Monday, June 18, 2012

Bologna, Italy Day 3

Praise be to God! What a marvelous day! We started our day having breakfast with Nicole who shared with us, the details of "Vite Transformate", "Transformed Lives", the ministry for prostitutes that Nuova Vita has here in Bologna.  Prostitution is legal here, and unfortunately many of those involved are the victim of human trafficking. Today, the church held a luncheon for a few of the ladies who expressed interest in the Bible. We went to the church and helped set up everything.  And, even in so small a thing, we saw God at work.  Before we left the states Alissa, Forrest and Kim got decorations for the luncheon.  It was ultimately decided to go with red and yellow streamers.  The table cloths the church had were blue.  Blue, yellow and red just happen to be the colors of the Romanian flag, which happens to be where the ladies who attended are from. Even the gift bags and scarves the team brought matched this scheme.  This threw the team for a loop, but God is like that!  While Forrest and I went to find lunch elsewhere, Kim and Alissa, stayed for the luncheon with these ladies. One of the ladies had just had a baby boy who was passed around and loved on.  This was very touching and an encouragement to the mother. The ladies were shown love and generosity by the ministry team. The meal that was prepared was Romanian in honor of the guests. The group had also brought gifts from the U.S. to give out at the luncheon with some going to be given later by the ministry team. We were all very excited to be a part of His plans and work. We also brought gifts for the young mother including clothes, a baby shoulder carrier, bibs, and more. The young mother had brought her new born in a dish towel and left with her child in blankets. Through tears, she later told one of the missionaries of "Vite Transformate" that this was one of the best days of her life and that she plans on coming to church next Sunday. We pray that God will bless today's efforts and that, not only has the lives of these women been touched, but also the life of the young boy. During the luncheon, Forrest and I had our lunch at a small cafe nearby and did some prayer walking in the neighborhood of the church along the same road that many prostitutes walk nightly. After lunch, we regrouped at our homestead, took a quick rest, and then began to venture to the San Luca.  San Luca is at the end of the longest portico (the covered walkways that Bologna is famous for) in the world.  Depending on how fast you are taking things it can take 45 minutes at a "work-out pace" to a bit over an hour to climb.  In ages past priests, monks and other "pious" individuals would make the trek on their knees and believed that by doing so they would get closer to God.  Fortunately for us we used our feet, but that was difficult enough.  After the long trek, however, we arrived just short of our goal to discover that a gate blocked our path.  The gate is closed around 7 or 8 in the summer.  But it was a good walk and gave us a bit of an insight into a culture that so desperately needs the Truth of Christ.

God Bless
~Matthew and Forrest

Table Decor for Luncheon

San Luca


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