Being part of the Chiesa Filadelfia in Milan was one of the greatest blessing from God in the last few months.
My name is Judit and I am a 23 years old student from Hungary. I spent the last six months in Milan with the Erasmus Exchange Program. During the summer while I was preparing for the journey, I was looking for a Reformed Church in Milan and at one point I found the web page of Filadelfia. I have been going to a Reformed Church in Budapest since my childhood, but ever since I came to faith in Christ, it has been very important to me to be a member of a community where the Word of God is at the center. My church in
Budapest is like this, but I knew that such churches are hard to find. I had some doubts about finding a biblical Reformed Church in Italy, but I was sure, that God would prepare a place. I was praying for the following months to meet some other Christians, so that I could grow in faith. I was sure, that God prepared my journey to Italy and I was sure that He would take care of my every step I had to take. When I read the web page of this church, I became hopeful because, among all the other churches I found, it seemed to be the most faithful. I wrote an email to Pastor Andrea Ferrari telling him that I was planning to visit their community during the semester, and I also asked for some help to find accommodations. The way he helped and responded assured me that God had guided me to the right place.
I will never forget the first day I arrived to Milan. I spent the first few days in the home of the Ferraris before I could move into my apartment. From the very beginning I knew that one of the best gift of God during these months would be to know them and live near their place. It was really a great blessing spending time with their dear family: I learned so much from them! I didn’t know yet that they would be for me like a second family.
The first time I went to the church was a Thursday evening prayer meeting. Before praying, we read the 23th Psalm. It was very encouraging to meditate on the psalm, and then listen to the prayers of the brothers and sisters in the church. It is not easy to become a member of a community. Even though I was shy in the beginning and I couldn’t speak Italian very well, the way the brothers and sisters prayed for me and the way they welcomed me was so significant that I felt at home among them. I partook of the Lord’s Supper knowing that we are one in Christ and that our fellowship is a wonderful gift from God.
It was also interesting to see how the things went while Pastor Andrea was away in the USA; how he wrote pastoral letters during that period, and how the elders led the worship services. I am not sure that it would be like this in other churches. When I heard the elders talking about the Gospel, it was in harmony with the sermons of Pastor Andrea. I wish it would be like this in every church, where Elders support and help their Pastor!
I am inexpressibly grateful to God for getting to know the members of the church one by one. Everyone was always very kind to me and I remember all of them in my prayers even now while I am at home in Budapest. I have so many beautiful memories of the Thursday evenings and Sundays I spent among these dear brothers and sisters: their kindness, their jokes, the love they expressed towards me from the beginning, the monthly agape meal, the hymns we sang together. The families of the church were a very good example for me. I learned a lot during this period by seeing the lives of the elders. I have many Christian friends in Hungary and I know a lot of Christian families, so this was not a knew experience, but it was wonderful to meet new people from the other parts of the world – Italians, Americans, and also Chinese – who believe in the same Savior, adore the same God and base their lives on the same Word.
When I think back to this semester I spent in Italy, before all the other beautiful memories I had at university and on my trips with the other friends, the first thing that comes into my mind, and the thing for which I am the most grateful is that I had the opportunity to fellowship with this church, even for a short time, which passed too quickly. The communion of those dear saints is what I miss the most.