Football Outreach Update

Thank you for praying for the Football Outreach!
What an exiting day!  How can I keep it short?

Even before we got to the field we could sense God working.

Here are a few highlights:

When I first walked in to our church building I saw several ladies of our church already busy preparing tables and decorations for the dinner with the football players in the evening.

As we were waiting for the bus with the Christian NFL players to arrive, Daniel and I were able to share the reason for our faith with some journalists that had come to do a documentary on the event for NFL films.  One of them in particular asked many great questions.  Pray that God would use God’s Word in her life!

We had several teams from different cities in Italy participate in the training and outreach with these Christian Pro Athletes.  The enthusiasm was in the air.

We were able to give away several Bible calendars, Bibles and books on the Gospel.

In the training huddles the players shared their faith as well as their skills.  In particular I enjoyed listening in as Jeremiah Sirles share quite clearly and the players were quite engaged.  Being a hopeless Buffalo Bills fan since the Superbowl days I was doubly excited to see him here.

After the training, another player, Justin Simmons shared a testimony about how God has worked in his life.

We concluded the evening with Daniel sharing the Gospel.  People were quite engaged and even applauded at the end!

After the camp we invited the team of NFL players and their sponsors from Olive Baptist Church to have Pizza with the Perugia team at our church.  More fellowship ensued until almost midnight!

Needless to say, our hearts are full for what God did here.

I am sure God used your prayers.  Many of you told me you were praying before, during and even after the event!
We serve a mighty God!
Pray that the seeds that were sown will blossom into an amazing work in the hearts of the many who had never heard the Gospel before.

Thank you for your part in this adventure!
Eventually I’ll have time to tell you more about Foligno and everything else that is happening!

Football Outreach

There is so much to tell about what is going on right now that it would be like drinking out of a fire hose.

Right now I only have one request and it is urgent for this afternoon.
My brother in law Daniel just sent out the same request so I am copying almost verbatim what he said.

“Dear friends, just a quick reminder, please pray for the football camp today (Tuesday, March 5). The camp will begin at noon EST, and I am scheduled to briefly share the Gospel at 2:30 PM EST.

Please pray for clarity of mind and speech, and that God would open the eyes of the participants as they hear the Gospel. There should be about 75 players and coaches from Central Italy.

After the camp, the Perugia football team will be coming to our church building for pizza with the players. Please pray for the conversations that will take place during this time, as most of these players will set foot in an evangelical church building for the first time in their life.

Thank you for praying for us!”

We look forward to seeing all that God will do!

Praying for Mercy

Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This is my text for the message I am preparing for Sunday.

We need some mercy for our daily tasks too! Last night I had to leave Noah (8 yrs old) in charge while I went to lead prayer meeting at church because Melodee is sick in bed. I found this note when I got back. Please pray for us!

God is at work in Foligno! An update

Several people wrote me asking me: “How did it go?”

Vocal Artists of GRThe amazing thing is that I have not been back in the office since the day of the concert.  I think we set a new record of busyness!
Thursday night we got back around midnight from the concert.
Friday and Saturday I went to translate for a pastor’s enrichment conference in Assisi and was gone until supper time.
Sunday I was in charge of baptizing three people.
Yesterday I tried to stay away from technology and spend time with my family, who was starting to forget what I looked like!

We feel like the concert was a great success. 

Certainly there are things we could have hoped to go better, but overall we feel very confident that it was a good investment of time and money.

Paolo and JonPaolo put it best in his prayer: “Thank you Lord that there were not so many people to make us proud and so few people that we didn’t feel like we made a difference”.

Here are a few things to celebrate:

  • The musicians did an outstanding job.
  • My presentation during halftime went well.  I presented the reason for the concert and invited the audience to come to our next meeting on October 28th.
  • The church planting team from CEB did an amazing job.  Teamwork was incredible.  We even had some members who were able to share Christ with some of the people present!
  • We had a good attendance of about 150 people.  Several people asked for Bible calendars and pick up materials, and at least half of those present were unbelievers, many in contact with us for the first time!
  • Were starting to recover from the challenges.  Daniel is out of the hospital from his appendectomy, and a few of us (including Melodee and I) are getting over our influenza without missing a beat.  I’m also starting to get over the fact that I backed into Donatella’s car on our way to the concert Thursday night!

Meetings

You may be asking: How can you pray now?

  1. Pray for Sunday. We have our next meeting on the theme of the reformation in a beautiful setting that can guest as many as 50 people.
  2. Pray for preparations for the Bible study.
  3. Pray for me as I finish filling out royalty paperwork for the concert.
  4. Pray for the team as the recuperate and get ready for this next event!
  5. Pray for a good crowd and that everything will go smoothly!