A Visit with Gene
International Teams Missionary
Monday, November 9, 2009
I also serve to reconcile and link people and ministries in relational partnerships…
Through a friend in Minneapolis (Paul Higdon) I was introduced to the Coleman’s who serve with International Teams in the northeast part of Italy.
After waiting about an hour after arrival (I knew in advance this might be the case and I am used to a great deal of waiting) Gene came into the station to take me to lunch. It was only 11:30 and an unusual time to lunch in Italy (Italian’s usually have lunch at 1 or 1:30 and dinner hour might be as late as eight pm.) so he first took me out to what he called the “Sala”, an Italian word for assembly hall or meeting room.
He told me ahead of time that I would be impressed with their facility and I was! In Italy it is almost impossible to find and then obtain permission to publically gather. Some feel that this is intentionally meant to discourage evangelicals from organizing themselves and having a visible presence in any city.
The building which once served as an automobile repair service. The church were shown incredible favor by the owner who permitted this free-standing building to be put at the service of the local congregation for the measly sum of ??? Euro. We agreed that a similar location and space might run as much as four times this amount.
From here we went to the restaurant but being Monday (lunedi) when many stores are closed we landed upon a marvelous restaurant (you must go there) called Barrique Drag & Max Bar, Trattoria, Pizzeria. Here we had a long visit regarding our various journeys and decided that, indeed we are cut from the same cloth, serve the same Lord and share similar philosophies of what constitutes purposeful missionary work. In the three hours that we were together we covered most everything that two rather non-relational men can come up with in the length of time.
With various commitments to work in tandem, I was back to the trains and on my way to Venice to stay the night with Piero, Natasha and little Cristiano Pugiotto.