Monday, May 12, 2008
Elim Conference Italy
The Elim Conference in Italy was hosted by Elim's President Giuseppe Piccolo (pictured here with his wife Antonietta) in Palermo, Sicily. This was the third occasion I had spoken at the Conference in recent years and it has become one of my favorite parts of Europe to minister in - not just because of the beauty of the landscape but because of the warmth of the people.
I spoke to the leaders and wives on five occasions during the time I was there and Marilyn spoke to to the women's meeting - a meeting that has such an impact it over-ran the time schedule as there were so many who requested personal ministry subsequently.
Phillip Niblett, who has ministered extensively throughout Italy in recent years, was present for the Conference and spoke with great effect at the Youth service.
On each of my visits my interpreter has been Luciana who is pictured here with me and her husband Giovani-baptiste. Apart from being police inspectors (Luciana is a chief inspector) they also joint pastor an Elim church in the north of Italy.
During the Conference there was a visit from a member of the Italian Government, the newly elected member of Parliament, Alessandro Pagano. He spoke eloquently and extensively about his Christian commitment and the need for a well articulated Christian voice and presence in the life of the country. I have heard many politicians speak during our services and he was by far the most impressive. My message during that service addressed the issue of integrity in church and State and we heard later that the text of it was to be added to his personal web site.
There is very much to be encouraged about in Elim Italy. They have fine leaders with a great hunger for God's best for their lives. I have just received an invitation to the the principle speaker at their Conference next year and am very much looking forward to being with them again.