We are coming up on being in Italy for four years. If there is anything we could say that we have learned after four years, it is that we definitely don’t have the supernatural gift of tongues, and we are pretty positive we don’t even possess a natural gift for tongues; nevertheless, we continue to strive to succeed. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . .” It is interesting that when you want people to speak English, it is hard to find them, but when you want people to speak Italian, they reply in English. Sometimes I will stop to ask people directions in my best Italian, only for them to immediately reply in English. It seems to me that all mother-tongue English speakers, even if they are 100% fluent in Italian, have a very identifiable accent. Despite our lack of luster with the tongue, we continue to preach, teach, and witness every week in Italian. By the grace of God, His truth overcomes our handicaps.
Please continue to pray for the well-meaning, blind people who follow the Watchtower. After about two hours of explaining their doctrine by exhausting all the Watchtower resources, Massimo admitted that the use of Jehovah in the New Testament is not based on sense but on context, which is determined by their doctrine. In other words, it was translated based on doctrine and not on the very words that existed. Even with this admission, he clings to the hope that the translators of the New World Translation loved God enough and did a good job with their decisions. John Carlo has been coming to study the Bible with me alone, which, for a Jehovah’s Witness, is rare; and he has been humbly asking for me to shew him why we believe Jesus is God. We recently compared the four similarities that the Watchtower claims makes Jesus equal to Michael the archangel, with over 130 similarities that Jesus has with God. He admitted that there were some very strong comparisons that he wanted to research further. Even if Jehovah’s Witnesses do not convert a lot of people, they still have a huge impact on the Italian people. I have been trying to get a lady from my language studies to come to church. She has asked me about five different times if I am a Jehovah’s Witness. I have encouraged her every time that we are not and explained the differences, but she still thinks that possibly we are Jehovah’s Witnesses, just trying not to say so openly. Phillipe is a fine Brazilian young man who has recently been coming to our church. I had the opportunity to clearly explain the Gospel to him one Tuesday morning. He comes from a Pentecostal church, and there is some confusion in his beliefs. I have sent some files on salvation for him to read in Portuguese and something I have written to help Charismatics. Pray that the people in Italy would come out of the darkness and into His glorious light.
We are ending the year evaluating our failures and successes and pressing on into the new one with new goals and new opportunities to lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to help others worship God in spirit and truth. December to April is always the busiest and most productive time of the year for our church, as we celebrate Christmas, our church anniversary in February, and then Easter. Please pray for our church people who have problems beyond my understanding and limited wisdom. Together we are all seeking God’s guidance and aid.
Missionaries to the people of Italy,
Christopher, Amy, William, & AnnMarie Yetzer