This year we were blessed when some friends and supporters from Bethlehem, PA determined in their hearts to come to Italy, not just for tourism but for assisting us in evangelism. Thank you Tim & Liz and Anna!!! We organized a couple of things on our end to be able to host them from our home and we rallied up a couple more participants so we could form a small evangelism team in order to reach some unreached people in Conegliano and Gemona with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We participated in bulk distributions of custom-made tracts. These are designed to both sow the gospel to the masses of people who are totally lost in regards to who God is and what salvation is and to get us in contact with those who are currently being drawn by the Father. The tracts get left in every mailbox and coffee bar (and gelato shop :-) and for those who are interested we offer a free booklet or a visit. People then have an opportunity to get in contact with us and some did. We also had some open doors to proclaim the gospel personally while distributing, praise God.
We participated also in park ministry among the children. We performed puppet shows, told stories, delivered the gospel, painted faces, played games, gave out prizes and made balloons. Little hearts and minds received the gospel seed and have a whole new way of seeing and understanding God. Parents were awestruck and gospel conversations happened naturally. No parents have made a confession of saving-faith, that we know of, but new relationships have been formed and the gospel has gone out. As we continue these efforts we will be able to follow up with these folks and Lord willing lead them to Christ for salvation. We were truly amazed at the way the kids were begging us to come back at the end of our time with them! God is good!
This evangelism team was not planned to be anything but friends coming to see us and lend a hand, but in the end, according to God's providence, it has now become the first ever short-term mission team for Practical Missions Cohort :-) All the participants, co-bondservants for Christ as we call them, received a certificate and we have officially called this team COHORT 0.
The next team will be called COHORT 1 and we warmly invite you to prayerfully consider if God might be calling you to play a part next summer in 2017!
Team efforts like this are a great blessing to our church planting ministry! It's practical, effective, God-honoring and life changing, both for team participants and the lost who get saved.