Jon’s Italian Giro

Posted on 17 January 2011
Jon spent last weekend in Ferrara, Italy visiting an Italian Evangelical Church.

Jon studied Italian at university and hopes to be able to use his language skills in the future. First he wanted to dispel some illusions about the reasons for his trip:

“It was below 5 degrees Celsius the entire time I was there and the fog that is common to that part of the country through this part of the year barely lifted, so I really didn’t go for some sun!”

Jon was hosted by Paul and Frances Finch, who lead the Church in Ferrara alongside Italians. Paul is an Englishman from London but has been living in Italy for 40 years working as a missionary in a number of cities.

“Paul has had a long and varied experience of working in Italy over a lifetime and he was able to give me a lot of insights into the challenges and the practicalities.”

Paul arranged an itinerary for Jon’s trip which included visiting IFED at Padova (a training school for Evangelicals in Italy where Paul does some teaching), Vicenza (where Paul and Frances give English lessons to students) and to a service at a Church in Bologna alongside taking part in activities in Ferrara:

“I gave my testimony in Italian at a meeting in the home of a member of the Church where they were studying a translation of John Piper’s When the Darkness will not Lift. I also went to the Sunday morning at the Church in Ferrara which was followed by a fellowship lunch.”

Evangelicals in Italy face many challenges: they are tiny minority with very little voice in the country. There are number of Italians working on shaping an Evangelical identity which can be recognised within their country. Christian unity, as we know so well in our own country, is vitally important but very challenging, but it becomes incredibly important in a nation where the church is so small.

There are links to the site of the Evangelical Church of Ferrara – which has a section in English – on the links page.

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