Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

My photo

church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Arkansas Baptist School @ Budrio Day 4

Yesterday morning we've been with the team from Arkansas Baptist School at the biggest high-school in Bologna where everyday there are 2.000 + students.

In this school we have a long term friendship with one of the English teachers that always give us opportunities with her classes.
Yet this year more teachers came for the baseball clinic, so we had 3 classes and the team from Arkansas was able to present their drama and to share their testimonies.

In the afternoon we had a trip to Ferrara a mediaeval town about 1h from Bologna.
The team was challenged to think about the need for church-planting in Italy since in all the towns and villages between Bologna and Ferrara there are about 150.000 people living and no more than 4 churches.

In Ferrara we visited the mediaeval castle where lived Renee of France an 18yo Christian French lady married to the Catholic Duke a vassal of the Pope. The court of Renee became a safe place for Christians persecuted in Italy and Europe. In 1536, she gave refuge to the young John Calvin, who had just published his Institutes. Calvin helped Renee to grow in her faith and understanding of Scripture. She asked him to preach in the castle’s chapel (where we took this group picture), increasingly gathering many Italians hungry for the Word of God.

This caused a reaction from the Duke.  Calvin's presence became known to the Inquisition and he was arrested.   
Calvin was freed by Renee’s army in disguise and was somehow able to make his way to Switzerland. Renee was condemned to being confined in Este’s Castle and to formally abjure her faith. However, throughout her lifetime she maintained a close correspondence with Calvin who helped her in keeping her faith.

Today we are in Budrio's High School from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm. Please pray for many opportunities for kids to share their faith!