I’ve been in Italy for seven days, and in that week, I’ve spent most of my time with my jaw hanging slack as I snap picture after picture. At nearly every turn, there’s another postcard-perfect view. Frescos, sculptures, open air markets, interesting faces – my camera and I have loved each new city we’ve visited.
Not every view has been picturesque, though – far from it, in fact. As the heavy blows of the recent economic crisis have fallen across Europe, poverty and unemployment rates have risen in Italy, much like in other parts of the EU.
The issues are complex and multilayered. The marginalized are, like in many places, those who feel it the deepest. In the past seven days, I’ve seen many people who are crumbling under the weight of disenfranchisement just steps away from some of the most revered art and architecture in the world. That view has been striking and heartbreaking all at once.
In the midst of the hurting and suffering, though, I’ve seen pinpoints of hope and light – people who’ve dedicated their lives to reaching across social, economic, cultural, and language barriers to offer the message of Christ. These people are working to serve and love not just those who may look like they’re broken and in need of help, but also those who seem to be doing just fine to the rest of the world.
As an organization, we at Creating A Road Home are thrilled to come across such people, knowing that there are potential partnerships at every turn. Even more though, as followers of Christ, we are thrilled to come across such people, knowing that we are surrounded by people living out Jesus’ teachings day in and day out. Our brothers and sisters in Italy take Christ’s commands very seriously, and we’re so excited to see how we can partner with them to carry out the Great Commission.