Last year the Lord put it on my heart to travel to Italy for a short term mission trip. I had the privilege of going last year and it was a blessing to see how the Lord would grow me while using me and my story to reach the lives over in Italy. The deadline for the trip is little over two weeks from now and I have sucessfully raised the money for the airfare and half of the expenses needed for the in-country costs (housing, food, transportation, and supplies).
I come before you asking that you prayerfully consider donating towards this mission trip. We currently have a sister church in Milan, Italy called Il Refugio (The Refuge) and the goal of this mission trip is to build into the church helping them thrive on their own without the help of missionaries. The church is about 20 members strong. Not bad for a spiritualy dark country like Italy. However dark it may be there are signs that God is using this church (Acts 1:8) or in the words of the Pastor over there, their hope is to reach Milan, Turin, and all of Italy and to the ends of the Earth. In the last two years the church has gone from 5 members to about 20! The recent growth in the church is first of all credited to God but also the students we interact with on campus via the English Clubs!
The University in Milan is a melting pot of different ethnicities from all over Europe and parts of Asia. A lot of them are Italian and tend to be focused on finishing school...but that leaves them with virtually no social life...many of them don't have that many friends if any at all.
The situation in Italy is grim. Italians are taxed 50-60% of their income and everything they purchase has a 20% sales tax. They are not allowed more than 40 hours of work and can't have a second job to put them over that 40 hour threshhold. In short the younger generations are afraid to have kids and the jobs available are few at best. It could be said that parts of Italian culture could be gone within the next 15-20 years. Our hope is to encourage the church and the students in the truth of Jesus Christ so that they understand the hope that is promised to those who follow the Lord. There is a glimmer of hope for Italy, many Italians don't have a lot left to lose because their lives are so broken. The Lord can be the much needed light this country needs to be revived!
How we intend to reach Italy is by hosting English Clubs at the university in Milan. It gives the students there a chance to learn/practice their English skills with Americans. American English is more desirable in the business world over Brittish English...of which Brittish is the only form taught. We will host the club getting the students involved in fun activities, conversations, and sharing meals together all in English. Our hope is to get the students thinking about life. The more we build into the students and get to know them, the more opportunities we will get to share our stories and hopefully the Gospel! Like I said before Italy is very spiritual dark place. Although there is some catholic influence, it is mostly comprised of atheists, secular worldviews, witchcraft, and the occult. They are very open to talking about the Bible but remain very sceptical. The English clubs offer an opportunity to love on them and form much needed friendships. Through these friendships we will both learn about each other and hopefully it can lead into sharing the Gospel.
Please pray and consider donating. May God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful day! Sincerely, Nicholas Fink