I couldn’t wait for Summer!

When I was much younger, summer was something I waited for! Probably the major reason was that I didn’t have to go to school. Yes, you guessed it, school was never my favorite thing. Summer also meant going on vacation as a family. As a missionary family, we never had much money, but my parents always planned a few weeks of vacation. Normally we went camping by the sea shore. Packing all the camping gear was not always fun.We had two tents, since there were six in our family plus a dog and we packed the cooking gear since we didn’t go out to eat. They were special times where we enjoyed doing things together as a family: devotional times, games, and just playing in the water.

Years have gone by, and now Loredana and I still look forward to summer.
The reason we look forward to summer is because of VBS! We have been blessed for a few years to have Immanuel Bible Church from Springfield, VA send a team to help us reach out to children and their families in the neighborhood of the area where we meet as a church. Our meeting facility is not at our disposal all the time, so we meet with the children in a park.

God has a provided a wonderful park within walking distance from where our church meets. This year we also had a second church help us from the US: a group of six from Grace Baptist Church from Santa Clarita, CA. We had a wonderful time with them, and they worked well with the Stanisci and Buss families and us. We had many opportunities to share the Gospel with the children and also with parents and grandparents. One of the added blessings is that many of the children at the park go to school with the children of the Buss family, so there is an ongoing relationship.

Three weeks later, the team of 14 from Grace Immanuel Bible church in Springfield, VA arrived. Again, it was such a blessing to reach out to many children and their parents. An added joy was to have our son Jordan, who is the church’s outreach pastor, lead the group! Jordan also preached in Italian for our church’s Sunday service. God is using these programs to establish credibility in our neighborhood, as the people become more aware of our presence as a church. Please pray that some lasting contacts would be established through these two weeks of VBS ministry in the park.

Many families go on vacation during the summer, so some of our faithful believers are away. In a small church, even one or two families make a big difference. We are grateful for some visitors that come to our services when they visit Rome. We want you to know what an encouragement it is for us, that if you plan a vacation in Rome, you try to come to our church and worship with us. We have been gifted with translation equipment, so when you come you can participate fully in our services.

Please pray for David, as I will have the responsibility of preaching and leading the church alone this summer. Loredana is doing a wonderful job discipling the women and teaching some of the ladies, even though our main Bible studies have been stopped for the summer. We count on your prayers; we are depending on God for strength and much wisdom as we serve joyfully during demanding times.

Please pray for my dad, Bill Standridge, who is in a nursing home in Milano. David’s brother Dan, who lives there, is in the US for the summer, so we will be making regular trips northward to encourage him and be close to him. Pray, also, for Jordan and Jenny who are planning to come to Italy as missionaries in June 2020. During their time here with us, they were able to visit areas of the city in preparation for their family’s first year in Rome.

Thank you for your prayers and for your financial partnership with us,

David and Loredana

If you would like to support our ministry to Italy 

Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
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

Observations from Visiting Supporters

We were privileged to visit the Standridges last month, as they were conducting their usual ministries in both Sicily and Rome. They met us at the airport in Catania, Sicily, and soon whisked us off to the Wednesday evening Prayer Meeting in Pennisi, where Marco and Simona Albanesi have planted a church. (They are both from Rome and dear friends, whose hearts the Lord has drawn to teach the gospel in Sicily.) David and Loredana make regular mentoring trips there, often including much-appreciated conferences on various topics that they teach to the men and women, respectively.

The atmosphere at their meeting place was welcoming, as the believers gathered. David gave an evening devotional (translated for us by Loredana), we sang several keyboard-accompanied hymns, and then they prayed together. At the close, we were invited to join their weekly buffet fellowship meal of delicious creations by the church women, organized by Simona, before seating ourselves at the two huge round tables. The room was soon filled with lively conversations and easy laughter, which displayed their affection and appreciation for one another!

David and Loredana dropped us at our B&B for the night, and continued on to the Albanesi’s home, where they were staying. Left Sicily, we took the ferry that crosses from Catania to Italy mainland, then drove on to their home in Rome. The Lord had led them to a lovely apartment, suited well for the many Bible studies and dinners that happen there, situated with a pleasant view of trees from the balcony, and only a few minutes’ drive from their church. After settling into their guest room and enjoying their company, we all retired for a good night’s sleep.

