Mission Partner

John Paul and Sue Aranzulla

JP and Sue lead Forte Torre Church in central Bologna. The church is committed to bringing glory to Christ by being a people continually growing in love for him and for the town in which he has placed them.

Bologna is home to Europe’s oldest university and is an important hub of Italy’s politics. It is, however, almost completely bereft of evangelical churches.

JP and Sue planted Forte Torre in 2010 and, ten years on, are a diverse church of several dozen people. As well as Sunday services, the church gathers throughout the week for small group bible studies and morning prayer meetings. They host regular evangelistic events and run English language children’s clubs to reach out into the community. JP and Sue are committed to training and equipping Italian Christians to become future leaders and so run the ‘Application’ theological training course. JP also leads preaching workshops, conferences on bible handling and regular training workshops for students, both locally and nationally.

In 2014 the church purchased a building and, after four years of renovation works, the first service was held there in 2018. To give towards the building project, click here.

Italy

Population:

62,008,000

Evangelical Christians:

1%

Main religion:

Roman Catholic

Main Languages:

Italian

Recent Prayer Letters

John 14:18 – ‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you’ Jesus’ words to his apostles, the night before his death, herald the coming, and indwelling presence, of the Holy Spirit in all his future followers. At Forte Torre, we’ve been learning of the Spirit’s work; marvelling at his life-giving task of comforting, challenging, nourishing and equipping us in Jesus, to be living active members of his Body. The biblical vision of the Spirit’s ministry in his Church is gloriously collective. We depend upon his mighty interventions, perceived often over time. This month we share with you how the Spirit has been at work…
1 Corinthians 14:12 – ‘Strive to excel in building up the church’ What do we say and do to encourage another to commit their lives to Christ? Do we pour ourselves out in his strength daily, so that others recognise that Jesus is worth everything? We are eager for manifestations of the Spirit to work real understanding. We want to excel in building up the church! ‘Building’ is this newsletter’s theme. Please pray that we will strive to excel in building up the church, attentively and generously.
You may well be aware from international news that our region in Italy suffered huge downpours in May. Floods surrounded us and waves of water have billowed over into homes, businesses and partly our church! When this natural disaster struck, we could not help but think of how asleep our neighbours were to the greater flood to come. We also recalled how wonderful it is the Lord Jesus suffered a greater distress, the floods of the Father’s wrath, so that we might escape the waves of his righteous judgement. This month we write longing that our initiatives and witness of Forte Torre (FT) may result in Italians understanding Jesus’ ‘baptism’ at the cross.
In early 2023, our preaching has focused on the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer (following a previous series on his work from creation to Christ). It’s been refreshing to consider his majestic work, in such unpromising raw material as ourselves! The series began with the Spirit uniting us by faith to Jesus, working in us the ‘new creation’. We at Forte Torre want to hold passionately to this gospel when announced by the Spirit through weak agents like ourselves – the power of God to work new life in all those who come to trust wholeheartedly in his Son. Our prayer is we’d be profoundly convinced to see in us and others, not only salvation, but also sanctification: a life transformed, by the Spirit’s power, to the glory of God!
Dear faithful prayer supporters, ‘When the parents brought in the child Jesus … Simeon took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.’  Luke 2:28-32 We probably all know the joy of holding a new baby in our arms. At Forte Torre we are in the midst of a baby boom! But just imagine Simeon’s joy in the temple courts! He had been waiting patiently all his life for this moment. And now he held the long-expected King of Israel in his arms. Yearned for centuries – THE promised Saviour! Through this tiny little baby, what was lost by war and disaster would be found, what was sick by sin and guilt would be healed, what was destroyed by hate and injustice would be restored. The God of all the earth had revealed His Saviour. Not only for Israel but for all peoples!
We probably all know the joy of holding a new baby in our arms. At Forte Torre we are in the midst of a baby boom! But just imagine Simeon’s joy in the temple courts! He had been waiting patiently all his life for this moment. And now he held the long-expected King of Israel in his arms. Yearned for centuries – THE promised Saviour! Through this tiny little baby, what was lost by war and disaster would be found, what was sick by sin and guilt would be healed, what was destroyed by hate and injustice would be restored. The God of all the earth had revealed His Saviour. Not only for Israel but for all peoples!
How different are Simon Peter’s reactions to being with Jesus after these two miraculous catches of fish! How wonderful for Peter, along with us, to know the One who forgives sin – so much so that, at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Peter did not hesitate to jump in the sea to see him! Praise to the risen Christ who provided Peter a welcome breakfast, perfect restoration for failure and work to do in dragging in the net full of Jesus’ fish. In this letter, we trace how the Lord has specifically and kindly provided for us and for Forte Torre Church (FT) this term.

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