We’ll be away most of the summer, and we’re hoping to share our adventures with you all. But not because we’re having some fabulous, exotic vacation. We’ll be out and about, among the wonderful, colorful Italian people, trying to bring a little hope from shore to shore.
Leaving the Adriatic coast of southern Abruzzo, we soon enter Molise. The landscape gradually rises into gently rolling, forested hills. It’s the land of the truffle: underground mushrooms which have sold for as much as $330,000! Although little known, this region’s clean and largely untouched forests makes it one of Italy’s main truffle centers.
In both Abruzzo and Molise, we find beautiful landscape, areas largely untouched by industrialization. And our Abruzzo region, we feel, is in many ways even more beautiful than renowned Tuscany.
We moved here though, not because of the scenic beauty.
Which ranges from golden seashores to idyllic mountain villages. But because Abruzzo (as well as Molise) is one of Italy’s regions least touched by the liberating power of God’s grace. And as we drive, we think of this. So much to do, with few workers, and little time. At this moment, we’re off to visit churches in the Lazio province.
In the 3½ hour drive across Italy we pass few towns with Bible-believing churches. Town after town with no witness.
No one to teach them how to get born-again.
All up and down the nation we find gorgeous scenery. Sandy beaches, gentle rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, and cities set on hilltops, evoking images of long-gone days and former ways of life. But we also find little hope from shore to shore. But perhaps four towns with a Gospel witness.
There is little hope from shore to shore.
Remote, untouched areas — in so many ways. Four towns, over a vast area. It fills our hearts with a sadness for which we have no words. We’re always a bit hesitant to speak of this, because we don’t want to seem that we’re trying to bash Catholics. We love and respect these people, and only long to lead them to life-giving water!
But they are, for the most part, a people without hope. And they’d be the first to tell you that.
- Most have no assurance about the after-life.
- They think God can’t, or doesn’t want to, help with their problems.
- They mostly see him as someone waiting to punish them.
- Or at best, a good guy, but with no real power to prevent evil or bring about good.
As we drove along, Mario exclaimed, “Oh, how I love Italy!” But I know it wasn’t just the scenic beauty, or the peace of little inhabited areas. It’s love that God has placed in our hearts. A love that’s kept us going through years of every kind of imaginable problem.
And that keeps us here, pushing us out the door, to keep sharing and keep loving.
For they’ve got to know.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14.
People mostly think of Italy’s beauty, and its landmarks, great works of art, and rich history. But when you think of Italy, remember its spiritual poverty, as well. And please remember to pray for us and others workers around the nation.
We need and count on prayer! Will you please join us in prayer?
[Image of our seacoast ©TheScorziellos-Mario]