A few weeks ago we got to take our first team trip to Northern Italy to bring some people together to pray, dream and believe with God for what He is wanting to do in this beautiful nation.
We gathered with 21 of us over the course of 2 weeks in 2 different locations. The first week we got to spend a lot of time in Aosta, hearing about the history of the region, opportunities for Outdoor Adventures, Global Mission and Local Impact. While initially our focus has mostly been on the region of Aosta we started getting feedback that has lead us to also consider and visit Trentino.
After a week in beautiful Aosta we drove up to Trentino in order to spend the second and for some of us third week there. The following day we visited a local church where we got to introduce ourselves at the end of the service, and much to our surprise we were met by 2 other mission groups that are both just starting in the same region as well! One of them came up to us and he said, “we’ve just spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to set up a non-profit organisation, we have learned many lessons, and we just want you to know we’re here to serve you guys.” What an answer to prayer! We’ve literally been praying for someone that has this knowledge and expertise and would be willing to share that with us as we’re building these important first step foundations.
After we got back home we had a lot of prayer and processing to do about more of the specifics of where God is leading us and we felt to start zooming in on the Trentino region for a number of reasons.
- Trentino is known as the Number 1 Outdoor Adventure region of Italy, which is a theme we would like to use for our future mission training as well as outreach.
- Italy’s Number 1 university is in the city of Trento, and obviously that is where our youthful audience will be.
- There is a rich spiritual history dating back to the Reformation and the Counter Reformation
Our new friends that we met at the local church were quick to add a 4th reason:
- Trentino seems to be one of the regions that are most welcoming for new non-profits
Other than lots of meetings with local connections, making new friends in the different areas, prayer walks, worship times and dreaming with God we simply just went out and enjoyed the beauty of the city of Trento, the best meals ever, a few incredible hikes in the mountains, cold swims and cliff jumping in the alpine lakes, and some of us watched the IFSC World Championship in Arco.
Lots more to share like some exciting news about a potential location, but we’ll keep it short for now. Besides all of this we are working on a smooth transition of responsibilities in YWAM Amsterdam and we’re preparing for good closure with this community that we’re going to miss terribly. More to follow soon…