On Saturday, David took Ron to their office to show him the projects that go on there with the help of Erkki and some volunteers. David now writes his parents’ long-standing monthly newspaper La Voce del Vangelo, (The Voice of the Gospel) that has aided and encouraged Italian believers over the past 60 years. Multiple other publications are produced there, as well: gospel tracts, pamphlets, and even translations of theological books from English into Italian. This publishing ministry is a continual source of edification and blessing to Italian Christians, as they grow spiritually, to become ambassadors of Christ in scattered places throughout a nation that knows only a powerful, man-commandeered religion that worships Mary! Such longevity as this ministry holds is very unusual in Italy, where there are less than 1% of Bible-focused, Christ-centered churches in existence. The Standridge family is to be thankfully acknowledged for their patient perseverance in shedding the Light of God’s truth into the spiritual darkness of beautiful, historical Italy. How appropriate that their main workplace is the same city to which Paul, through the Spirit, wrote his most theological epistle!

Saturday brought a surprise teaching opportunity for Barb, as it was the day for a monthly Women’s Bible study, this time at the Staniscis’ home. It began with affectionate greetings and chatter among the women as they arrived and then served themselves from the delicious brunch offerings, following a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. The sweet fellowship continued as we all settled at the beautifully-decorated tables (and Cristina had thoughtfully placed English-speakers around Barb, so she could enter in, too!) After the tables were cleared, we all rearranged ourselves to listen to a lesson from Romans 12 that Barb ‘just happened’ to have on her phone, having taught it at her church in the US. (God always provides!) Loredana graciously translated and answered the women’s questions, and then, after yet more fellowship, we parted ways until the next afternoon.

Sunday afternoon at 5:00 is the time for the Vita Nella Grazia church to meet in a rented space that is a ballet studio during the week. This means there are transforming procedures to be done before the service begins, so a helpful team of believers arrive early to place handsome posters of ‘Soli’ phrases around the room, which serve not only to state the beliefs of the church, but also to reduce the effect of the mirrors that cover the walls. Then the pulpit and chairs are put in place, along with the sound system, hymnals, and tables for published materials and the refreshments that follow the worship service. There is also a standing sign placed on the sidewalk to alert passers by of the church’s presence and time of meeting.

As the church families arrive, the room fills with warm greetings before everyone finally settles into a chair to begin worshiping. The singing is led by Loredana and accompanied by Erkki, as voices are lifted in praise and worship to the Lord. David preached (and Cristina Stanisci translated for us) a fine message on our responsibilities before God as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, starting with 1 Peter 4:7-11. (It was of the Lord that verses 10-11 covered the same subject of serving one another as good stewards that the women had heard the day before.) But David’s sermon was far more thorough, including praying, persevering in proclaiming the Gospel, displaying ‘Christ in [us], the hope of glory’, willingness to suffer for the truth, and keeping an eternal perspective rather than a world-centered one in our daily lives. He summarized with Colossians 3:16-17, leaving the congregation with good food for meditation and for discussion in the Second Hour time that follows refreshments. This is also Sunday School hour for the children.

Other Bible study ministries go on during the week within the congregation: for couples, for teens, in believers’ homes, scattered around the Roman city and suburbs, for both edification and as outreach opportunities for friends and family.

We were refreshed and thankful to have been witnesses to the many aspects of ministry that happen in Sicily, Rome, and spots all over Italy because the Lord called the Standridges to serve Him. They do it faithfully, conscientiously, patiently, effectively, and fervently, with hearts to truly serve their Savior as His ambassadors. Please join us in supportive prayer and gifts to maintain and even extend these ministries of the Word!

Blessed by our visit,
Ron and Barb Pierre

SO, PRAISE! PRAY! AND PARTNER WITH US!
You representatives in Rome Italy,
David and Loredana

 

If you would like to support our ministry to Italy 

Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
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

It’s Time For A Praise Letter!

God continues to be so kind to us.

Starting a church is the work of God, but He uses man and his efforts to reach out to people in need. Christ will build His church and He expects the believers to be His ambassadors imploring people to be reconciled with God. This is what we are doing in Rome day after day with God’s help, strength and encouragement.

 

When we left the USA December 2013, it was our goal to be involved in a church plant. We did not know exactly where or how. We knew that our sending church, Grace Immanuel Bible Church was encouraging us, we knew that many dear friends were praying for us and partnering financially with us as we arrived in Rome. Today we are so grateful to report that God is working in Rome. The church Vita nella Grazia is faithfully proclaiming the Gospel in a very dark city.

