The next steps of our journey takes us to Parma, Italy. Though Gloria's cancer treatments and doctors appointments will keep us in the US much of the coming months, we strive to "press on toward the goal" as Paul said. What is the goal, be disciples who make disciples...that make disciples, to catalyze a disciple making movement in Italy. The specific goal is see 20 disciple making ministries in all 20 of Italy's regions (states) by the year 2020. We continue to see God's hand in this movement in Italy.
As I mentioned the next missional journey will take me to the north of Italy. First to spend time with the team in the region of Piemonte, near Turin. They are doing fantastic things and certainly see God's blessing in the ministry. New decisions, new studies and new leaders emerging. I am really looking forward to seeing the fruit that God has produced. This is truly amazing in a region of Italy that sees less than .1% of the population who obediently follow Jesus Christ.
Then as I first mentioned we will travel to Parma, the land that produces something that probably 90%+ americans enjoy regularly...you might have guessed it from the name "Parma", parmesan cheese! Yes if it bears the name "Parma", it is supposed to originate from the special cattle that graze the magnificently lush fields of Parma. About 2 years ago I met a church leader that had great interest in the concept of disciple making. Through this past year he and the leaders from Piemonte have been collaborating and determined to set an initial training in Parma. We are really excited about this and look forward to God's launching of the disciple making movement in Parma, in the region called Reggio Emilia...yep that's where the name "Parmigiano-Reggiano" comes from!
In Parma we will launch our first 4 Chair Discipling seminar, designed to introduce churches to the concept of a disciple making ministry. You can read more on the 4 Chair Discipling here. Please keep this initial launch in your prayers, we are expecting God to move hearts and minds to a life of disciple making. Just prior to this training, Stefano and I will attend the GYi Global leadership forum to share with other leaders around the world actively engage in disciple making. This a great time to pray, share and learn with others who share our passion for disciple making movements.
Please keep Gloria in your thoughts and prayers during these weeks I am out of the states. We will travel to Florida next week for a new MRI, this is a prayer request too. In my heart I know all is well, because He keeps us in His arms. But sometimes the mind and the heart become disconnected, not sure why He has kept us safe for many years and attends to all of our needs. So my personal prayer request is for a mind and heart that trusts and glorifies Him in all things. You can follow Gloria's journey by going to https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gloriajourney , I know she would love to hear from each of you!
Ciao, ciao and arrivederci!