Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Friday, 30 November 2012

Living the Community - Bologna Trip

 Tomorrow we'll join a trip to
Bologna organized by the Proloco of Mezzolara, an association promoting cultural activities.

With a group of about 30 adults
and kids from our village we'll visit the historical buildings of Bologna university.

This will include the "Archiginnasio" the historical Library of Bologna university decorated with more than 700 "coats of arms" from noble students of the past.

This will be a really good opportunity to have a nice day with some of our neighbours and to get to know them better.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Titus 2 Ladies Group - Friday 30/11/2012

Tomorrow evening Jenny & Tina will lead the Titus 2 Ladies Group of San Lazzaro Church.

There will be a time of fellowship focused on sharing and praying one for another.
The goal of this group is to challenge women from our church to encourage one another in the fear of the Lord and to learn to be missional in their workplaces, homes and families!
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." 
 Proverbs 31:30 (ESV)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Bible Study on Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes 1:12 - 2:11

Please pray for tomorrow evening when Stefano will continue the series of Bible Studies on Ecclesiastes preaching from Ecclesiastes 1:12 - 2:11.

And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (ESV)

As introduction to illustrate the meaninglessness of a life's search for satisfaction apart from Christ, we'll look at the 2011 song 
"Moves Like Jagger" by the pop rock band Maroon 5. 

In this song Adam Levine sings: "You say I’m a kid, My ego is big
with the purpose of celebrating Mick Jagger for the new generation.
Yet what really is presented to the "new generation" 
is the old refrain of  the 1965 “I can’t get no satisfaction":
"I can’t get no satisfaction, ’cause I try and I try and I try and I try, 
I can’t get no satisfaction”

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, 
you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:9-11

Saturday, 24 November 2012

My Space Club - Thanksgiving meal

This week we have in Bologna a team from the USA who went in High-Schools to present the meaning of the Thanksgiving Day and to encourage kids to see that everything we have is from God.
God even gave His Son for us to pay on the Cross the price for our sins!
So tomorrow evening we'll have a special Thanksgiving meal for the My Space Kids and each one of the leaders will share with them a reason for which we are thankful to God!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, 
and his courts with praise! 
Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
 Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

With the kids we'll watch this funny Thanksgiving video of Nicole Westbrook

Friday, 23 November 2012

Porterbrook - Bologna Local Group

Tomorrow from 3 to 6.30 pm we'll have the fourth plenary session of the Porterbrook - Bologna Local Group.

The meeting will be held in San Lazzaro Church and we expect about 25 students from 4 churches in Bologna.

Tomorrow we'll have the interactive evaluation session of the first and second modules of the 2nd year foundation course.
In this session some students will present their papers and all will interact in groups with the material they studied.

The first module is Gospel Relationships, where students were challenged to see how the Gospel teaches us how to deal with Anger, Conflict, Fearing people, Humility, Gifts and service, Work, Marriage, Singleness, Parenting.
The second module is Understanding God's Story. This module will helps to get a handle on the basics of understanding and teaching from the text of the Bible itself and seeing how the Bible as a whole fits together.

Tomorrow we'll have in Bologna Jonathan Gilmore, director of Porterbrook Italia and of Acts29 Italy.
Jonathan will interact with the Bologna students especially with the Understanding God's Story module.

In the evening from 7.00 to 8.30 pm,
Stefano and the other lecturers will have
their abilitation with Jonathan to teach
the next modules.

Literature Stand @ San Lazzaro weekly market

Tomorrow morning from 9.00 to 11.00 am we'll be at the weekly market in San Lazzaro with our Literature Stand.

We'll offer free Bibles in many 
languages and Christian literature.
Pray that the Lord will bring people 
interested to know more about Him 
and His Word!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sunday afternoon meeting in Budrio - Interactive Bible Study

Tomorrow afternoon we'll join for the first time a Sunday afternoon meeting & Bible Study in Budrio.

This meeting is held in cooperation with a local group of Christians  from Nuova Vita Church in Bologna who are all living in or near Budrio.

Budrio has about 20,000 people and is the main town next to where we live.
We are really excited about this meeting not only because it's a new Christian presence in an extensive area where there is only one Pentecostal church, but because two of our friends from our village will be with us.

In this group we'll interact with the "Gospel Living" module of Porterbrook, and tomorrow we'll study what it really means to have a love for God!

"Starting from the position that all life is for the Glory of God, this module looks at what it means to live a life for that glory. It will mean loving God and loving others, shaped by the cross and looking to the future glory that we will share with Jesus. Having laid this foundation the module then examines how this impacts daily issues such as decisions, friendship and possessions."

18/11/2012 Series on the Parables of our Lord – 35 “The active perseverance of prayer” Luke 18:1-8

Tomorrow Stefano will preach on Luke 18:1-8  
continuing the series on the Parables taught by our Lord: 
"The active perseverance of prayer".

"And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" 
Luke 18:1-8 (ESV)

I. Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?

II. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Home-groups Prayer Meeting

Tonight we'll have our monthly Home-groups Prayer Meeting.

This month we'll concentrate our prayers for Senegal where a couple of Italian/Canadian missionaries we support are working to reach out the Konyagi tribe.

We'll also pray for Bulgaria. Last week we had a special meeting where Ester Montefalcone, the Director of Youth for Christ Italy, presented the church a short mission trip that she led with a group of Christians in their 20's/30's in Bulgaria to support the work YfC is doing in Yambol.
We'll pray specifically for the work amongst Gipsies and street kids and for the training projects will happen in the centre the group renovated.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Christianity Explored - Digging in the Gospel of Mark

Tonight we'll continue the Christianity Explored Course
with a lovely couple from Sasso Marconi Church who lives in San Lazzaro.

