Posted by Kaylee K on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Under: Italy
While we have found that much of the fruitful work in refugee ministry truly is about relationships not projects, my Type-A personality gets really excited about plans and strategy. So, I was encouraged during our time this past month with potential ministry partners and churches in Italy as we learned about their wonderful blend of heart for the nations and mind for programs to help the foreigners in their midst. Specifically, we anticipate seeing God move resources and people toward several very tangible projects:
- One church desires to use space in their facility to create a welcome center for the asylum seekers who are being housed temporarily in hotels in their area. There are members at this church who have specialized skills, i.e. medical and legal, they can offer at this center. And, this church already has experience connecting with people in need, including refugees, through their outreach program to the homeless community who has been living outside the nearby train station.
- An association of churches in Pescara maintains a Christian bookstore that also sells music and artwork. They hope to offer assistance and education programs for refugees at least two days/week. This could also be a place where refugees can sell their art and crafts.
- In the Abruzzo region there are workers called “Ghost Migrants”. These people are basically enslaved farm workers who are only permitted by their bosses to tend the field at night to limit their exposure. They are housed in warehouses with little-to-no connection to the outside world. The church community we met with has a doctor in the area who can offer them medical services and there is a desire to use an abandoned church to plant a church among that community and assist them with their various needs. This is the most ambitious of the three programs and requires a great deal of networking over the coming year.
We are truly inspired by the vision and heart of the people we met with in Italy. Our hearts’ desire is to support and encourage them and hopefully serving as full-time workers to help them bring these plans to fruition. We also discovered that there are giftings that John and I can lend to these plans and that our willingness as foreigners ourselves to move to Italy to work alongside local churches can provide a level of encouragement that we cannot yet realize the potential impact of. This has lit a fire under our feet to seek God’s provision and direction for empowering us to join in this work. We invite you to join us on this journey as we will need both prayers and finances to see this through. (Learn more or donate today.)
In : Italy
Tags: faith italy refugees churches support