Saturday, August 13, 2011
Last week we visited a nearby city of about 50,000 people called Porvoo. It's a city that's mostly Swedish or Finnish speaking with very few immigrants living there. Our church has had amazing times of outreach there over the past few years and we decided to spend a few hours there just enjoying the city. After eating some sushi at a local restaurant, one of the crazy Americans who was visiting us here in Finland, Ruth Caron, decided we should kick around a soccer ball randomly in the park at 9:30 pm. So we did. As we were talking and playing, two young guys approached us cautiously. "Can we play with you?" they said in English with an obviously foreign accent. We replied with a yes and started to talk with them as we booted the ball around. As we spoke, they told us that they are two high school kids from Italy, one from Naples and one from Palermo. They are living in Porvoo, Finland for one month as a part of a English course that is run by an international organization. They just so happened to be the only Italian students studying in that program that were sent to this little city, the rest were sent to Helsinki, about 30 of them. They had been walking around the town receiving only cold looks and laughs from the "natives" and were about to go home before they found us in the park. We ended up talking with them for almost 2 hours and discussed many things including religion and the Gospel. They were very open and invited us to come visit them in Italy.
As we drove home we all were amazed how random the night seemed but also how Divine the appointments are that God puts in our lives. Italy is a place that is been on my heart for many years, not only because I am a citizen but because I feel it's an open door for the gospel, especially the southern parts and Sicily. Maybe these two guys will be the next P. Scibelli's... who knows?... He does.
Posted by Mat Laflamme at 8:42 PM