 

When we started we had no idea of how many people would come, if we would be able to reach unbelievers, we could only be faithful and trust God to do the rest.
Since we started October 15th of last year we have been averaging around 35 people in our services. Those who are believers are excited to hear the Word of God preached. In every service we have unbelievers present, some are curious, some are genuinely desiring to know who Jesus Christ is.

 

Every Sunday we have a worship hour and then Sunday School, I understand that it is an old-fashioned term, but call it what you want that is what it is. Depending on who has preached Lucio or David the other one teaches on the philosophy of ministry of the church. We desire for everyone to understand what a church is and what our purpose is. The children and teenagers have their class also.

 

In our weekly Bible studies, (we have three) both David and Lucio teach. There is much desire to learn and grow. Unbelievers are always present and continue to be very inquisitive. Everyone is a gift from God and we continue to pray that God will open the eyes of those who do not know Him.

 

Loredana is doing a wonderful Job with five young ladies, who come once a month to our home to study the Bible and spend time together. At least two are not believers yet but are so excited to be part of the group, their mother, also unsaved, comes to church and to the Bible study David teaches and is very open to the Gospel.

 

We have started a monthly event at our home that is called: Joyous Marriages. About seven couples come once a month. David teaches  and then we have dinner. We are so grateful for how God is using this time in the lives of the couples on our church, we also have three unbelievers who come regularly!

 

Our friends and partners in church, Neil and Summer have started English classes once a week in the place where we meet sponsored by our church. Every Tuesday between 10 and 15 people come to learn English and to ask questions about what we believe. Davide (that is what they call David in Italian) and Lucio had the opportunity to go to the class and answer spiritual questions for about two hours. We did not have time to answer all their questions, so we plan to do it again after the summer break. We call that time, Meet the Pastors.

 

As you can see our days are wonderfully full, but we have also special events! We just ended a week with a group from Immanuel Bible Church from Springville, VA where Jordan Standridge is the outreach pastor. Every day started with a devotional with the 9 team members from the USA. Then off to the park for Basketball Camp. This was a new experience that allowed us to meet new children and parents. Then in the afternoon VBS in the park. What a wonderful opportunity to meet many parents that were surprised to learn that an evangelical church would take the time to care about their children and teach them about Jesus. You must understand that typically these parents and kids have never opened a Bible. The stories of Zacchaeus and Jonah are completely unknown to them. Our prayer is that some will come to visit us at church.
It’s a long letter but we are excited to tell you about a few more things. In our literature ministry we have doubled the size of our monthly newspaper, about 1,500 families receive it in all parts of Italy. Our desire is to promote good teaching and a love for expository preaching. We are also working on a couple of books that should be very helpful for training pastors.

 

Our priority is the local church that God has given us, but we realize that there is such a need in Italy. We continue to travel three or four times a year to Sicily to help the churches in Acireale and Siracusa. David continues to preach and meet with the men and Loredana is a great encouragement to the ladies. Our friends Marco and Simona love our times of encouragement and friendship.

 

David will be preaching in a church in Bologna and near Milano. We look forward to encouraging the leadership of these churches. Dear friends there is much to do and we realize that anything that has eternal value is done only through the help of our Lord. We realize that we cannot do it without your prayers and financial support. We continue to trust God to provide as He sees fit.

 

One last thing! Missionaries often need to do things that we are not very good at. We do not have large staffs and God does bring the right people along at the right time! We are in need  of someone who is an expert in web sites, I should say: don’t go to www.cornleliusministries.org, but since your curiosity now is challenged we need help there! If you are able to help and donate your time,  contact David.

 

SO, PRAISE! PRAY! AND PARTNER WITH US!
You representatives in Rome Italy,
David and Loredana

 

If you would like to support our ministry to Italy 

Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
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

Christ Will Build His Church

VITA NELLA GRAZIA

CHRIST WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH! What a blessing it is, to see God’s kindness, as He is building His Vita nella Grazia Church in a small ballet studio! Our rented location is within walking distance from the Basilica of St. Peter, of great importance for the Roman Catholic religion, which is presumed by so many to be the only church with true doctrine and interpretation of the Scriptures. Yet nearby, Christ is building His true church as His children are, one by one, finding our simple meeting place and eagerly returning to learn of Christ and worship Him there.

