In Italy, most sound evangelical churches are very small.
It is not out of the ordinary to find 15 or 20 people, including children, worshiping on Sunday mornings. Many or most of these churches do not have trained elders or pastors. Often, they are meeting in small store fronts and struggle even to pay for their monthly expenses. Most of the missionaries would say that, in Italy, it takes over 25 years to build a stable congregation. Thus, one of the reasons that most missionaries leave within four years is their discouragement over the very slow progress of their evangelistic efforts. It is also possible that even the unmet expectations of their supporting churches in the US cause them to lose heart, feeling they have failed. But we know that we cannot change men’s hearts and that it is God Who has promised to build His church, and therefore we strive to be faithful and persevering, as we minister here.
God is at work and we are grateful.
This summer, David had the opportunity to preach in the Chiesa Evangelica Filadelfia in Acireale, Sicily. What a privilege to share the Word of God with over 40 people, who were very attentive and eager to hear from God’s Word. David was very involved in the planting of this church when it started about 15 years ago. It began with an attendance of only four, and God has done a great work there. Marco is the pastor and a dear friend, who came to know Christ in the church where David served in Rome, over 25 years ago. Over the years, the Lord has continued to use us to train the men who are now leading this faithful work in an area where there are no other sound evangelical churches. Pray for Marco and Peppe, who are the elders, and Simona and Viviana, their respective wives, as they continue to minister there.
Today, we have a new opportunity.
God has opened the door for us to serve in a little church in Rome. Chiesa Evangelica di Via Nathan is formed by about 20 wonderful believers. The church was founded by a Canadian missionary couple, who have recently retired and returned to Canada, after 30 years. We work alongside Alfredo, who is the remaining elder. David will be preaching regularly on Sundays and teaching the mid-week Bible Study. Loredana and Doretta, Alfredo’s wife, will be teaching the women’s weekly Bible Study. We are excited to model for them the discipleship mentoring work that we have observed in our sending church, Grace Immanuel Bible Church. We know that if there will be any lasting effects and any growth, it will be because of God’s faithful work through His Word. Dear friends, we desire your prayers for our ministry here.
God has prepared the good works for us to do!
When we arrived here in Rome, we realized that the work would be slow and challenging, but that God would open doors of service, and continue to show Himself faithful in giving us the strength and wisdom to serve Him. He has also brought to us the very rewarding opportunity to meet regularly with a couple who is beginning a church plant here in Rome, with another sound ministry. Our goal is to help and encourage them, as they are dear friends who have been part of our lives for many years.
We continue to be encouraged!
Matt and Johanna are making incredible progress in their language study. We meet regularly, as we look forward to God-given opportunities for ministry when they are ready. We are studying the book of Acts together, and are all continually reminded that it is God who builds His church.
– For our involvement in the Chiesa Evangelica di Via Nathan
– For our faithfulness in preparing our hearts and lives for ministry
– For wisdom, as we mentor and disciple those God brings our way
– For Bill Standridge, as he lives with us and continues to minister here in Rome
PLEASE THANK THE LORD:
– For God’s faithful provision
– For everyone who is part of our support team both in prayer and financially
– For God’s grace in our lives, as we certainly could not serve Him without it!
LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN PRAY FOR YOU…
Your co-slaves of Christ,
David and Loredana
[colored_box title=”If you would like to support our ministry to Italy ” variation=”blue”]Please 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[/colored_box]