One year ago this month, Emmaus embarked on her first ever international mission trip by sending two of our members on a vision trip with a team to northeast Italy to see what God might be calling us to do in order to see God glorified and churches multiplied in Italy.
Throughout that trip our team saw God clearly close doors and open doors. Over the weeks and months that followed the Emmaus elders and a few others spent much time in prayer and planning to see what God was calling us to.
Throughout that time God was gracious to lead us to partner with another Missouri church for the purpose of reaching a city in northeast Italy with the gospel. Together, Emmaus Church and Freshwater Church Bolivar will target the city of Padova in Italy to see God glorified and churches multiplied.
By partnering with Freshwater, we are able to see more teams in Italy each year and we gain the missional and partnership experience of Freshwater, who has seen God start churches in several countries through their partnerships.
Over the last year Emmaus has continued to pray for Italy, while meeting and planning with Freshwater about what this partnership will look like. This waiting time can seem long and can seem aimless to some, but it was essential for us as we sought to only walk through doors that God was opening in this city and in their culture. We knew that apart from God’s gracious provision of an in-country partner, this work would be slow and extremely difficult.
Later this month Pastor Ronni will take his second trip to Italy along with Pastor Dave from Freshwater, and they will meet with our connection in Italy and the group of Christians. For five days they will pray, strategize, teach about church, share the gospel with dozens of Italians who have already vocalized a desire to hear Ronni and Dave tell them about the gospel, and we will begin the process of planting a church and reaching a city so that God would be glorified and churches would be multiplied.
How can you help?
- Please begin praying today for Pastor Ronni and Pastor Dave that they’d have discernment and wisdom.
- Please begin praying for our Italian church planter, that he’d have faith and reliance on Christ.
- Please begin praying for this group of believers in Padova — that they’d be burdened for their city and emboldened to share the gospel.
- Please begin praying about the possibility of going with us in 2017 or 2018.
The plan moving forward:
Pastor Ronni and Pastor Dave will set a more firm plan in motion while on this trip, but it appears as if we are ready to begin sending teams this year! Pray as these plans unfold. Our expectation is that we would send a team in the summer of 2017 and again in the fall of 2017. Perhaps God is calling you to be on one of these teams. Perhaps God is calling you to help send one of these teams. I know he is calling us all to pray for all of these teams. So let’s pray.