The Obligatory World Cup Entry

It seems wrong to be writing about a move to Italy, and exploring what it will be like to live in Italy, without at least acknowledging the World Cup. I only wish that I was writing this before they flamed out, since I much prefer an upbeat post to a depressing one. I feel like I should be honest here: I have never before cheered for Italy. Dunno why. I never had anything against their team, but just couldn’t make cheering happen. (Unless, of course, they were playing France, but that is a “lesser of two evils” situation.) But now that they are out, and in such sorry fashion, I’m surprisingly disappointed. Guess Italy is making its mark on me already.

We have a thought to pass along, sent to us in an email from our friend Francesco, currently working in the incredible city of Parma. We had mentioned to him that many people struggle to see why Italy is a mission field important enough and needy enough to deserve their support, financial and otherwise. I don’t mean that we are receiving opposition to our desire to be missionaries in Italy. Far from it.

But the amount we are aiming to raise is a significant amount of money, so it’s important to know that it’s been used in a good way. We mentioned this to Francesco. His reply:

“If I show you thousands
of poor people dying you would give money immediately, but I can’t show you
millions of spiritually poor people, although they are there and are dying
every day…”

We measure poverty in dollars and cents, medical care and education. But how do we measure spiritual poverty? The only way that missions in Italy make any sense is if spiritual poverty-though impossible to measure and difficult to observe-actually matters.