In Their Eyes

Before I got here I knew that many Italian people did not know Jesus, but actually being here has made it real. That sounds so childish and obvious, but for some reason it has hit me hard. Last night a university student asked why we were here, after I explained he said Bologna was not a good place to try to talk to people about God and Jesus, because they are so far from God. He put himself in this category as well.

I look around and I see people who are really hurting. They don't trust people, they hate the government, the lack of jobs, the insincerity in people. They are starving for authentic love and friendship. They try to find it in standing up in protest. They have given up on the church because of all the hurt and pain they've experienced because of it. They have lost family members and friends and have no way to reconcile the pain. I look into their eyes, and there is no joy. They really do look like they have no hope -- they aren't pretending. It's burdensome, but in it I remember the faithfulness of God. One girl accepted Christ as her Savior since we've been here -- God is moving and working through the gospel going out......over time it is changing people.

Pray for University students to stay in Bologna despite talk of more earthquakes. Students are fearful so are staying home (not taking trains into the city) to stay safe. This is causing the campus to be deserted, and we desperately want to befriend the people here. Pray pray pray.....

Ruins of the city walls in Bologna
"They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven......“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'"
Nehemiah 1:3-4,8-9
Natasha Red