Dear prayer companions,
As the summer is drawing close to the end, Cristina and I look back with gratefulness and repentance to the last two months since I wrote the last newsletter. Gratefulness for God’s assistance and sustaining grace granted us through the prayers of many. And repentance, because (in the words of the hymn),
We have not loved thee as we ought,
nor cared that we are loved by thee;
thy presence we have coldly sought,
and feebly longed thy face to see.
Lord, give a pure and loving heart
to feel and own the love thou art.
Summer visitors. The summer season is always a time in which we have a number of visitors from Italy and from abroad. For a small congregation as ours it is always encouraging to worship with fellow Christians. In particular, we are thankful for Wim & Margrieth and for Jan & Arianne from the Netherlands as well as for Gabrielle & Kristine, for Daniel & Casey, for Joseph & Sissy, and for Kyle from the US. September too will be quite busy as we expect people from northern Italy, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and from our sister church Phoenix URC. Speaking about visitors, we have been especially encouraged and blessed by the presence of Miriam and Abigail from Canada. Mimy and Aby – as we affectionately learned to call them – arrived in Perugia on July 18th and will be leaving on September 12th. It will be very sad when they will have to leave us!
Evangelistic outreach. Miriam and Abigail came to Perugia with the manifest desire to help our small congregation as much as they could. As we thought about what we might do together, we considered two things: 1) English classes for kids and 2) playing music for the church in our divine services. Thus far, English classes have proved to be an efficacious means of reaching to people from outside. There are 9 kids (aged from 9 to 14) from 7 different families attending the classes that were held in our church building. Miriam and Abigail have been working with them for many hours every week, spending a considerable amount of time preparing the lessons. These English classes were given for free and we had had a wonderful opportunity to make known our church to these families. Moreover, since Miriam and Abigail are both professional musicians, we organized a concert of about 30 minutes which we’ll invite not only the kids but also their parents (as we as the members of the Chiesa Riformata di Perugia).
Music and singing. Miriam and Abigail could help us playing music on the Lord’s Days thank to the generosity of our dear friends Doug and Sheryl. In fact, Doug and Sheryl wanted to do something useful for our church-plant, so they bought for us a keyboard. We don’t have any trained musician among our members, so since Miriam and Abigail arrived they have been playing music in our worship services. Not only so, but with their help we have been learning a number of new psalms and hymns. After more than 4 years since I began to visit the group in Perugia and after 14 months since Cristina and I moved to Perugia, for the first time we had the joy to sing more properly being accompanied by the piano.
As usual, I conclude with some prayer requests:
please, pray for us that we may be of encouragement and consolation for our sisters and brothers visiting with us;
pray for the contacts with people outside the church, that we may exhibit Christ before them adorning the gospel with the fruit of the Spirit;
pray that we may continue to grow in Christian practices such as psalmody and singing, corporate prayer and orderly participation to the worship of God’s people.
On behalf of all the members of the Chiesa Riformata of Perugia, I express a felt sense of gratitude for your faithful prayers and generous support.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Andrea Ferrari