June 13, 2010

Light and Sound

Posted in Trek through Italy at 3:41 PM by goingbeyondzebra

I told you I would be back with more.

I experienced my first Italian church today. It was rather different than the structured, organized services we have in America! First of all, there was no official “pastor”, instead the church (at least the one I went to, which was not Catholic in case you were wondering)  is kind of run by a group of elders. Just about anyone can get up and speak during the service from what I understand , or start praying, or yell out a song they think we should sing. They also hold communion every week, with real wine I might add (talk about an interesting surprise).

The service started off  with someone telling the congregation about the Georgia team that is visiting for the week, and then we all sang the song Blessed Be Your Name, first in English then in Italian. It was very interesting getting to hear/read it in both languages! The rest of the service was conducted entirely in Italian. I could understand a little bit of it since some of it is similar to Spanish, and Mrs. Susan was also trying to help us English-speakers out by giving us some translation of what was being said. There is no real structure to the service, as I mentioned earlier, so one person would get up and speak, and then there may be a pause of nothing for a few minutes, then maybe we would sing a song, or someone would start praying, and then another person might get up and speak, etc. etc. Altogether about three different men spoke, we sang several songs (some of which had English versions that I knew, so I could kind of follow along), we had communion, and there were lots of prayers.

One interesting thing that Mrs. Susan pointed out later was that most of the lessons and songs revolved around how God is the Light and how we are to be the light of the World as well. This was all done without any kind of coordination whatsoever, it was just completely Spirit led, since everything was prepared before hand by individuals who didn’t communicate beforehand. Isn’t it amazing how things can work out so smoothly when you let God be in control of the details?

Another cool note that Mr. Barry, who is one of the people from Georgia, brought up was about music. He said that singing the song in English and then in Italian, and being able to recognize the tunes of several songs, really opened his eyes up to the power of music. Because of the music, he was able to understand the meaning of the songs and worship, even though he didn’t know the actual language in which they were written. For him, it created an even greater worship experience as he realized that music really is a universal language which can be used to communicate across cultures, languages, and oceans. What a great connection to make!

We also had a meeting today about the camps that are going to take place here this week, the Sports Camp and English Camp (which is why the Georgia team is here). So here are some requests you can be praying for as we head into the new week:

1. That the weather will be whatever God needs it to be to accomplish the most for Him (Mr. Harrell brought this one up)

2. That we will all be able to communicate clearly and effectively in a manner of love, praise, and respect (praise for one’s accomplishments doesn’t come in high supply here).

3. For all the helpers to maintain strength, health, and peace as they do this work for their Lord.

4. For God to be preparing the hearts of those who will be attending the activities to hear about His love.

5. That everyone will have a safe and terrific time, and that all will walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation for other cultures and for their Creator!

Thank you all for your prayers and support. That’s all I have for now, so I hope you have a terrific Sunday! Farewell!




  1. Sharon Cogburn said,

    Very interesting to hear about the church service.

  2. interested reader said,

    So how did that Boy friend of yours end up doing in his race?

  3. Linda Stankovich said,

    Wow! I would love to have been there! Don’t you think that worship service may have been very much like the early church meetings? Cool! Robin, I knew you were a “foodie”, so it sounds like you are in “hog heaven”! I hope I will be invited for one of your Italian dinners when you get home! Can’t wait to hear all of your stories. I pray the Lord will let you have the joy of seeing Him at work in and through you during this great adventure.

  4. Angie Spradlin said,

    Thanks for sending your blog address in your letter! It’s always fun to receive updates at the end of a trip, but even more exciting to receive updates throughout the trip. I can’t wait to read more!!!

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