My dear friend Amber is serving in Milano. Here is one of the things she said in her latest news letter. It is the the reflections of an Italian that she met when she was in Rome. This broke my heart and makes my desire to reach out to these people myself one day. This is what Amber wrote:

We walked into the
first Church and saw the massive,
gaudy statues and relics with
adorned embellishments from
floor to ceiling. I was instantly
sick to my stomach seeing how
this was a perfect distortion of the
gospel. In many way, Jesus is less
than God while Mary is more than
human. The picture of God
painted is of a cold, solely
transcendent being. The statues of
the disciples look like the same
statues of the gods, which causes a
person to think they must look like
that to come to God. This could
not be farther from the truth! The
Bible says God chooses the
second born over the first born. It
is through the resurrection we
have life rather than through the
passion we have sentiment. God
desires mercy, not sacrifice. It is a
broken and contrite heart that he
will not despise. He is everpresent,
not simply accessed
through a Basilica. I saw so many
from all over the world lighting
candles and weeping at the feet of
a statue of Mary because of their
dead family members. I saw no
peace, life or joy: only sorrow,
fear and death. I honestly was not
even able to appreciate the
beautiful architecture or art.
While my heart was full of these
thoughts, Lorenzo said, “See, this
is why I am an atheist. If the
Catholic Church sold everything
they have, they could end world
hunger. Plus, when I come here, I
don’t feel closer to God, I feel
farther away. I feel like I have to
look like one of these statues in
order to come to him. I also feel
like I can’t come to him unless I
am in this building. What about
people who can’t walk down the
street and see this building? The
Church has always been about
power, money, and control.
Nothing else. I know because I
come from 2,000 years of this
heritage.” We were obviously
overjoyed by the open door he
gave us to share about what the
gospel is really about and how it is
completely opposite from what is
seen here. We spent over an hour
talking with him in the Church and
then he later brought it up again
when were were at the Colosseum.
He responded very well and wants
to talk more. I have chatted with him
several times on facebook from here.
Please pray for Lorenzo as he is
just now hearing what the gospel
is truly about for the first time.

This was heart breaking and exciting as I read this in Amber's newsletter. It is these people who they are trying to reach!! Praise the Lord for open doors. Please pray for Lorenzo as they continue to share! :)