CHRIST BUILDS HIS CHURCH THROUGH HIS WORD! Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God. We are blessed to be working together with the Stanisci family, as Lucio and David share the same passion for expository preaching. We are convinced that the best spiritual foundation for our group of believers is continual exposure to the faithful teaching of the Word. We are joyful to see that God is bringing together a group of people who love to be taught and who are hungry for expository preaching. God has not only given us the opportunity to teach every Sunday evening at 5pm, but also in weekly Bible Studies, where Lucio and David share the responsibility of teaching the Word in three different areas of Rome. Every week, God brings new people who listen and ask very good questions. Many have never held a Bible in their hands before, and have never been taught what it says. And starting next week, Loredana and Cristina will begin teaching a Sunday School for the children!

CHRIST WHO TOUCHES LIVES AND ADDS HIS OWN CHOSEN ONES TO THE CHURCH! When we started planning the beginning of Grace Life, (that is the meaning of Vita nella Grazia), we had no idea how many would come. Now, we have five core families and some single people. God has also blessed us with wonderful people who are willing to serve alongside us.
Erkki, a dear friend of both Lucio and David, has joined us. He is such an addition with his creative gifts, as he contributes musically and artistically to our services, and many other ways. The Capasso family, with their four children, bring a heart-warming excitement for the Lord to our group. Their evangelistic zeal is effective, as there are unsaved people attending every Bible Study held in their home! The Buss family is a great encouragement with their servant hearts, always willing to help in any way possible. The Boca family have been regularly attending and have prayed faithfully during the past year for this church. We also are joined by a few single adults who bring enthusiasm to the group. Only God could do this work! We watch with extreme gratefulness for what the Lord is doing. Between 30 and 40 people have attended each Sunday afternoon. We’ve even been visited by a couple of supporting families from the USA, so if you are planning a visit in Rome, please come to worship the Lord with us, too!
A recent highlight was our Inauguration Sunday, when about 120 people from other small churches in Rome came to encourage us. We’re thankful that so many have committed to pray for this new church plant in the north side of Rome. Bill Standridge came and prayed for Lucio and David, that God would bless and keep them faithful. Both Lucio and David are fruits of Bill’s almost-70 years of faithful ministry in Italy.

CHRIST BUILDS HIS CHURCH, NOT FOR OUR GLORY, BUT FOR HIS! Our confidence in the lasting results of our efforts here is based on our knowledge that God is at work for His Glory. It is our privilege to serve and watch God work. Our prayer is that God’s Word would be honored in every meeting, that God would add His chosen ones to our group, and that the Light of biblical truth will shine forth in the city of Rome.

WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS

  • Pray for David and Loredana, as they travel to Sicily on the weekend of December 10th. David will have a one-day conference and then on Sunday will preach in the two churches he has been ministering to.
  • Pray for our Sunday services, that we would be faithful and welcoming to those who come with such a great need for the Word of God.
  • Pray for our Bible Studies, for they are a blessed time for teaching and fellowship.
  • Pray for our publishing ministry, as it continues to serve the great purpose of reaching the many Word-hungry believers who live in Italian cities and towns where there are no faithful ministries. We need for God to provide the funds necessary to keep it going.
  • Pray for Bill Standridge, David’s father. After living with us for the past four years, he is now moving to Milan to live with David’s brother. We are so very grateful to God for the many lessons and blessings He has brought us during these years of sharing our home with Bill.

Thankful for your partnership with us,
David and Loredana

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Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074

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Change is not easy, and it always seems to come in times of difficulty.

Dear Praying Partners,

In March, after three years of serving a church in the western area of Rome, in consultation with our leadership, we decided to move on from that ministry to a different area of Rome in need of an evangelical witness. Even with pain in our hearts because of our love for the people we’ve invested in, we are certain this is the right decision.

Now that all of our leadership has weighed in, we are sending this letter to you. The friends we will be partnering with, Lucio and Cristina Stanisci, have been working in the north side of Rome for almost one year. Their desire is to see a gospel-loving church established in a place that desperately needs one. They are excited to have us join them, our leadership is excited, and we are excited.

God was very kind to send a team from Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield VA, where our son Jordan is on staff, to help get to know the needs in the area. Going to the park every day to do a VBS exposed us to those needs. We were encouraged about how the Lord had prepared children and parents for our time there, and are excited to spend ourselves for the sake of the elect that God has prepared to build His church in that area.

But as we said, change often occurs in times plagued with other difficulties.

During this same period, David was diagnosed with severe pulmonary complications. He had been struggling with his health since January, but we had not been aware of the seriousness of his situation. After a long stay in the hospital, God showed his kindness in many was, especially in the continued care of the doctors beyond the normal period of 30 days after discharge. We are grateful for the contacts we made during David’s stay and covet your prayers that our witness would be used by God in His sovereignty. God certainly worked in our hearts and caused us to become more and more dependent on Him.

