Stefano & Jennifer Mariotti

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church-planting in Budrio, Italy

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Friday, 30 May 2014

TEAM IMPATTO - 30 May -2 June

From this evening to Monday morning we'll have the first "Team Impatto" meeting of Acts29 church-planters and church-leaders in Bologna.

This evening we'll have a time to get to know with each other as there will be about 30 people, led by Jonathan Gilmore, country coordinator for Impatto (A29 in Italy).


On Saturday we'll have meetings in the afternoon in
Nuova Vita church where Steve Timmis, newly appointed Global director of Acts29, will speak on Gospel-centred ministry and intentionality.

On Sunday as ImpattoABudrio church-plant we'll join the service in Nuova Vita where Steve Timmis will preach.

On Sunday afternoon and Monday morning there will be more informal time to connect church-planters operating in Italy and an envisioning time for Impatto-Acts29 Italy!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Exch@nge Budrio leafleting for the Middle School











Tomorrow morning at 7.30am we'll be at the
Middle-School in Budrio leafleting for the
Exch@nge English Sport Summer Camp of July!

Join us in prayer that many kids will come to this camp to hear the Gospel in a meaningful way!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tim Keller in Rome

Tomorrow Stefano with a group of pastors and church-planters from Bologna will go to Rome for a day conference with Tim Keller.

Tim Keller is the founding pastor
of Redeemer Presbyterian Church
in Manhattan, New York.
Keller is Chairman of Redeemer City to City, which starts new churches in global cities, and publishes books and resources for faith in an urban culture.
In the morning we are invited to a conference held in Palazzo Madama,
in the Senate of the Republic, a house of
the bicameral Italian Parliament.

In this meeting Keller will present the  
New York Times bestselling book  
The Reason for God which has sold over
1 million copies and been translated into
15 languages including Italian.

Then we'll attend a lunch held in the Breccia di Roma church, a church-plant connected with the Redeemer
City to City network, where Tim Keller will interact
with Italian church-planters and church leaders with a church-planting vision.

In the afternoon we'll attend the conference organized in Rome central university
La Sapienza by IFES and Campus Crusade.
In this meeting Keller will interact with
Uni students on the topic of belief in an
age of skepticism.

Pray for all these meetings that they will be opportunities to challenge Italian political authorities to a real faith in Christ, Italian churches towards a church-planting vision, and Italian Christians to a missional calling!


Monday, 26 May 2014

Exch@nge Budrio leafleting for the High School


Tomorrow morning at 7.30am we'll be at the High-School in Budrio leafleting for the Exch@nge English Sport Summer Camp of July!
Join us in prayer that many kids will come to this camp to hear the Gospel in a meaningful way!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Week-end seminary & Sunday Service in Abbiategrasso Church (Milan)


Tomorrow Stefano will be to the Brethren Chapel of Abbiategrasso, a town next to Milan.

In the afternoon & evening Stefano will speak to a group of Youth Leaders, Summer Camps Organizers and parents in a series of seminars on Understanding & Engaging TeeN Culture & on how realise a Biblical Contextualisation to present the Gospel in a meaningful way to the new generation.


To challenge the church to engage with the TeeN Culture we'll analyse two recent successful products of our culture:
The Lady Gaga song
"Born this Way" &
the series of books/movies
"The Hunger Games".

The idea is to work though these products in order to understand their world-view, concept of salvation/redemption and "the question behind the question" to which Christ is the only answer!

On Sunday morning, Stefano will preach from Isaiah 53:1-7 connecting with The Hunger Games.
We'll see how Jesus' atoning sacrifice for us is far greater than Katniss for her sister Prim. His substitutionary atonement it's not like of someone be ready to lay his life for a loved one, in His death we saw the death of death, and in His resurrection we can now be healed and have eternal peace with God!




Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Planning a service project for the Community & Neighborhood Fitness Walking Group

Today we'll have an exciting day to live out our faith in the Budrio community!
This afternoon we'll meet with Luisa, Budrio's vice-Major,
to define our summer Service Project at the end of the Exch@nge Summer Camp in July
This evening we'll join a Neighbours Fitness Walking Group.


