Jonah’s disobedience started a long list of consequences.
The amazing consequence was that even though he thought he could run away from God he never could accomplish that. The storm that God brought upon his ship to stop Jonah, bringing fear for their lives to all, turned out to be a blessing for everyone involved. At the time it certainly did not look like a blessing to the sailors on the boat Jonah was using to escape obeying God. It did not look like a blessing for Jonah as he was thrown overboard to appease God. Only looking back at the storm, did it become evident that it was a storm of grace in the lives of many, for the sailors believed in the only true eternal God, Jonah obediently went to Nineveh and the whole city repented. What looked like a storm of death became a storm of victory for the Lord.
We have gone through a storm!
A few weeks ago, I received a call that my friend and co-pastor had fallen into moral sin and had thus disqualified himself from ministry. When we received the call, we were on our way to Sicily for a weekend of ministry there. We had to cancel that plan and deal with the sad situation instead. As you can imagine, much prayer went up to the Lord His wisdom and guidance. In God’s kind providence David had been preaching on Jonah and our small church had been thinking through the sovereignty of God, the reality of sin and its consequences, and the wonderful reality of God’s grace. God has been very kind in His leading, and the people of the church have responded well to the abrupt changes. David preached on from Psalm 121 on the reality that God is never taken by surprise, though we are. The Stanisci family came before the church and Lucio confessed his sin. They are now moving to Switzerland, where their mission will be to continue to care for their family with counseling. Please, pray for Lucio and Cristina and their children.
We can attest that God has shown mercy to our church, Vita nella Grazia.
As you can imagine, there have been many meetings with the church members and many hours have been spent encouraging and helping these precious believers who were shocked by the news. In God’s kindness we had our first baptisms scheduled the week after we gave the news to the congregation and 86 people were present at the lake to se them. Many unsaved attendees were able to hear a clear Gospel presentation and the testimonies of the two young ladies who were baptized.
At this time, we are grateful that God is working in our church. We continue to have visitors who come and worship along with the 35 regular attenders. The church has come together, with increased desire to serve, and to come alongside Loredana as she teaches the women and young ladies and David as he preaches and teaches the Bible studies. We are so encouraged and ask you to pray for us.
Our publishing ministry is also progressing well.
We are translating the book that David wrote: 31 DAYS IN THE PSALMS into Italian. The monthly newspaper continues to reach people all over Italy. Pray for wisdom and strength, as we want to be faithful, even though there are many more responsibilities in the church.
We need you to pray!
- Pray for the Buss family, who continues to serve in the church and has our outreach programs as their main responsibility.
- Pray for Erkki, who leads our music ministry and works with David in the publishing ministry.
- Pray for David’s dad as he is doing well in the nursing home in Milan and for David, as he tries to visit him regularly from Rome.
- Pray for the church activities that are starting again after the summer break: Sunday Worship and Sunday School, two Bible studies, the monthly ladies’ meetings and the young ladies’ regular meeting, our monthly couples’ Bible study at our home, a new children’s club that will meet weekly and the various discipleship and counseling meetings.
- Pray especially for much wisdom for David and that God will provide more trained help.
A storm never happens by chance. God has planned it; He will give the strength to go through it and will provide the sunshine at the end of it.
Please let us know that you are praying for us, and come to visit us, if you ever come our way! Our services are translated in English, as we have regular English-speaking attendees.
Thank you for your prayers
and for your financial partnership
David and Loredana
If you would like to support our ministry to Italy
Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074
Mark on the memo line or on a separate note: For the ministry of David and Loredana Standridge