During these months of convalescence, David was able to continue to write and edit the materials that are published through our ministry. We were blessed with the visits of a couple of families from our home church in the USA. While Loredana did errands (shopped!) with the women, David enjoyed ministry conversations with the men at home. God knew how to make our time profitable.

God continues to use us in the lives of friends who needed to be encouraged and mentored. David has continued to be involved in the ministry in Sicily, even though he was unable to be there. We are planning, Lord willing, to go there a couple of times in the next few weeks. David will be preaching at some baptisms and also meeting the men to encourage and train them.

In all of this, we want to thank you for your prayers. We will be sending another letter soon to give you more information on the “Roma Nord Church Plant.” Keep praying as we look forward to beginning regular church services in October. Right now we live in the opposite side of Rome. It is our plan to move as soon as our lease is out in February. God has been so faithful to us, as we will have been here four years in December.

Our past six months have not been easy, but God has never abandoned us. Step by step, the Lord has shown His meticulous care, largely through many of you who have assured us of your prayers. We are excited for our future, not necessarily because we have it figured out, but because God does!

Thankful for your partnership with us,
David and Loredana

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CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
55 South Main Street #164
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February 2017 News from Bill Standridge

The “faith once delivered” is still our faith in 2017 and until He comes!

…it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was “once delivered” unto the saints. – Jude v. 3.

In the first century of the Church, the “faith” (the true doctrine of God, and of Christ’s death to give us eternal life) was already being opposed, the truth attacked, the way of salvation denied.  And so it has been through history and today we are in the midst of confusion and apostasy.

BSIMG_4505Today, February 15, as I write, my grandson, Jordan, is participating in a service of dedication of a conference room in the headquarters of the Associated Gospel Churches, in Greenville, N.C. in memory of my father.  He was one of those men of God who, in the ‘30’s and 40’s of the past century, gave themselves and all they possessed to God, as they denounced liberalism, were driven from the churches they pastored and their homes.  Jude 3, above, was one of his favorite texts. He united other pastors in separation from apostasy and with them founded a fellowship which later became the Associated Gospel Churches, an organization which has helped hundreds of fundamentalist pastors become chaplains in the armed forces, undoubtedly leading thousands of men to Christ, in the past 75 years of ministry. Wow, what a testimony!
LEFT: My parents wedding picture appears above the plaque in the new AGC conference center, in remembrance of my father.

Now, for a two-part true story of 2 souls seeking Christ (the next part is still unknown)

A month or so ago, a couple came into our church’s Sunday morning service.  After the service, the new man told one of our elders that he was disgusted with his traditional religion and wanted to know the “truth”.  They began a weekly study of a Bible course I wrote many years ago, titled “The Discovery of the Truth”, and they are going strong.

His wife revealed that she was a girl I had not seen for years.  She, too, has a story.  A group of high-schoolers from our church went to visit a friend in the hospital, 30-35 years ago.  He told them of a new-born baby, in the hospital who had a very serious heart problem, whose life chances were slim.  They went to see the baby, abandoned after birth by her unwed mother.  The nurses said no one had time to hold her or talk to her and she seemed to be listless and dying.  The girls, including my daughter Debbie, decided to take turns every day, after school, to visit her and try to make her feel their love.  The end of that part of the story is that one of the teen-agers’ families, took an interest in adopting her. That family is no longer in our church, but the girl (now a mature woman) came to our church to find people who would pray for her as she is in extreme need of a heart transplant.

Neither Mark nor Mary are yet saved, but they need your prayers, that their interest may be sincere and not based only on their present problems.

I want to thank each one of you who prays for me

For the many, many Christmas cards I received from friends, Sunday School classes and Churches.  The ground in which I and my three sons, Dan, Dave and Steve, plant the good seed is very hard, in Italy, as political, social, and economic problems seem to take up the interests and time of the people.  Most have drifted away from the Roman church and are without interest or hope.  But God keeps on calling those to Him who, by His grace, feel and recognize their need.
In HIS service,

William (Bill) Standridge

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CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
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Oberlin, OH 44074

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A Divided World

I am a soccer fan! I have always rooted for the team from Inter Milan.

