Letters from Missionaries | Vol. 11

Missionary Partners in Italy | September 28, 2020

Typically when we cross into a new country, we experience a myriad of things unique to those people. Some things are universal though simply for the reason that we are all still human beings. As it turns out, car trouble is one of those! And while not new or unique to 2020 either, mechanical issues in light of everything else this year has brought feel a little more frustrating and difficult to manage. But praise God that He uses even inconveniences like these to point us to His glory and remind us what is worth the height of our time and attention. May we not miss an opportunity to share His goodness and gospel, just as our partner does in this update!

Check out this story from our missionary partners in Italy. Our hope in sharing this is that you would pray for Italy, celebrate the work of the gospel going forward in this country, and consider how God is inviting you to join in His global mission. 

-Whitney Reed, Missions Mobilizer

An Update from Italy

My mother-in-law Lia, who is 89 years old, lives only a couple of minutes from us. Although she is still self-sufficient she depends on us for many everyday things. She is a very sweet believer and very appreciative for the good and joyful care she receives from us.

This past July Lia treated us to a vacation in the mountains. In light of the issues brought about by Covid-19, we all enjoyed a blessed time of relaxation. At the end of the week, we loaded my good old Mazda 3 and headed back home. But, after only a few miles, the car died in the middle of the road. I restarted it, drove a few yards and it died again.

I was barely able to turn into a parking lot and called a local mechanic, who happened to own a shop nearby. We were really hoping it only needed a new fuel filter, but that wasn’t the case, the car had severe engine problems. The mechanic told me that it would be quite costly to repair the car and since it was old, it would not be worth the cost; the only option was to take it to a junkyard and scrap it.

It wasn’t the best way to end a relaxing vacation, but we accepted God’s will. Nonetheless, it was a trying experience and my main goal was to get us back home. 

The only car rental in the area told me that it would cost over $500 to rent a car for two days. I asked the man if he was serious; he said the price was high because of high season. When I told the mechanic, he kindly offered one of his cars at a reasonable price and I proceeded to transfer our things from my car. I was attached to the old car and felt like a cowboy forced to shoot his faithful horse. 

Before leaving for vacation I loaded fifty Scripture Calendars which we distributed to the hotel personnel, fellow guests, and to other people we met during our stay. There happened to be one calendar left in the car, which I gave to the mechanic. I leafed through the 365 tear-off sheets showing him the daily Bible verse and meditation, and said that it would do him and his two sons, who work with him, a lot of good. Then I turned the calendar and showed my brief testimony printed on its back. I read the title: “Come una vecchia auto… ero da rottamare!” which translates, ”Like an old car… I was ready for the junkyard”

I continued… “Signor Raimondo, my car could have broken down elsewhere but it happened very close to your shop. I believe God allowed this in order to speak to you through the Bible verses on this calendar and the testimony of how I was without Christ.

“I felt as if my life were like my old car, ready to be scrapped. I asked God to forgive me and by faith, I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I gave him the steering wheel of my life, and He has been guiding and transforming me ever since.

Mr. Raimondo, if it took the scrapping of my car for you to receive this message from God, then it will have been more than worth it. My prayer is that you will give it serious consideration.”

The mechanic listened attentively to the words that I spoke with great conviction. Please pray for Raimondo and his two sons. Pray that the daily Bible verses on the Calendar will convince them of sin and their need of the Savior, who can make any old wreck new.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away: behold, they have become new ”. (2 Corinthians 5:17).