At the end of the last Budrio for Budrio Community Meeting, on behalf of the town-hall, Luisa expressed the need of repainting the classrooms of the local middle-school,
but due to the crisis they had enough funds for materials but not to pay workers, so they were looking for volunteers.
We volunteered to do it on Saturday the 12th of July at the end of our Summer Camp for teens, and last week the town-hall has approved this project.


Our aim will be to involve together our community of the ImpattoABudrio church-plant, the American team from Texas along with Italian kids and their parents!
We are so amazed by the doors the Lord is opening for us if we only think that two years ago the principal of this school refused us to run our Youth for Christ programmes!


This evening at 8.30pm we'll join for the first time a local Neighbourhood Fitness Walking Group in the medieval streets of Budrio!

This it's a great way to meet some new local people in our community while doing something we all enjoy and it's also good
for our health.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Soli Deo Gloria - Interdenominational prayer meeting for Bologna in San Lazzaro Church

This evening we'll join in San Lazzaro Church the Soli Deo Gloria - Interdenominational prayer meeting.

This monthly prayer meeting is organised in various Italian cities
by Kurt Jost, a Swiss-German missionary that operates in Italy working specifically with
literature and evangelism.

This is a really good opportunity for local churches to meet together to pray specifically for the Bologna Area.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Impatto A Budrio joint service in San Lazzaro Church

Tomorrow morning
as ImpattoABudrio church-plant we'll have
a joint service with
San Lazzaro church.

It will be great for us as a small group of Christians to meet with a bigger local church supporting our missional work in Budrio!

Tomorrow morning Chris Brown, director of  IFES Bologna, will preach from 1 Corinthians 1:17-30.
We've been so encouraged in seeing the Lord's hand when Chris has been recently elected as new elder in San Lazzaro in taking Stefano's role when the church released us for the church-planting work in Budrio.
Chris will continue this church shared series as a follow-up of the work done during the Bologna Bible School in March when, alongside other churches in Bologna, we had a full-immersion on 1 Corinthians.
Stefano has also been asked to take part in preaching in this series, and this it will continue to strengthen the fellowship between our churches.

After the service we'll have a traditional Italian fellowship lunch all together!

Friday, 16 May 2014

#SCHIAVITÙ #IMPATTO #ITALIA Conference on Human Trafficking

Tomorrow evening from 7.30pm there will be an amazing conference organized by
Vite Trasformate in Nuova Vita Church.

Vite Trasformate – Transformed Lives 
(from freedom to transformation) is a gospel-centered ministry to reach those trapped in prostitution in Italy. 
Many thousands of women are on the sidewalks in Italy every single night, most 
of them are victims of human trafficking.

The goal is to inform and challenge Christians and churches to the # Impatto (Impact) we are called to have in # Italia (Italy) facing the plague of # Schiavitù (Modern day Slavery).
The Conference will take the form of a presentation / panel discussion on the topic of human trafficking in our society with three main speakers:

Dr. Beth Wheaton, Professor of Economics and Senior Lecturer Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
Beth holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Temple University, and an M.S. in International Business and Trade from Grambling
State University. Beth is a researcher on the subjects of child labor,
the economics of human trafficking, and the economics of capital punishment.

Dr. Beth Wheaton is most vocal about the fact that you don't need a title, unlimited time or abundant money to change the world.

Charles Lamento, Lawyer and Senior Law Lecturer Anglo-American University Law Faculty, Prague.
Charles is an accomplished lawyer devoted to legislative lawyering and the formation of public policy, with an exceptional background in handling legal issues that affect the international business community.
He is a solicitor in England & Wales and licensed to practice law in the United States and Director of GHNI’s Criminal Law Policy Center in Geneva Switzerland and senior law lecturer at Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Anne Abok, born in Nigeria, is the director at Media Village Africa in Cape Town, that equips Christians in new media. Anne and her husband also founded Media Village in Nigeria. In addition to teaching and serving as a missionary, Anne is a film producer, screenwriter and editor who uses media, like her film 'Europe in my Heart', to educate and advocate around social issues like human trafficking and prostitution. Anne is the International Director of MeCAHT (Media Campaign Against Human Trafficking) and one of the founders of The Treasure Project 
(a ministry to people caught in prostitution and trafficking).


