At the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) North West England Conference in March, Pastor Mike Judge of Chorlton Evangelical Church took us back to Acts 16.
Here, Paul and his friends were led to preach the gospel for the first time on mainland Europe. Through them people were converted and churches planted, and God continues that work through his people in Europe today.
We heard first from Pastor Antonio De Noia of his work in Peschici, Italy. Along with his regular ministry in his own area, his church has a book table in the town square on Sunday afternoons, providing opportunities for open-air preaching and personal conversations. New Testaments in various languages are left in the Peschici Museum for tourists and locals to take for free.
Three people have become Christians through the church’s food distribution programme to needy families, with Christian literature and invitations to services included with food given.
Mr De Noia told us that the number of Reformed Baptist Churches like his has now grown to 12 in Italy, but there is still much work to be done throughout the whole country.
The second missionary speaker was Yuriy Vyshnevs’kyy, who is an elder in the Russian-speaking fellowship at East London Tabernacle Baptist Church (ELT), London and an associate member of EMF.
It is estimated that there are approximately 200,000 Russian speakers in London and 70-80 attend the Russian speaking service at ELT on Sunday mornings. A Russian children’s Sunday school is made up of 95 per cent of children from outside the church fellowship.
The fellowship supports a married couple working in Russia and are involved in running a night shelter for homeless people in east London.
The final speakers were students from this year’s EMF School of Biblical Studies: Josiah (Leicester, UK); and Josef and Ivana (Czech Republic). All three gave their testimony. Join us in praying that, as with Lydia the first convert in Europe, the Lord will open the hearts of many in Italy, the Czech Republic and the UK, and elsewhere in Europe, as the gospel message is faithfully proclaimed.