By God’s grace we safely arrived in Milan after successfully catching the train from Zurich.  Sam Fiore and Michael Schaafsma welcomed us in typical Milano fashion: with a cappuccino. 

Joan Fiore and Nina Schaafsma met us at the Schaafsma home, and we enjoyed a fabulous Italian meal with them.  We immediately caught up on ministry matters, and the fellowship was even better than the food (which is saying something, don’t get me started on real Parmesian cheese and legit prosciutto).

After dinner we shared the encouragement cards from GPBC with both families, and we all were brought to tears.  God’s timing, as usual, was perfect.  The strength of past relationships with the saints at Green Pond was evident.  The body of Christ truly is worldwide.

The two churches we will be with here are called Punto Lode (Point of Praise) and Punto Luce (Point of Light).  These churches are lead by a plurality of elders, with Sam and Michael providing pastoral leadership for each.

One remarkable fact: only 7% of the population of Milan were born here.  It’s a city of immigrants both from within Italy and outside of Italy.  Punta Lode is a church family made up of Italians, Peruvians, Romanians, Brazilians, and recently Nigerians, to name a few.  God has brought the nations to Milan, and as a result of the ministry of the Fiores and Schaafsmas the gospel is being exported to some of these nations. 
After dinner Michael read Colossians 1 and we had some impromptu worship time, which was a great way to end a loooong day of travel and a great evening of Christ centered fellowship.  

More ministry updates to come.  Needless to say, God has sent us to the right place at the right time.  Please continue to pray for the Fiores and Schaafsmas as they minister.

Ryan serves as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is married with four children.

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