Rome Update

Pray for wisdom as many invitations to speak around Europe are coming in. The upcoming Rome Scholars Network will be a unique event: 25 scholars, leaders and communicators of the gospel from all over the world will come to Rome for an intensive week of training on Roman Catholicism from an evangelical perspective. The potential of this new initiative is significant. We already have applications for the RSN in 2017! What is going to happen if in the next 10 years, hundreds of church leaders, theologians, apologists, bloggers, etc. will come to the RSN and will then be helped to respond to the seduction of Roman Catholicism with biblical clarity?

On May 15th we held a baptismal service when Gina and Nazario gave public testimony of the work of God in their lives. Gina is a medical student having gone through a number of stages in her spiritual journey. Eventually God called her irresistibly. She was helped to grapple with her profound questions by the series on The Reason for God. Nazario is a mechanic and student. Having gone through times of indifference towards God, he finally came under conviction of sin and was enabled to embrace the gospel of grace. Both Gina and Nazario said how important it was to be part of a church where the word of God is taught and lived out. The baptismal service came after finishing the expository series on Daniel (“Onward whatever the cost”) and was the “natural” application of what we have received from the Word of God. We pray for the ongoing growth in grace and love of both of them. Many unbelieving friends were at the baptismal service and we pray for God’s work in their lives. One of them has been regularly coming to our services and activities since, showing much openness to the gospel.

Meanwhile, we press on with our evangelistic series on the Jubilee. New friends are coming to these conversations. Besides the evangelistic import, these talks are also helping our people to be better equipped to understand what is going on in Rome with this so called “Holy Year”. The study night on Grudem’s Bible Doctrines dealt with the communicable attributes of God and was brilliantly led by Damaris (May 18th). The work with refugees at Il Soggiorno goes on with Valeria and Steve faithfully contributing on behalf of the church.

At the beginning of June, the elections for the Mayor of Rome will be held. So we had a special night of reflection and prayer for the city (May 11th). Four people briefly presented the main candidates according to a set of questions that were given to them. We tried to assess their programs according to a Christian worldview. We then prayed for them. It was a useful exercise in living out our dual citizenship in a faithful and constructive way.

On May 28th we organized a concert of Giuseppe De Chirico (Leonardo’s brother). It was a musically qualitative and spiritually intense concert. Not so many people showed up as we had hoped but we were glad to have 4 friends who had never come to a Christian event before. We pray for the follow up.

Refurbishment work at the property is going on in (almost) full speed! We are still waiting for the final paper work to be done to build the staircase. Hopefully it will be done in the next few weeks.