As the old saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome.” It is therefore no surprise that this city is ground zero for some of the most significant events unfolding in our time. European society is facing incredible new challenges in the current immigration crisis, with hundreds of thousands arriving in Europe from some of the most unreached places on Earth. We believe that this challenge is also represents an unprecedented opportunity for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
In collaboration with several ministries and churches, we operate a day care for refugees in Rome. The center is a place where refugees are welcomed with dignity and care and treated as people created in the image of God who can contribute to the common good. We set up a room with tables, chairs, pencils and paper where refugees can enjoy tea and cookies, play games, engage in meaningful conversations and receive informal lessons in Italian and English.
Each time the center is open, we receive between 40 and 70 refugees, mostly from the Middle Eastern countries. As we begin to get to know them, we intentionally seek to engage them in spiritual conversations which point them to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. There are also Bibles and other evangelistic materials available in the refugees’ languages that they can read or take away.
This past November we had the privilege to travel to Rome, Italy to work with Brian and Jenni Evans. We participated in many activities. But the main reason for going was to work with the refugees in Rome. The Evan’s operate the Christian Refugee Outreach Center (CROC). It is a place where refugee’s come to learn English, Italian, or just get out of the weather and have a hot cup of tea. Rome has four different seasons, and with that, there can be some really bad weather. From snow, to sleet, to rain, or just plain heat, Rome has it all. So the CROC opens its doors for any refugee’s that want to enter. While they are there, the refugees can play games, read, or just talk. May times the conversation opens to Spiritual matters. This gives Brian and Jenni the opportunities to share Christ.
Due to Rome having such diverse weather patterns, It gives way for a tremendous ministry opportunity. ACTS was able to partner with the CROC and distribute “Winter Clothing Bags” in December.
In each of the bags the refugees received a winter coat, sweatshirt, hat, gloves, scarf, “long-johns” (top and bottom), socks, and Scripture cards with questions in each bag. In taking care of their physical needs, it gives Brian and Jennie on opportunity to talk to them about their Spiritual needs. Pictured below is Brian, Soran, and Jenni. Soran has been coming to the CROC and was so thankful for the gift that was given to him.
It was a great joy to be able to go to Rome and see where Brian and Jenni are serving. Also, it was a blessing to serve along with them in the various ministries that they are involved in. They are doing a great work by reaching so many refugees at the CROC. We thank the Lord that we are able to partner with the Evans.