‘God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ Philippians 2:9 – 11

If you can imagine a room full of children aged 5 to 10 year olds reciting this verse with actions (including bowing their knees!), you’ll have a little insight into what we’ve been teaching this past week at our children’s summer day camp. Thinking that history is running towards the day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess, motivates us to sow generously in the lives of individuals. We therefore write to you this month of particular people, asking you to pray words from Philippians for them, to the glory of God the Father. (Individuals remain anonymous to protect their identities).

Person I

I is of Mongolian of origin and the Lord called her during student years in Bologna, through the ministry of Agape. This past month she has finally got a job in a local ice-cream parlour (having sought work for years). No small feat with current levels of unemployment in Italy! Pray for her testimony at work, that her ‘manner of life (may) be worthy of the gospel of Christ.’ And pray for her next challenge, which is to read the Bible with her parents in Mongolia on video calls!

Person G

Husband of one of our members, G was the only ‘guest’ in church after our recent summer camp. It was only his third time in church since Forte Torre began (yes, Bolognese folk are pretty hard!). We pray that through the testimony of his wife and son, he would like Paul one day, ‘glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh’. Give thanks that his overlap with folk at Forte Torre is increasing, as he is now receiving help for his son from a learning difficulties expert who comes to FT. 

Person Si

As a little girl, Si was keen to hear what the Bible had to say but she never heard the Bible taught or explained in her Roman Catholic parish. She came to know the Evangelical world quite recently and visited us, our ladies’ guest ‘plate painting’ event, and has had various meetings with folk explaining the truth to her. Pray that the Lord would ‘open her heart to the truth’ as he did to Lydia and the jailer in Philippi, that she might open her home to Jesus and the family of believers in Bologna.

Person F

F was disillusioned with his local parish in Bologna because he saw the decline in society and a Roman priesthood that simply affirms cultural trends without contending for truth. After an internet search on the word ‘reform’, he providentially came across a book review on Calvin’s Institutes presented on our church website, and has started coming regularly to FT! Pray that the risen Christ transforms F as he transformed Saul, so that he ‘count all his good works as rubbish, in order that he may gain Christ and be found in him with the righteousness that comes through faith’.

Person U

U’s Roman Catholic family moved from Cameroon to the province of Bologna a couple of years ago. Hungry for the word of God, she spent a year going to a Jehovah’s Witness assembly. Not recognising Jesus’ voice there, she left and has been coming to Forte Torre for the past month. Currently training to work for the Health Service, pray that the Spirit convicts her that Jesus Christ is the perfect Servant, who served her eternal interests in going to death, even death on the cross. 

Person So

When invited to come to church on Sunday, six-year-old So said, ‘On Sunday I’m going to a real church’. ‘A real church?’ replied Susan, feeling great pain as she knew So meant a church with empty traditions! But once Sue asked, ‘Isn’t church where you hear Jesus’ words?’ So then paused and replied ‘Yes, maybe here is the real church because I learn here’. Pray that So may ‘want to know Christ’ and continue to listen to Jesus’ voice at the afterschool clubs that she so passionately attends.

Person Gu

Our first contact with him was on camps when he was 16 years old. Now 26, he’s heading off to London to do Cornhill for a potential two-year period with a view to returning to Bologna, better equipped to serve with us at Forte Torre. Pray that ‘one thing he does: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ 

J and R

Give thanks for this dear couple, who are also returning to the UK to spend three years’ training, with a long-term view of planting a church in another regional capital in Italy. In all our remembrance of them, making our prayers with joy because of their partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And we are sure of this, that he who began a good work in them will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 

Person Ism

Having attended the Applicazione course on Irenaeus at distance, Ism has signed up to study Hebrew with Gianpaolo next year. GP will teach Hebrew in collaboration with a small evangelical institute in Rome called IBEI. Pray for Ism, that he will have a heart like Epaphroditus, ‘a brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and messenger and minister, putting the interests of the saints above his own’, for a servant-hearted ministry in Italy in years to come.

Sending our love and hoping to see some of you when we return to the UK this August to see family and supporting churches.
JP and Sue xx

Prayer points

Praise the Lord that it is God who works in these individuals: I, G, Si, F, U, So, Gu, J, R and Ism, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

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