Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Italy is being reached for Christ!

We wrapped up July in Italy with 41 students and leaders from Grace Church.  Italy for Christ hosted us very well and organized our schedule.  They gave us a great Italy experience with sights of the Mt. Etna volcano and ruins older than Rome in Syracuse and an amazing tour in and around Rome itself.  Swimming in the Mediterranean and eating gelato were extra perks, too.

The best part was the ministry they led us in.  We had 4 open air performances in piazzas in Catania and Avola, visited a gypsy slum and participated in their local church service.

The students had prepared songs with choreography, a flash mob song/dance, poi, a drama and testimonies.  We put all this together with a band from the church and the UniShow with Gospel message and saw thousands of people reached.  Since it was super hot this time of year in Italy, our shows didn't start until 10p and went until around midnight.  This is when people hang out in the piazzas.

After the first show, Katie noticed a guy who had watched our entire show, lingering on a nearby curb.  She visited with Deleno, though he spoke little English, and learned that he'd been very moved by our message.  He said he was Catholic and wanted to see our show the next night and talk with a local church leader because he knew he was spiritually on the outside but didn't know how to come in.  Katie got an Italian pastor who talked and prayed with this man at length.  The men exchanged info and will be keeping in touch for Deleno's continued spiritual growth.  

Before each show our group would distibute invites and Dustin's tracks in the piaza and surrounding streets.  Katie handed info to 3 guys before the 2nd show and wound up talking to them for an hour.  One was an athiest, one an agnostic and the other a spiritist.  God softened their hearts and they were very open to the Gospel and what the Bible says about Jesus.  They weren't able to stay for the show that night, however.

Our 3rd show was in the same piazza as the 2nd show and the same 3 guys happened to be there and saw the whole show (Katie found out after the show when she surprisingly ran into them again).  They were very impressed with Dustin's show and wanted to meet him and try out the unicycles.  One of the guys was a musician and had liked the band's music and thought he'd like to connect with them and even play with them at some point.  Without knowing that Katie had been sharing with them, an Italian pastor came over and started talking to the 3 guys, introduced them to the band who shared their stories with the guys and intvited them to their Friday night youth service.  As our 3 new friends were saying bye to us, they said they'd had the same conversation with the pastor about God as they'd had with Katie the night before.  They had totally realated to the testimony shared with them and planned on going to the youth night and inviting their friends, too!  It was obvious that God is pursuing these young men!

Thank you for praying for these 4 guys and the many others impacted through our outreaches.  Italy for Christ!

First piazza show in Catania.

Visiting a Gypsy camp.

Loving the kids at the Gypsy camp.

Second piazza show.

Uni art.

Atop the volcano Mt. Etna.

Exploring ruins in Syracuse. 

Greek amphitheater in Syracuse built in the 5th century BC. 

A fountain in Piazza Navona.

Michelangelo's Pieta in St Peters Basilica in Vatican City.

The Roman Forum.

Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Roman Colosseum built almost 2000 years ago.