Now I might be making enemies among you readers, for I live in Rome, where the team of choice is Roma! Over the years, I have watched games between these two teams with friends who rooted for Roma, and I can tell you that even though we watched the game at the same time, in the same environment, quite often it was viewed with diametrically opposed reactions. Some referee calls that I was cheering about were met by my friends with indignation. But I must say that, at the end of the day, soccer has never caused me to break relationships with dear friends. Even my son Jordan roots for Roma!

Politics have divided nations, families, friends, and even Christians!

United States has proven this over the past few months, and Italy will have a major vote that will divide the country in two. We grieve over these facts, but we recognize we live in a fallen world, ruled by sinners and populated by sinners.

As believers, we are confronted daily with a much greater and more dangerous division: those who know God and have become His children, and those who are not. Ideologies, tradition, religions, families seem to divide the world in multiple groups, but through the Scriptures we know better. People either follow the truth or follow the deceitful lies of the devil that present themselves in different forms.

Dear friends, we continue to depend upon your prayers for us

As we proclaim the truth here in Italy, for our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers…

Please pray for our church. We are encouraged by the spiritual growth and the desire we see to study the Word of God. David finished preaching through the book of Philippians and now is preaching through some of the Psalms before he begins the book of Ephesians in January. Loredana is teaching the women’s Bible Study on the Lord’s prayer. The Gospel of Luke continues to be our study on Tuesday nights. Pray that the Lord will add more, as He pleases, and that He will use our monthly distributions of tracts and the personal witness of our believers.

[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”left” variation=”mossgreen” textColor=”#0f3685″]Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:18[/pullquote2]
Please pray for our publishing ministry.
Every month over 1,500 people receive our publication, “La Voce del Vangelo”. Because literature continues to be a great tool to reach out to people who have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel, we will continue to publish and distribute booklets that we trust will reach the 30,000 Italian towns where there is no Gospel witness.

Please pray for our continued partnership with two churches in Sicily. As we have mentioned before, we travel four times a year to Acireale and Siracusa to help our friends, Marco and Simona Albanesi. Marco pastors two churches, and at this time there are no mature men who can work alongside him. So he has asked David to mentor him and encourage him in this work. While in Sicily, David preaches in both churches and meets with the men who are being trained there. Loredana has a great ministry of encouragement and discipling with the ladies there. As you pray for us, please remember to pray for Marco and Simona, as well.

Please pray for our financial and prayer partners. Join us in thanking the Lord for those who partner regularly with us in our ministry and pray that more would be added. We just returned from four weeks of ministry in the US, where David had the privilege to speak 18 times in 26 days. The most encouraging part of the trip was meeting dear believers who pray for us regularly, some who had not even met us in person before! This is what the Gospel does: it unites people from different races, different cultures, different levels of education and gives them a new prospective on life and new goals. We were overwhelmed by the love and care we received by so many dear friends!

Our prayer is that more people will come to know Christ. We pray this for you, for your churches, for Rome and for the country of Italy. As we watch our world, may the divisions and strife push us to share the beauty of the Gospel that changes hearts and lives forever. May nothing around us blur our vision and responsibility every day!

Grateful for the possibility to represent you in Italy,
David and Loredana

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Please, donate now OR send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074

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September 2016 News from Bill Standridge

Above: Destruction and devastation in Amatrice

What does God have to do with earthquakes?

295 die under the ruins of the recent central Italian earthquake

A recent Pope suggested that God may punish the heathen with earthquakes. 

But is that true?  Many ask the question, especially those who are friends or relatives of earthquake victims: “What sense is there to such a mass killing, sometimes in the tens of thousands, of innocent people, including babies?”

Tens of thousands of copies of my booklet, “What does God have to do with earthquakes?”, have been distributed since it was written after a 1980 earthquake in southern Italy, which killed up to 5,000 people. Now it has been slightly revised for its sixth edition, and is being printed for those touched by this central Italian earthquake.  I do not personally know any Christians who lived in the three towns severely damaged, but churches in the area will be reaching out to help and evangelize those who suffered this calamity.

Jesus answered clearly the questions of the curious of His time. In Luke 13:1-5, he warned  them that they were as guilty before God as those who had died, but that the unexpected death of others is a clear warning to the living that, if they do not repent of their sins and receive God’s gift of salvation, they will die as certainly, and, perhaps, as unexpectedly, as those whose life finishes in a second.

My strange visitors from the destroyed town of Amatrice

I have never personally visited Amatrice, although I have preached  in many churches in the region. But I had the surprise of being visited in our mission center in Rome at least thirty years ago, by some from that town who had received our evangelistic material.

