Newsletter 36a - February 2001


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There is only a week now until the mini mission that we will be running at the university, so I thought to write to say how the preparations have gone, and so that you can pray better for it in the next few days.

There will be nine people coming to help us - more than I was expecting, but Iím not complaining! Since Italian students usually have exams in the period of the GBU summer evangelistic teams, it is difficult for them to participate. So the aim of this mission is not only to do some concentrated evangelism at the university, which otherwise our small group would not have been able to do, but also to give an opportunity to Italian students to do some evangelism away from their home university. So it is a great joy that of these nine people, three are Italian students. So that you can pray for the team, the people that are coming are:
Italian students: Marco (Urbino), Roberta (Perugia), Roberto (Florence)
Other student: Ismene (a German student, studying at Pescara this year)
GBU workers: Marcello and Nathalie (an Italian-French couple, staff at Florence), and from the two-year team Stephen, Helen (English, at Florence) and Rachel (American, at Perugia).

I was able to book places to stay and for the public meeting without too many problems. In fact, the centre for the associations was already booked, so I obtained a room in the Sociology faculty, which is better yet. The Dean had a few reservations, since they do not usually let associations use the classrooms, especially for "ideological" meetings, as he put it, but Markus knows him well (they meet together to speak German), so he let us use it.

The first people on the team arrive on Thursday, and then the others arrive over the following days. (A planned train strike on Sunday could create problems for two of them that were hoping to travel that day.) So on Friday and Saturday we will do some things together, in order to do some team building. The idea, to entice and tempt people to come, was to go skiing in these days, but after three weeks of unseasonably sunny weather lately, I am starting to have some doubts about the feasibility! In any case, there are always plenty of things to do in the mountains even if the snow is no longer adequate.

On Sunday, we will all be in church, and it will be in fact a "GBU-Day". The church already strongly supports the ministry of the GBU, both through what I do locally, and also on the national scale. After all, two of the three leaders of the church are GBU graduates, benefited a lot from it, and still serve on its national committees. So it will be an opportunity for the church to meet some real live students from elsewhere in Italy, and get to know about the ministry first hand instead of through others. To help this, Marcello will be speaking about the GBU during the service, and preaching as well. Then in the afternoon the team will get together again for a more concentrated session of planning and praying for the mission.

Finally, after all the preparations, on Monday and Tuesday (the 5th and the 6th), we will actually have the mission. Never having done something like this before, Iím not sure what the best way to use these nine people will be. But we will start by setting up bookstalls in the faculties and approaching students, and try to be flexible enough to do different things if we think that they might work better. All this will be a form of advertising as well, because we want to invite the students that we meet to the evangelistic meeting, which will be at 3pm on the Tuesday afternoon. Once again, Marcello will be speaking at that. Then, after a night at a pizzeria to wrap up the team, everyone will be leaving again on Wednesday morning.

Some things to pray for:

  • the advertising that I will be doing on Tuesday
  • that there will be no troubles for the team travelling to Trento
  • that the team will be able to work well together, as one
  • for Marcello as he prepares the talks
  • for opportunities to speak with students about Jesus, and boldness to take them up
  • that as a result other students will join the weekly Bible study we have at the university
  • that the members of the GBU group and the church will benefit from the presence of the team

Thank you for your prayers, and also to those that have been able to give financially in order to make the presence of a team here for two days of evangelism a possibility.

E-mail: info@laparola.net