When most people think of Italy, two things often come to mind – romance and food.
It’s true that Italy is full of amazing people, history, culture and culinary delights. What is less well-known is that Italy is not an easy place to be if you are a charismatic, evangelical Christian. Only 0.6% of Italy’s 60 million people are evangelicals. Jubilee Community Church as part of New Ground has been building on pioneering work by Steve Alliston to build growing relationships with believers and churches in southern Italy (Potenza, Rome, Palermo) and northern Italy (Turin, Verona)
Recently in March, Laurence and Rochelle Evans, members of JCC went with David and Julie Straughton of Kings Church, Harrow to visit Antonio and Valeria Morlino who lead the Potenza for Christ church, which is about 2 hours south of Naples. The church in Potenza faces economic and spiritual difficulties but the faithful pastoring, and discipleship of Antonio and Valeria continues to support a faithful community.
On Saturday, we visited the father of members of the church who is 74 and has cancer. Gerardo shared his very strong and encouraging testimony. 2 years ago, when Antonio, Steve and Laurence visited him, he had fallen and bruised his eye. He was not interested in Christ. Laurence shared a prophecy for him, Antonio shared the gospel and he came to Christ that night. He told us that his life had been radically changed from that moment on and he was able to now forgive people, felt close to Jesus and told his family and friends that he was now a believer.
Laurence preached at the Sunday meeting on Living in the Power (Potenza) of the Holy Spirit and we had an excellent ministry time, with everyone responding to an encouragement to receive the Holy Spirit. We also prayed for people who needed healing.
Whilst the church feels fragile, our relationship with the leaders, Antonio and Valeria, Tonino and Annarita has been strengthened with trust and genuine openness between us. They feel loved and supported which enables honest conversations about our lives, families, as well as future hopes for the church. The conversations are a mish-mash of Italian and English around the kitchen table, but there is always laughter and feasting.
Please pray for the Italy church
- For the Morlino’s to find paid work
- That God would save and add solid believers, who will become pillars in the church.
- For backslidden believers to repent and come back to God.
- For people to be set free and live in the power of the Holy Spirit
Written by Laurence Evans