Tonight we'll deal with Mark 6:1 to 8:29 focusing primarily on Mark 8:17-29 and to why Jesus had to die on the cross.

"For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Azione Biblica Camp Reunion & Sunday Service

Today we'll be in Turin for the Azione Biblica (Bible Action) Camp Reunion.

It will be great to see all the kids that came to the camp on the Alps we helped this summer.

We'll have an afternoon of games from 4 to 5.30 pm and then Stefano will give a talk on
Matthew 13:31-35 about Explosive Growth & Intensive Transformation, challenging kids to see that they are God's agents in their families, schools and groups of friends.

On Sunday morning Stefano will preach to the main church of the Azione Biblica churches network in Turin.

The sermon will be from Hebrews 12:1-3 challenging Christians to keep our eyes fixed to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, so that we may not grow weary or fainthearted in our walk of faith and in our witness to the world.

This group of congregational churches in the Piedmont area,
have been founded by Hugh Edward Alexander (1884-1957),
a Scottish minister working most of his years in Switzerland.

Alexander was trained in as a minister in Glasgow and was highly influenced by the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival.

He launched missions to Switzerland, and was the founder of the
Geneva Bible Society, Geneva Bible School and Action Biblique.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

My Space - Sharing the Gospel with teens

Tomorrow afternoon we'll have a Rock Solid Bible Study with kids from our churches and from the summer camp.  We'll look at how we can be Faithful to our Father in this world and to shine for Him!

Missione 2012 Conference - 3rd day

This afternoon we had a really good time with Giulio and other teenagers who shared their experience evangelising other teens in Ireland last summer.

It was great to see Christian teens challenging other teens to reach out and bringing forward the Great Commission!

This evening we joint the main conference for the last talk of Patrick Johnstone, who challenged us to really think about: "What we are living for"
preaching from Matthew 24:14

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come". 
Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

Please do pray for tomorrow when we'll have our last session with the Under-18 group challenging them to think about Italy, their schools and friends as their mission field!

Missione 2012 Conference - 2nd day

Yesterday we had an amazing evening with the Under-18 group at the Missione 2012 Conference!

Indeed, we had a presentation about India from two of our friends that went there this summer for a short-mission trip organised by Claudia Pignatelli, director of WEC Italy.

Kids really enjoyed and responded well to the challenge of actively praying for the needs of this country!

This afternoon, we'll have a presentation about the YfC Project 32.

Project 32 connects young people from all over the world - training and serving in outreach programmes right across the island of Ireland.

This will be a unique seminar since we asked some teenagers that went there last summer to present their experience and vision.

In this way we'll have teenagers motivating other teenagers about mission and seeing themselves as an active part of the Great Commission.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Missione 2012 Conference - 1st day

At the moment, this is the "Missione Conference"
with most participants ever.

Many missions are present with seminars and at the Expo:
Open Doors, Archippo, Joni & Friends, Arab World Ministry, SIM, 9:37, Operation World, WEC, New Tribe Mission, OM, Youth for Christ,
All Nations, Latin Link, Agape, Porterbrook, Acts29, Compassion, and many more...

Kids writing "Mission" at the beach

Yesterday we had our first evening with the Under-18 group.

We have a really lovely group of 16 kids from
11 years-old to 17 years-old, some are Italians, some English and Americans and most of them are missionary kids.

 This morning we had a special seminar for them about the "Arabic Spring" and all what is happening in these days in the Muslim world.

It has been really encouraging to see them in little groups praying for countries such as: Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, Egypt and Lybia.

Zhoar, a Moroccan lady from Muslim background who became a Christian in Italy, shared her testimony and challenged them to reach out to their Muslim school-mates.

This afternoon Stefano will lead a seminar in the main program about reaching out in Italian High-Schools, challenging churches and Christians to feel the burden for this generation!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Missione 2012 Conference - Let's begin!

In a few hours we'll be at the 4th National Conference on Mission organized by Italian Ministries.

This year the main speaker is
Patrick Johnstone, director of
the European Base of WEC and author of the well-known book: Operation World.

The theme of this Missione 2012 Conference is: "Speranza per un Mondo in Crisi" (Hope for a World in Crisis)!
At the moment, there are more than 350 participants and we'll be in charge of the program for the under-18 years-old.
Stefano will also lead a seminar on the main session about reaching out in schools.

More updates will follow on the next days...

Patrick Johnstone was converted to Christ in 1959 during his first year as a student at Bristol University. He went to South Africa in 1962, completing his theological training at the Dorothea Mission Bible College in Pretoria. During his first six-year term on the field, Patrick served in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). It was during this time that he also began the work of gathering data about the world both to inform prayer and for the first editions of Operation World. The first printed booklet with that title, which came out in 1965, was just 30 pages long. The second edition appeared in 1973 and covered nearly every country of the world. It was reprinted several years later by Ralph Winter of the USCWM, and also prompted George Verwer to set in motion an OM-backed rewrite of the book for global distribution.

This was completed in 1978 and led to many openings for wider ministry. The impact of Operation World is incalculable. Over 2.5 million copies have been distributed around the world in seven editions and some 16 languages, and the book has played a key role in developing the global vision of African, Latin American and Asian missions. In 1978 Patrick become part of the leadership team of WEC International, a large pioneer church-planting mission. Patrick was long involved with the Lausanne Movement. During the 1980s, he was a member of the Strategy Working Group that helped to formulate many of the definitions for its ethno-linguistic peoplegroup databases.
Patrick and his wife now live in Cambridgeshire, England, where they currently serve as regional directors for WEC's European bases.