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Church Planting Europe Field Story Italy

A Humbling Request Indeed

"It doesn’t matter if a man is 92 or 29 years old, he needs to be reconciled and make peace with God."

They were killing a pig in front of their home the first time I gave them a scripture calendar. That was 25 years ago.  Franco is 92 years old and lives with his wife in a very plain farm house near Treviso. At first they were rather distant, and would only receive the calendar at the door. Slowly, I won their confidence and after several years they began to invite me in their home.

Their austere kitchen/dining room with a large wooden table, woven straw chairs, an unpainted concrete floor, depict quite well the somber lifestyle of old folks who worked hard all their life.

Every December I bring a calendar and visit with them. Each time they ask questions about my beliefs. I share that salvation is in Christ alone, by faith alone, based on the Bible alone. Recently I shared that our sin makes us enemies of God and we need to be reconciled to Him.

His wife replied: “Why do we need to be reconciled? We are old and we have prayed so much through the years.I answered: “It doesn’t matter if a man is 92 or 29 years old, he needs to be reconciled and make peace with God.”

 I read from Romans chapter 5, “God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us; while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” It was evident that the Lord was speaking to their hearts and I invited them to reflect on God’s Word. I explained that when we trust Christ and Him alone, we are no longer enemies of God, but become His children.

Before leaving I asked if I could pray, we stood up and I prayed that they would receive God’s gift of reconciliation. I headed for the door, when Franco stopped me; cane in hand he walked around the table, and made a request that truly humbled me: “Please bless me!” I felt so inadequate. He said once again: “Please bless me!” Then God’s words to Abraham came to me: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” I placed my hands on his shoulders and invoked God’s blessing upon him and his wife. What great joy! We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.

Pray for Franco and his wife, that the Lord would continue to work in their heart, that they might come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Pray for the many individuals who will be receiving a new Scripture Calendar this December, pray that God will use this as a tool to help them see their need for Him. 

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