Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here…For the most part, our Canadian public schools are closed to church involvement. I’m grateful that some of our youth pastors are finding ways to influence students in the public schools by being coaches, Christian club leaders or guest lecturers. I commend them for their efforts.
I heard from our Fellowship International missionaries in Rome, Mario and Rose Bruno. In recent years, Mario has been invited annually to speak to the grade five students of a local public school where they minister. This ministry is growing as Mario continues to find favour with teachers, administrators and parents. I wanted you to read Mario’s report of his latest opportunity. Take time to read this brief account—it will warm your heart.
“For the fourth year in a row I was invited to speak about my faith in Jesus Christ to all the grade five children of a public school on the north side of Rome. The format was simple: I had a session of one and a half hours with two classes (60 children in all—sitting on the floor plus their teachers) then, after a 10 minute break, repeat the whole thing with the other two classes for another 90 minutes.
“A rabbi once quipped: “God made people because He loves stories.” Since we, too, like stories I thought this would be the best way to keep the children’s attention. I divided my time into three parts. In the first I told the children my story, that is, how a beautiful, bouncy baby boy born in the bottom of “boot-shaped”-Italy and baptized as a baby became a born-again believer. I explained what was my life and outlook as a boy born into a believing and practicing Roman Catholic family. Then I re-lived for them how the Lord brought me to a clear understanding of my need for Him and His salvation via His Word and the circumstances of my life as a teenager.
“In the second part I recounted to the children “the greatest story ever told” as Gospel has been termed. The Gospel, the Good News, is first of all a historical fact before it is a theology. It is good, joyous news for all. In tracing the plot of God’s redemption story from the creation to Christ’s first and second coming I could tell that the children had very little or no knowledge of how God has intervened in human history. I concluded this section inviting the children to read the Gospels with their parents…one chapter each evening after supper. Who knows how many will?
“In the final part, with the children’s participation in the experiments, I examined the validity of the theory of evolution and the biblical explanation for the universe’s existence and ours. We proved that random association and/or chance could not create nor explain the order and detail of every object, living and not. We then looked at the laws of science as a possible explanation for the existence of all things and we found the laws of nature could not explain our existence. Next, with a few experiments I showed that only an intelligent Creator using external power/energy/force and following a design could explain the origin of all things. It appeared that even the teachers seemed convinced. I concluded the session by asking the children to look around the room and find anything that came into being via the evolutionary process without intelligent design. One boy hit the nail on the head saying: “The cracks in the wall.”
“All that happened on Friday morning. The following Mondaymorning I was in a high school speaking to a class of fifth level students (grade 12 for Canada). I was given 75 minutes. I won’t expand on the details of our time together but just tell you the outcome. The professor had parent-teacher interviews for the following two days. She passed on to me that many of the parents commented on how much their children had learned from me and asked if I could be invited to return. In February, besides going back to this class, I have also been invited by the math teacher in the same school to speak to her fourth level students and a teacher from another high school (a friend of both of these teachers) has invited me to speak to her first, second, and third level classes. I am amazed at the doors the Lord has opened for me and the opportunity He has given to share the Gospel.
“Before I close, praise the Lord with us that in the past few weeks three new people have started attending our Sunday worship services. They just walked in without any contact from our church family! They came on their own being prompted by the Holy Spirit. May the Lord be please to save them and their families.
Thank you for your partnership with us in the cause of Christ.”
Please pray for Mario and Rose (pictured to the left) as they continue to spread the Gospel and plant churches in Rome. They are representatives of dozens of other Fellowship International missionaries representing our 512 local churches in 19 different countries. Visit our website to view our Fellowship International missions personnel and where they are currently serving. Maybe write a note about our missionaries and stick it in your Bible as a reminder to pray regularly for your missionaries. Thanks for doing that.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2014 Fellowship theme verse is:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 14 :35 (NLT)