Lots of doors for ministry open through Italian public schools

Posted on April 5, 2012 by VMMissions Staff

When we put our boys into the public schools four years ago, we had some doubts and fears about what would happen. We heard some pretty bad stories about the schools and in our four years we have seen some episodes that remind us, “These are not American schools!”

The schools that our boys attend have become major areas of ministry for us. In the beginning, we were more of a curiosity and people talked to us but the conversations were shallow. As people learned that we were evangelicals, some moved away and closed doors because we were “different.”

Over the years though, there has been a shift. We have purposefully entered into the schools as volunteers and made it a practice to greet everyone with a smile. We wanted to show that being “different” was a good thing if it meant that you were following Christ’s instructions. This “different” way of doing things has made an impact and we are seeing doors open.

We help teach English in the middle school. This has been an open door to talk to and be a healthy example to youth that have few good adult role models to follow. We strive to be Christ-like to every parent that we meet and talk with. Many accept us being “different” now. They are willing to listen to what we have to say and do not look away when we talk about our faith and how it plays a part in our everyday lives.

Demonstrating the love of Christ and allowing people to see it, makes a difference where little else will. Carbonara is a tight, closed community where outsiders are not made to feel welcome. We have been allowed to enter not because of who we are, but because of who we have within us. Christ’s love is opening doors.

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Chris Riddle (upper left) and Melody Riddle (upper right) with students in the Carbonara school when their three children attend.

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