Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Brokenness of Roma
In the online course I am taking we are discussing the poor, what it means to be poor in light of scripture and who are the poor in the cities we are going to. My heart is once again beginning to break as I look afresh and anew at the poverty both spiritually and physically in Roma.
In my research I came across this blog Here is a small section that I think really highlights why I am desiring to go and be used by God...
The eternal city of Rome is a city full of life, a city rich in culture and history. Tourists flood the city every day huddling around the great triumphs of history: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Vatican city to name a few. Behind the glamor of fashion and the awe of ages past lies a city in poverty and spiritual emptiness. Latest estimates say that 25% of Italians are in poverty, and the government has few social programs and no long term answers. Spiritually the reality is worse. Much less than .01% are evangelical Christian. On the other hand immigrants see Italy as the land of opportunity, a place to start over, a place to raise a family and find work. When they arrive after risking everything they are met with the reality of a nation without jobs and severe discrimination. Because of this reality many turn to crime and prostitution to survive.
Though they are prejudiced against the immigrant population that streams into Italy from Eastern Europe and Bangladesh, they share the common struggle of poverty and hopelessness. We believe that the hope and love of Jesus is a cool drink of water that these people need. But at the same time they don't need just words, they need physical help.click here to see more images taken by a fantasic photographer that capture the other side of Roma
Friends it is so clear that the need is great in this city. Please continue to join me in prayer for the hearts of those living on the streets and in the hard parts of Roma.