelujah! God is great!
The follow-up to some of the presentation was that Ester was able to get several thousand copies of the book of hope and permission from ALL area high schools to pass them out to the students before school. Just as a side note that is an extraordinary feat! Praise God! The book of hope basically walks through the book of John and the gospel. It also has several testimonies of other young people who lives have been transformed because of a relationship with the savior! We are praying that the students not only read them and share them with others but that the holy spirit stirs their hearts with a longing for a personal relationship with the Lord. I know God is faithful to his promises!
Isaiah 55:10-11 (New International Version)
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The last part of the puzzle is this, on Saturday night, an Italian Christian Worship band, Lost and Found will be putting on a concert just for these High School students at a popular discotecca.
Please pray that as we are reaching out to the high school students here in Bologna, that God is at work! These books could easy be pushed to the side or thrown in the trash, but I know God is alive and well in this city, and that the students definitely need the hope of a savior that has already defeated the enemy. Our team is increasingly aware that without God all our efforts are in vain. Pray that we continue to acknowledge that and seek his leadership and wisdom as we seek this city for his kingdom!
Also, due to scheduling issues and the holiday here in Italy on Tuesday, the English club at the engineering faculty has been unable to meet these past two weeks. We have offered several other times to meet and make up missed times and I am looking forward to meeting with the students again next week in our regularly scheduled time. Please pray for Kelly, Cody, Ryan, and I as we seek relationships with these students that the Lord open doors to share the Gospel!
As always, please also keep me posted as to things I can pray for you for. It would be my honor to take your requests before the Lord. Just send me an email at email@example.com.
Love in Christ,