Jonny and Ruth serve alongside Forte Torre Church in Bologna.
Forte Torre Church is in the heart of Bologna, providing a visible gospel presence in a city almost completely bereft of evangelical churches. It was established by Crosslinks mission partners JP and Sue Aranzulla in 2010. Jonny first went to Forte Torre Church in 2014 as part of a team of students sent from Christchurch Durham. Ruth joined a similar team along with Jonny a couple of years later. Both teams worked with Forte Torre Church in the running of their kids summer camps.
For their first two years in Bologna, Jonny and Ruth are focusing on learning the language. Alongside this, they are serving the church through one-to-one ministry and helping with the youth and children’s clubs. They also hope to think of creative ways to reach the city with the gospel. In the long-term, Jonny and Ruth would love to be involved in training Italians to be faithful servant-leaders.
‘For the grace of God has appeared…’ Titus 2:11
One of our seminars with the students this term is on self-control, which is one of Paul’s big concerns in his letter to Titus. Paul is writing for the sake of our faith and knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness (1:1) – the truth which trains us to live self-controlled lives (2:12). The circumcision party may have been teaching their external commands, but Paul insists that they won’t produce purity, because both their minds and their consciences are defiled (1:10-15). Instead of the Jews’ commands, Paul teaches that the truth which accords with godliness is in fact ‘the grace of God’ (2:11). It’s not the law but Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that redeems us from all lawlessness and purifies us (2:14). By giving himself for us and by pouring out his Spirit on us richly (2:6), our great God and Saviour has actually saved us – he’s actually purified us by the internal washing of the Holy Spirit (3:5). So, as we know and believe in the truth of the grace of God, it trains us to live self-controlled lives (2:12). Please pray for the faith of God’s elect (in Bologna!) and our knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness (1:1).
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