Dear fellow builder,

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.

Last month we had our first Lego party, when we welcomed families of our neighbourhood to church and proclaimed Christ to them. We were thankful the Lord sent us 25 children (mainly boys 😉) to play and ‘build!’ with over 10,000 pieces of colourful Lego. For the first time in 13 years, two independent neighbourhood families commented, ‘we’ve heard of your ‘good works’ at Forte Torre’. It made us smile, reminding us that to establish a trusted testimony in the city takes time.

  • Pray for the neighbourhood to see our good works and one day praise our Father in heaven!
  • Pray that contacts made with new families would result in salvation for some!

September saw Forte Torre hosting two different apologetics conferences. Both sought to build up the church, equipping us in giving a reason for our hope, and refuting Satan’s lies. The first weekend was particularly geared to engaging with Muslims. We were greatly privileged to have Jay Smith speaking, with folk attending from other churches. The second weekend saw a colleague of JP’s from the Bible college in Rome (IBEI) begin the new Applicazione year by teaching earnestly on principles of apologetics.

  • Give thanks for the excellent content, and praise God for a gospel worth boasting in.
  • Pray for our church locally, regionally and nationally to have a heavy heart for the lost, since sadly neither conference was brilliantly attended.
  • Pray the Lord would work a deeper understanding of his grace across many churches in Italy, that we would be more generous in sharing him with others, and more courageous in evangelism, beyond the pursuit of personal comfort.

1 Corinthians 3:10 – ‘Let each one take care how he builds’

One of the best ways we can carefully build is to equip others to handle God’s word correctly. In our Applicazione programme, we want the saints to learn how to study God’s word intently, beyond Forte Torre. In www.corsiapplicazione.it, the ‘Scripture’ module this year is dedicated to expounding Romans, to a class of around 20.

  • Pray that Sunday school leaders and Bible study leaders would grow in being able to interpret and accurately apply the Scriptures.
  • Give thanks that GL and D will be joining JP in teaching this letter. Pray for their financial needs, as they seek to move gradually towards full-time word ministry.
  • Pray for those following the course from Forte Torre, and across the nation remotely, to grasp more fully how the righteousness of God has been revealed and how the righteous have always lived by faith. Pray many would then teach Romans in their own setting.

Susan has just returned from a weekend away with the council of Youth For Christ Italy. Their current National Director is a faithful sister and member of our church. She has set for YFC Italy the core aim of giving every teenager the opportunity to become a disciple of Jesus and feed into a local church. We organise our teenage exchange camps under the YFC name.

  • Give thanks for steps forward in agreeing a ‘Strategic Plan’ for the next five years, with greater accountability planned.
  • Pray that this organisation would grow in mobilising others to open the Scriptures with teens in afterschool clubs and on camps across Italy.
  • Pray for a new National Director for YFC, able to faithfully wield the sword of the Spirit, and help YFC staff to do the same.

Matthew 16:18 – ‘I will build my church’

A noticeable change for us at Forte Torre is how the Lord is sending us a number of Roman Catholic friends to listen to his word Sunday after Sunday. The preaching this term is through Deuteronomy. Pray Jesus builds his Church, not least through one of the most memorable words from chapter 12, where the Lord describes his chosen place of worship: ‘But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes, to put his Name and make his habitation there. There you shall go.’ No shrines, no multiple sites, Just Jesus!

  • Pray for eternal fruit from the expositions in Deuteronomy, and a deeper love for the dwelling of God that is Christ!

Thank you for building alongside us in your prayers.

With much love from BO

JP and Sue xx

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