One of the question asked to the panel will be about # bringbackourgirls the 273 School girls  kidnapped on April 15th from the Chibok Government Secondary School by Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria: "Can you tell us more about the situation with the more than 250 Nigerian girls who were stolen a few weeks ago? We know they were taken as sex slaves. What is the national and international community doing about this?"

As Impatto A Budrio, we strongly support this ministry in Bologna, Italy and Europe, and we are so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to help them in a small way. Indeed we'll appreciate your prayers for Stefano as he will do simultaneous translation for the panel interviews.


Porterbrook - Campus Bologna plenary session

Tomorrow from 3.30 to 7.00 pm
we'll have the plenary session for
students of foundation and advanced years of Porterbrook - Campus Bologna.

This meeting will be held in
San Lazzaro Church and we expect about
15 students for the foundation years and
15 for the advanced years.


The Foundation Year 1 students will interact with these modules:

The first module is Gospel Community,
led by Gianpaolo Aranzulla, pastor of Forte Torre.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. A devoted community (Romans 12:9-10)
5. A zealous community (Romans 12:11)
6. A patient community (Romans 12:12)

The Christian life is to be lived in the context of community on display to the world.
Taking Romans 12 as its key text, this course will help you learn what Christian community should look like and how it is rooted in the gospel. Through the course you’ll be challenged to think about your own role in the church and be helped to build community on mission around the gospel.


The second module is Evangelism,
led by Stefano Mariotti, co-pastor of ImpattoABudrio.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. Talking about God
5. Presenting the gospel
6. Introducing to Christian community

When Jesus captivates hearts, and lives are shaped by the gospel, evangelism happens far more naturally and frequently in everyday conversation. This course doesn't teach techniques but a gospel view of everyday life to help Christians help non-Christians to understand the gospel. It gives us a big vision of Jesus and teaches us the benefits of doing evangelism as part of a church community that lives ordinary life with gospel intentionality.


The Advanced Year 2 students will interact with this module:

The module is Pastoral Care Part One,
led by Mark Brucato, co-pastor of Nuova Vita.

In this session, students will interact with these units:
4. Pastoral care and secular counselling models: part1
5. Pastoral care and secular counselling models: part2
6. A biblical understanding of the problem: part1
7. A biblical understanding of the problem: part2
8. A biblical understanding of change: part1
9. A biblical understanding of change: part2

All Christians have a responsibility to pastor one another by speaking the gospel in love.
This course gives us a biblical definition of pastoral care, interacts with secular approaches to helping others and outlines a biblical approach to change.
It sets the foundation for Pastoral Care Part Two.

Italian Ministries - General assembly

Tomorrow we'll be at the G.A. of Italian Ministries hosted in Bologna by Nuova Vita church.

Stefano & Jennifer are part of this network. In the years we really appreciated their practical support in helping us entering in the complicated Italian fiscal framework which doesn't really contemplate the positions of pastors, church-planters and missionaries.
We not only value their ethical approach to respect and honour the law of the land, but we also appreciate the vision of IM to network together missionaries and mission agencies operating in Italy and to challenge Italian churches to send Italians in mission both nationally and abroad.

Italian Ministries is a network formed by believers engaged in mission, recognized and sent out by local churches. Exists as a context for community and provides a common identity. IM seeks to do all it can to ensure and encourage its members in mission and provides varied support structures to assist them. Currently over 100 missionaries, from more than 20 mission agencies identify with the network. IM also presents and develops a missional vision to the churches in Italy.
Tomorrow we'll have a time of envisioning, financial reports and election of the new Board.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Budrio for Budrio - Community meeting - some thoughts


Yesterday evening as ImpattoABudrio we
went at the first meeting organized by the town hall to connect all the associations operating
in Budrio's community.


It was great to sit next to some people who are very active locally we are getting to know, and that there were even more we still have to connect with. We were excited also to see the Impatto/Acts29 logo next to some historical ones.



