The first part of the year really was very encouraging! We’ve seen Christian group members grow and we’ve been able to directly present the Gospel to various friends of ours, both through events and the Bible studies.
We thank God for the new room we’ll be able to use in this second semester and for how He guided our choices as a result of it.
TMD, “The Mark Drama”: God willing, GBU Florence will also carry out this wonderful project at the beginning of May!! We’re super enthusiatic and we’re asking for prayer that the event will go well, both for the actors and our friends who are coming to see the play!!
We’re asking for prayer that each of our small initiatives will bear fruit to God’s glory!
For the two girls who coordinate the group in Florence, and that God would give other people in the group the desire to serve Him as coordinators, knowing He’ll provide for our every need.
We thank God that we’ve been recognised as an association in the Polytechnic and this allows us to have an institutional email address, therefore we can send emails to all the students in the Polytechnic, inviting them to our events. This made two of the last events highly successful: the open mic and a seminar on pornography, both of which drew around 40 non-believing students.
Praise God that this month a student made the decision to follow Christ!
That new group members were enthusiastic and got involved.
On 12 April we’re holding a conference on self-worth.
For our coordinators, in particular that they’d manage to organise their time well and make their commitments with both the university and the GBU fit together.
That those interested in the faith could deepen their study of the Word, and that we students would help them in that process.
Every year in Slovenia, ZVEŠ the local GBU/IFES movement organises a festival in memory of Primož Trubar, a very important cultural figure for Slovenia. This is because after his conversion to the evangelical faith, actually during the Reformation years, he wrote the first books in the Slovene language.
This year the Italian GBU sent a small delegation of students, all from groups in the Veneto region of Italy. This is already a reason to praise God, because a few years ago there wasn’t even one GBU group in all the region, but today there is a good three groups!
One of the main reasons for the trip was to help the Slovene students in evangelistic activities; during the day we had conversations with students, we tried to make new contacts, and most of all invite people to the evening events. There, an artist commented on an art piece painted during the Reformation times with interesting spiritual discussion points. And that wasn’t all, being there was also a way to encourage the few students who work for the gospel in Slovenia: in Ljubljana there is only one student and one staff, and between all of the universities there are about five students! They really thanked us for our presence, they were enthusiastic that we were there.
We also encountered a culture very different from ours, even though we are geographically close. We tended to find students more introverted compared to those whom we’re used to, so it was a bit more difficult to start conversations. Although this difference was noticed less in Koper, here the presence of Italians is much stronger, and so in effect here we felt more ‘at home’. Some students we talked to were catholic, even if probably the culture is more secular than ours; and certainly you can’t forget the minority of Orthodox and Muslims, whom we didn’t have the opportunity to be in contact with. One thing which struck me was the deep sign that the civil wars of the 90s had left in the collective memory, particularly among the older people they frequently mention Yugoslavia. Even if the students whom we met grew up after the conflicts, it is always a fundamental aspect of the cultural context in which they move.
We Italians also had opportunities to meet to study John 12 and reflect on the content of our message: Jesus, the light which reveals God and whom God has sent into the world to give glory to himself. Through the death and resurrection of the eternal son, equal with God but also in submission to and obedient to his will. The Gospel reminded us that it is no surprise when Jesus is rejected, since also his peers and compatriots did, but also whoever believes and sees the light can only do so by the grace of God.
It was a great experience for everyone, personally I returned home determined to build more relationships with the students around me, aware of the enormous privilege which I have to be a servant and friend of the Only True God.