20
Jun
08

Italy and Slovenia Ministry Report / Spring 2008

MONDAY, MONTOVA AND MODENA…

With a kind of day off and  a desire to get out from under foot so that Aldo and Mariela could have some time to themselves, I rushed off by train to Montova. I had heard that it is a beautiful city so I get the enormous blessing of mixing work with pleasure.

ENCOUNTERING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES IN THE PARK. WELL, SO MUCH FOR A NICE QUIET DAY…

  Here’s an indication of how Europe is changing.
As it turned out to be a very hot day and I was loaded down with literature and art materials the day proved to be more work than I had hoped for. Well, guess what? The first situation I run into is the JW’s handing out literature in the park and I just happened to have about twenty tracts in Italian entitled, “The Four Errors of The Watch Tower.” I first offered the tracts to the JW’s and some rather brisk exchanges took place.
So, I followed them and whoever they spoke to, I spoke to and gave then a tract. Finally, they left the park in disgust. I went back around and had a thirty minute conversation in English with a man from India. I was able to pray for him. He has been away from his family for more than a year and trying to earn a better life for them. Of course, he cried when thinking of how lonely he was and the fact that there is not much work and he doesn’t have enough money to return home. There are thousands of such cases. Regrettably, like so many others, he calls himself a Christian, wears a cross around his neck but understands nothing of what it means to be a Christian. He has been sacramentalized but never evangelized. This condition describes 99% of Italy.
Later – on the train to Modena – I drew the portrait of a young man who turned out to be a muslXm from Bangledesh.  He is married but his wife is also at home while he tries to make some money under the table. He admitted to having no work and not being able to yet send anything home. He barely has enough money to survive himself. He said, “One day, if my God wills, I will go to America.” I asked, “Who is your God?” I knew, of course, but I wanted to hear him say it.  When he said, “AlXah,” I was able to tell him that his God was too arbitrary and fickle. He wanted to know what I meant so I explained that his God is unknowable. We had a good conversation. I was able to give him tracts in Arabic, English (which he asked for) and Italian. After leaving the train he waited for me to de-board to thank me for a very informative and helpful discussion and made the comment, “You are a very good man.”
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