Italy is often called ‘The missionaries’ graveyard’ and it has been the case for many years. Many have come but been thwarted in many ways and some of this we can see is because the enemy has built a fortress in many parts of Italy over many hundreds of years and the people have become calloused and hard-hearted – but God always keeps His people secure until His time to work arrives. This is a great encouragement to us as we follow His calling here in the vicinity of Turin – the city which has one of the largest communities of Satanists in Italy. A community which we know has been praying that Christian missionaries l not be allowed into Italy or of they did come they would be beseiged by illnesses hardships etc and leave or be so disheartened that they would be ineffective!
However the good news is that our God is never defeated because in Christ He has the victory!! And not just the ultimate victory but also the continuing victory!! Last night I attended a meeting in Torino with 8 pastors from a variety of denominations as we planned an outreach to Muslims in the city as part of a day of prayer for Church. The Holy Spirit protected us as they shared their vison for this outreach and also for their unity – the spirit of suspicion which has pervaded many churches in Italy was kept from our meeting by the power of the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!
As part of OM we look forward to resourcing that outreach over 3days in November and are encouraged that in addition to the 8 churches represented there were also apologies from at least 3 churches not able to be present.
The unity of the church is where God’s Spirit is working in Italy at present and it is a joy to see what is happening in a variety of places. His church will be re-built when we love one another as He has loved us. The birth pangs will often be painful but then when the child is born we will all stand amazed at the beauty of God’s creation! Being part of the team of midwives f or the church in Italy is a joy and a challenge but one which the Lord has prepared us for.
As we see the pregnant bump we will rejoice at every kick the baby makes for it is a sign that it is alive and well and wanting to get out and LIVE!