Giusy Parisi
The meeting was introduced by the major Giulio and the vice-major Luisa and led by Giusy Parisi, social worker, sociologist and professional counsellor. We were challenged by the language used as conveyed so many of the ideas we are confronting in our studies with Porterbrook, such as: "We need to build a new narrative towards a city built by a common vision and multi-participation", "We need to rethink our life moving from a group of disconnected 'islands' to an 'archipelago' of connected individuals".
As a 'new' reality in Budrio we felt really welcomed and we desire to contribute to the 'welfare of the city' by living out God's Word and proclaiming Jesus' message of salvation and redemption in an increasingly fragile, vulnerable and broken society.

We also had the opportunity to talk with the vice-major Luisa and she's willing to explore the possibility of involving us for painting the "Quirico Filopanti" middle school 
(where we had The Cage on Thursday), 
during the 'service project' we are planning for Saturday the 12th of July at the end of the Exch@nge Summer Camp. Please pray that the Lord will open even this door!

"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."
 Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Budrio for Budrio - Community meeting

This evening we've
been invited as ImpattoABudrio to
the very first meeting organized by the social services to connect all the associations operating in Budrio's community.


This evening citizens, associations and institutions will come together at a round table to share visions and experiences in order to initiate a process of analysis and thinking for sustainable responses to the needs of our community in Budrio. 


We are very excited as a young church-plant to be an active part of this experience, and even more to see all the doors our Lord is opening in Budrio.

Anna, the head of the social services in Budrio is really open with us. 

Last week she invited Stefano and Ester
the national director of YfC Italia, to have a lunch with her at the "family house" for teens that for various reasons have been taken away from their families by the tribunal.
We had a great time meeting all the staff there and some of the kids back from school and on Tuesday afternoon they brought 3 boys to our tournament for the Cage at the Sport Centre in Budrio.
They'll like to send their kids to our summer camp but they don't have the finances, so we'll try to see what we can do. We'll keep you updated on that!

The Cage Soccer Outreach Day 4







This morning the Nomad team will be 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 invites us with her classes.

The team that will have also the opportunity to interact with kids in a lesson on prejudices, please pray that the Lord will guide them in sharing Jesus with these Italian teens.


In the afternoon the team will head to Tuscany to run outreach projects in Florence and in Prato.

Thanks ever so much (from left) to Michael, Grace (Nomad)
Paolo (Italian leader for The Cage ministry of YfC Italia),
Kaity (Nomad), Marchino (YfC Boogna) and Giulio (Nomad and future intern for YfC Bologna),
you have been so instrumental for our outreach for the church-plant ImpattoABudrio.


We'll pray for your ministry in Northern Ireland and your future steps for the Lord!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Cage Soccer Outreach Day 3








Yesterday we spent the whole morning
at the "Canedi" High School in Medicina,
a village about 10 miles from Budrio, which is part of the Budrio high school campus, but this it was only the second time they agreed to have one of our program in their school.

It was great to see there some of the kids who the previous day came to the tournament we organized at the Sport Centre in Budrio.

The girls from the Nomad team had an amazing opportunity to talk with a group of Muslim girl from Pakistan. In a friendly and sensitive way they were able to share their faith in Jesus and befriending these girls.

Giulio, the italian lad is doing a gap year with the YfC Nomad ministry in Northern Ireland, had a really good talk with a group of students just a year younger than him, challenging them to think about their immediate and eternal future!


Video @ the "Canedi" High School in Medicina


This morning we were at the
"Filopanti" middle school in Budrio.
It was great to see how the teachers
we got to know when we did the baseball clinic with the Arkansas team back in march, were so exited to have us back.

Kids really enjoyed playing soccer in the cage and stretching their English to interact with the Nomad team. 
We had two classes of about 25 kids each. 

With the first group Paolo, the Italian leader for The Cage ministry of YfC Italia, gave a talk challenging kids to keep on pressing with their studies and how for him it is only in Jesus that we can live a life worth living.

With the second group Grace, a missionary kid born in Italy with American/New Zealander parents, shared with kids how as a teen she was involved in bullying a girl and how Christ transformed her in repenting and befriending after with that girl.

Please keep praying for all the kids we met in these days that the Lord will work in their lives.

Video @ the "Q. Filopanti"Middle School in Budrio