My first visitors, a man and a woman, had received our literature and came to offer me theirs!  They were modestly dressed and obviously country people.  The lady, who was visibly pregnant(?), told me that she was the Virgin Mary and that soon she would bear the Messiah in His second coming.  The man who accompanied her was her Prophet.  They were members of a sect which had come to life years before, though another “Prophet” from their town. He had raised quite a following in the area with his prophesies of a coming paradise on earth. He was shot and killed by Fascist police, while leading an “unauthorized religious procession” of his followers through the town.  Mussolini considered the “coming paradise” a threat to the kingdom he was forming.

My third visitor from the town was an unusual “Brother in Christ”

He entered my office like a forest sprite, reminding me of a hopping cricket.  His clothing was khaki–color, apparently a military uniform from World War I.  He wore a military-type jacket, knickers (Do any of you know what I mean?), heavy wool socks and hiking boots. On his head, a military hat, with a long feather in the hat-band. He came in with little hopping steps, snapped to attention, gave me a salute and said, in a couple of rhymed lines: “At your service, happy to know you, I serve Christ.”

Well, that was true!  In that and other visits I came to know him quite well, as a true believer, with a wide range of memorized Scripture, who travelled by foot through the area of Italy now touched by the earthquake, visiting stores and public places in the towns, stopping to ask for a glass of water in homes along the roads, always witnessing in a friendly, generous way, always in rhyme!  Who knows how many thousands may have heard his testimony and received a Gospel from him?  How many may have known the Lord and are now with him in heaven?

This, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, is the Italy I have grown to love and serve, bringing God’s Word into their lives, making known His grace, seeing men and women, youth and children come to know and love Him.  Freed from their superstition and fear, from their complete ignorance of God and of the complete work of salvation by Christ, they now love and serve Him.

Last night I spent several hours with eight of the present and future leaders of our church, explaining how God had called me to Italy when I had no interest and no thought of such a thing, and one of them, a school teacher, asked, “How can we know if there are any of us here tonight that God wants to call to serve Him like you?”  At my age, I have answers to their questions.

This is a tiny example of the reason I believe that God has called me to stay on and serve Him in Italy, beyond normal retirement age.  It is the reason that you and I are still united in the vision that God gave me in 1948, and that still, after 68 years, burns in my heart and thoughts.  I thank YOU and the Lord that so many of you have stuck with me for so long with your precious, thoughtful, loving prayers and support.

Millions in Italy are living and dying without the Lord and without hope and you and I can do something about it!

In HIS service,

William (Bill) Standridge

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CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074

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God Shook Italy

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
–Psalm 115:3

“Good night Michele, good night Maria”.
“Luca did you remember to call the doctor for our appointment next week?”.
“Call Nonna and tell her that we will pick her up tomorrow morning at 9 AM”. Were these the ordinary dialogs that went on in Amatrice and surrounding towns on the 23rd of August? Just normal family conversations…

It was at 3:36 AM on the 24th when both Loredana and I woke each other up, asking why the other one was shaking the bed. Forty-five minutes later, we woke up the same way, realizing that our room was moving because of an earthquake again.

By today, in the town of Amatrice, the body of Sayd, an Afghan refugee, was found under the rubble. He is victim number 296 of the earthquake in that area that sent aftershocks far and wide.

Loredana and I are grateful for God’s protection. Natural events like this earthquake remind us how precarious our lives really are. We also know that we are not in the hand of “Mother Nature” or chance, but in the sovereign, providential hands of our Almighty God.

Reflecting on this event, we are made sharply aware of our responsibility to continually share the Gospel. Close to 300 people went to bed, assuming that they would wake up in the morning; they had no idea that their lives would be lost before the sun arose

The towns that were hit are small. The largest one has about 2,500 inhabitants, the smallest one had about 100. Italy has been hit by earthquakes before, one of the facts about this one, though, is that the percentage of those killed is quite high, compared to their populations because of the timing.

When we think of Italy, we all know that the ratio of missionaries or churches to the population of 56,000,000 is very small. What you might not realize is that the majority of towns like these are totally unreached. Today there are still 30,000 towns without any kind of true Gospel witness in Italy!

One of the reasons my parents, Bill and Maria Teresa Standridge, began the publishing ministry that we continue to this day, was their realization that printed materials could reach these towns where there are no known believers. This is why we continue to produce evangelistic material that is mailed and distributed all over Italy. Only this year, over 100,000 pieces of literature have been written by us and distributed all over Italy. Loredana and I visited a little town in Sicily, Santo Stefano di Camastra, where there is a family who has depended on our materials for years, as there are no churches in their area. Every time we visit them, we see our literature on the counter in their little pottery shop, ready to be distributed to their clients. They are so very grateful for the work we do.

