An Amazing View. Project Italy.
The beauty of this city is breathtaking.
Every building, corner and alley is like poetry for the eyes. The smell of delicious food fills the entire city and is only thing with the power to distract you from the history that has taken place in, or been launched from, this city.
These streets witnessed the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the findings of Galileo, the expeditions of Americo Vespucci to the “New World”, and the Renaissance's most glorious creations.
Somehow, from this city more than once the world as we know it today has been re-shaped.
As with every project that we embark on, this one required a huge a leap of faith and the support of dozens of hearts like yours, that are committed to bridging the gap in order to share the stories of those serving in the nations.
The plane, train, and bus rides that brought me to Florence took a toll on me, but God had set me up for a Celebration for the ages!.
The friend hosting me had some acquaintances that were celebrating a birthday and the arrival of additional family members.
Somehow, my 32 hours of travel culminated in a rooftop party in downtown Florence. As my brain and body tried to acclimate to the new time zone, my heart couldn’t believe the view. Yes, the sunset over the Tuscans Hills were fantastic, but to be honest, the view that captured my heart was the one happening a few steps from me.
A community of 12-15 people from different nationalities were celebrating in that rooftop. All these souls were from very distant lands but somehow they ended up in this beautiful town, making a life there, and that afternoon God set them up around my friend, who is a believer, and who started a business in that town a year ago without knowing that her personal investment would transform into a kingdom expansion.
Over the last 25 years our world has been redefined.
The electronic communication, use of internet, and shifting uses of social media have affected the way we see, experience and do life.
This alteration has also permeated what we call "missions." A few decades ago, it was a daunting task just to reach people of certain nationalities where the gospel was completely banned. Today, globalization and migration movements are being set up by God to reach these same nations from our backyards…
Who would have thought that God would answer our prayers in such creative ways!
The nations are gathering in the big cities.
People from far away places are flooding to the big capitals of the world to gain access to education, work, and opportunities.
Their goal is to improve their personal quality of life, without ever suspecting that a divine appointment that will alter their eternity has already been set in place for them.
Take Ulrike, the friend whose business brought me to this beautiful area. Camera in hand, I got to sit with her as she described how she had recently acquired a Bed and Breakfast in Florence as an investment opportunity - and within a few months watched it become an investment in the Kingdom. As I listened to (and documented) her journey and the passion that God wove into her to serve others and to bless those who stay under her roof, I couldn’t stop thanking God for the creatives ways He moves among the nations.
Ulrike's detailed story about how she left what was familiar in United Stated to start a business in Florence, and her surprise as that business became a door through which God is sharing the gospel in this town, made me imagine how similar her experience was to Aquila and Priscilla, two other business people who overflowed with the presence of Jesus and took the light of the Gospel everywhere they went. What an amazing thought!
Then, as I ventured out into the streets of Florence to capture footage to give context to the interviews I would be taking, I constantly bumped into what I call “wanderers”. Hearts from every corner of the globe, speakers of languages that I've never heard, who were in the city for hours or maybe a season. I captured their awe at the sights of Florence and I pray that the dent that my friend and every ministry in Italy is making would be the tools that God uses to help those wanderers encounter the Real Beauty.
Throughout history, God has used the soil of Florence to stir the hearts of those with a thirst for "more."
As I looked for the right lighting, the exact corner, and the best angles for my videos, I couldn’t help but pray that this could again be the starting point for changes that affect the whole world - this time a Spiritual Renaissance birthed by large and small ministries that are willing to be used for God even when they didn't start out with that goal in mind!