. It was out of some team members' comfort zones but everyone gave it their best. The first half of the day went well for everybody. We were able to have some decent conversations with the students. Helen and Chris, for example, had a 30-minute conversation with two students and then an hour-long talk with another two students. We discussed school, language, family, music and movies (they really liked that part), and then "religion." They were friendly and even gave us their names and email and facebook information. They were very critical of Catholicism, accepting of evangelicals, and basically said they were totally uninvolved in church or "religion." It was difficult to get much further in terms of sharing the gospel. We encouraged a Greek student to read the Bible. We also were able to give them Cortney's card and we gave Cortney their info, so please pray that the connection happens and they come to Cortney's dialogue session. That is where relationships will be built and the gospel presented. We hope we too will get to share more truth with the students as the week goes on. The second half of the day did not produce the same good results as the first half but we did make a few connections that could produce fruit.
Everybody wants to know about the food so here goes. Great pasta dishes for lunch at the university and chicken and potatoes for dinner (bought "on the street" and enjoyed on the hotel patio). But the highlight of the day food-wise was the dessert afterwards...and it wasn't gelato (though we did have some amazing white and dark chocolate gelato earlier in the day). It was a warm pastry stuffed with a white and dark chocolate sauce that oozed out all over your fingers as you ate it. You may want to be on the team next year just to eat that!
Tonight we had a devotion on the supremacy of Christ from Colossians 1 and planned for tomorrow's ministry. On Tuesday we will spend half of the day at the university in teams of two like we did on Monday. The second half will be in a neighborhood teaching English to children and playing basketball. Pray that we will take advantage of opportunities to share Jesus with those we meet.
Monday's focus was a major university in the heart of Naples. Our task was to find the places where students hangout and then engage them in conversation with the goal of inviting them to English-Italian dialogue session with missionary Cortney. Cortney is a short-term missionary who basically is the Kelly James of Naples. She has to discover creative ways to reach this campus for Christ. It is a huge job because no students live on campus. Most live in or around Naples. They come in for the day, attend class (which actually is optional!), take exams, and visit with frends. There is no campus ministry and yet there are nearly 100,000 students - yes, actually 99,000+ - and no ministry exists. So enter Cortney. She has decided to start in an area where many students are studying language. Most we found actually were learning two languages. Can you imagine figuring out both English and Russian or English and Chinese at the same time? Cortney wanted us to go to an area - almost like an outdoor food court - and strike up conversations