Bill Standridge has written a booklet entitled: “Coi terremoti Dio che c’entra?” or “What does God have to do with earthquakes?”. This booklet has been used in the past after other earthquakes, and we are now in the midst of updating it to prepare it for publishing. All of Italy is talking about the earthquake, and we don’t want to miss this opportunity to share the Gospel with those who are willing to listen! By faith, we will print 1,000 copies, but we could use many more as God provides the funds necessary to print more.

We watched the funeral for the victims on television last week. How sad it was, to hear the Bishop of Rieti mention Scripture verses that were true, but were recited without any perceivable desire that truth of the Gospel would reach the hearts of all those who heard it. The Bishop’s comfort was that all those who died have now become angels who will watch over those who are left behind!

Dear friends, will you join us in our effort to reach millions of Italians who have no hope of eternal life?

We are certainly grateful for all of you who faithfully pray for us and give, so that we can continue to minister in the church where we labor weekly, as we train men and publish materials to evangelize the many unreached towns in Italy.

If you would like to help with the publishing of evangelistic materials, please follow the instructions at the bottom of our letter.

Grateful for the possibility to represent you in Italy,

David and Loredana

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July 2016 News from Bill Standridge

Above: A photo in Switzerland, with my daughter on the right and my grand daughter on the left

Every day will I bless thee;
and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
and his greatness is unsearchable.
– Psalm 145:2,3

David was “greatly impressed” by God’s greatness, and so was I as I meditated on Psalm 145:3, in my daily meditations, verse by verse, through this incredibly joyful Psalm.  “Great”, of course, is not a comparison with someone else (not “God is greater than …..”).  God is GREAT in a way, and in a measure, that no one else is or can be.

And what GREAT things God has done for me.  In my February letter, I wrote about my birthday:  God continues to give me health, strength to preach, witness, teach and write just as I have for so many, many years, in the Italian language.

And God wanted to prove to me again His greatness!  I returned to Rome from a two-week visit to Milano, where I had been blessed to speak twice in a large church, in which my wife and I have ministered many times. I had also met for several hours with the leaders of another church to study the Bible for God’s revelation about divorce, and about divorce and remarriage.  I had also spent a weekend with another church in their retreat on Christian marriage. I woke up in Rome, completely exhausted, on Sunday morning.  On Monday, my doctor told me I was seriously dehydrated and had probably been so for a long time.  Of course, I began drinking a lot of water, on his orders, and during several weeks of weakness, began to ask myself if this was a warning about my future.

I also had many medical tests and visits  to see what was going on.  All of the tests were very positive. One doctor, after an exam, told me “You have the heart and arteries of a man 20 years younger.”  So, here I am, rejoicing in God’s greatness, and returning to the joy of serving the Lord in all He gives me to do.

In the past few weeks, I have read a lot and found 2 books interesting and helpful.  The first is “Finding Truth” by Nancy Pearcey, 5 Principles for unmasking Atheism, Secularism and Other God Substitutes.  The author is a college professor who says in her introduction, “I lost my faith in an evangelical college.”  The book requires careful reading and is definitely at a college level. It shows up the illogical and empty theories of atheism, evolution and other modern thought systems and could help students or adults who are “searching for answers” about the truly Christian world-view.  The second book is by noted author R. Albert Mohler, “We Cannot be Silent”, Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong.  We are all aware of the great changes of morality and the hatred of Bible-believing Christianity growing in America and Europe.  Mohler’s book reviews how this has come about, the dangers present and future, and the position of those who, like us, believe and preach the Bible as God’s eternal, inerrant Word.  I recommend books because I believe that pastors and Christian leaders know they cannot accept every word of every author, but because very important issues are facing each of us, and the voices of others, who believe and honor the Bible, can be of help.

I know that you, too, have experienced the greatness of God, and that you pray and help me because you want His greatness to be proclaimed and lived out in Italy. You are a great encouragement to me.

In HIS service,

William (Bill) Standridge

[colored_box title=”If you would like to support my ministry to Italy ” variation=”blue”]Please send your tax deductible gifts to:

CORNELIUS MINISTRIES
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074

Mark on the memo line or on a separate note: For the ministry of William Standridge[/colored_box]