25
Jun
08

Italy and Slovenia Ministry Report / Spring 2008

                                                                                                                                                                   To Milan on my way to Gatwick, London.

YOU THINK I’M FINISHED OR AT LEAST I OUGHT TO BE…

The truth is, I have only scratched the surface of all that God is doing. I wish I had time to tell you of Pius, the eighteen year old Kenyan boy who lost his family in the recent uprisings, how he made it across Chad and Libya to be found by Pastor Francesco on the streets of Parma and how they have taken him in and brought him to Christ.

 

I wish I could tell you about Giuseppe who, three years ago, attended every night of my classes on evangelism and the gospel and how he was baptized on Sunday last.

 

Or about other new Christian’s like Fabio and Marcello, Italian’s who have so grown in the Lord that in one year they have become leaders of the Christian’s in Parma. I’d like to tell you about Ruthie, Kevin, Daniel, Denny, Jessica, Cristiano, Clara and thirty other young believers who are surrendered to Christ and the gospel. I’d like to tell you of Belkis (Dominican Republic) and Victor (Argentina) YWAM workers living in Parma after being expelled from the Sahara.

WHILE WAITING ON MY FLIGHT IN THE MILANO MALPENSA AIRPORT…

I met Chris in the Easy Jet line. Though twenty years younger than I, right from the beginning we hit it off. We were trying to match one another with jokes and small talk. He had been from London to Italy to play football and binge drink for the weekend but confessed to me that his fellow footballers managed to get more soused than he. Chris liked me enough to follow me around to my table in the airport coffee shop.

 

Finally, when it came round to what we did, it turned out that he was well traveled in American and familiar with such obscure cities as Raleigh, North Carolina. How, I asked it was, that he might have visited Raleigh and it turned out that he works for The Body Shop in the corporate ethics division. I knew something about The Body Shop and its leadership in the development of corporate ethics. I wanted to know where the ground for ethics came from? He confessed that they just sort of made it up by why that thought was best. I pointed out (tongue in cheek) that this is what Hitler and the Nazi’s did. I then talked to him about the ‘Ought” from C. S. Lewis. Where does “Ought” come from? Why should I “Ought” not push him from his chair. Anyway, to make a long story short, he was very interested in how I knew all of this stuff. I inquired if he had ever heard of Ravi Zacharias, Chuck Colson or C.S. Lewis and then I remarked that Colson had once spoken on Ethics to the Harvard Business School for a week before he realized that the students had no idea of what he had been trying to present. I was able to explain that, in order to have ethics, we have to decide from what source they derive. If they (ethics) emanate from the mind of man they are simply conveniences for one and inconveniences for another – appropriate for one, inappropriate for another, protection for one and perilous for another. Fifty-one percent of the people give us our justification for whatever we decide and if this is true then we can murder whomever we please. We don’t have to worry about what our research might do to a rabbit. He liked it.

 

AFTER CHRIS ROSE TO LEAVE I STRUCK UP A CONVERSATION WITH I THOUGHT MIGHT BE A HINDU OR SOME SUCH THING…

This fellow was also young and seated alone though I had earlier seen him with a young woman who turned out to be his wife. If I had seen her up close, I would have known that, at least, she was a Hindu as she had the third eye and red guru strands around her wrist.

 

I noticed his jacket. He had embroided over his breast pocket, “Love all of those that HE loves.” When I saw it I thought that it might be Christian because it had that sort of Christianese ring to it. If I were to guess, I would imagine that, in fact, it was a Christian slogan to begin with. He simply bought it because he liked the sound of it. He didn’t have a clue as to the implications so I asked him, “Who is the HE?”

He was surprised that I had spoken to him so he said, “Excuse me, sir?” He replied, “Who?” “

“The HE, who is the HE,” I repeated.

Excitedly he answered, “Oh, God!”

“Which God?” I wanted to know.

So he did his best, “God.” At the same time he said this, he gestured upwardly with his finger.

“Any God?”, I queried.

I went on, “I mean are you a Christian?  Hindu? A Buddhist? A Muslxm? “

“Oh, I don’t follow any particular religion,” was his hesitant response.

“My God is without attributes. He is just God – the unknowable God.”

 

Without boring you with the details I simply tell you that he played right into my hands and said exactly what I had hoped he might say. “So then, why do you wear the slogan when the “HE” is capitalized? This indicates exactly the opposite of your proposition. This is a clear indication of personhood.” Oh my, can you imagine what the next ten minutes might have been like as I explained to him the God who has attributes, is trustworthy, merciful, all knowing, righteous, et al?

 

SUSAN FROM NEW ZEALAND

Cute and perky she took the seat between me at the window and another, older man on the aisle. I saw that she was with someone, a strong looking fellow who would turn out to be her fiancé and also from New Zealand. They were both living in London. She had been a banker but had left three months before to pursue a career in cake decorating and he had moved into a new profession as a broker. We exchanged courtesies and backgrounds and then she asked if I was on holiday. When I told her that i worked in Europe she wanted to know what it was that I did and I asked which answer she wanted? Would she like the real one or the “politically correct” one. She opted for the real one. For twenty minutes I talked about the meaning of life. She was getting married to the young man two rows ahead of her so I suggested that she must have employed philosophy in order to say, “Yes” to his proposal. I told her that all of life’s decisions required a certain amount of philosophical reasoning. I asked if she considered the gene pool she was marrying into? She agreed that she did think about that. I wanted to know if she thought Gary to be moral, a man of good intentions and character? She liked this course of discussion so I took her to Jesus and building her house upon a rock and then suggested that she and Gary visit Holy Trinity Church in Brompton and commence their marriage upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.

 

MORE? OF COURSE THERE IS… BUT THIS IS ENOUGH.

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