By Jorge Parrott (All Scriptures from NKJV)
‘There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on’ Jerry Lee Lewis wrote long ago. Italy has been shaking too, both in the natural and spiritual. The Lord often uses shaking to get our attention as we are forced to look beyond our own strength and understanding. In Hebrews 12:26-29 we see “Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our, God is a consuming fire.”
In Italy, the Catholic Church, headed by the Pope, is what the world sees as the dominant ‘religious’ influence in Italy. There is a fiery remnant thriving in Italy today. We have been blessed to be invited into what the Lord of the Harvest is doing in Italy today in Protestant and Charismatic circles.
Recently we were in Italy for our third annual Prophetic Round Table where pastors and leaders from across Italy gather to seek a ‘now’ or rhema word from the Lord for Italy. While there our team of five MFM members who are also MSU College of Theology staff and students also visited friends in Lugano, Switzerland for prayer and rich prophetic sharing time. Some very significant prophetic words were given at each event for the current season in each place.
The Visible Catholic Church and the Awakening Universal Church
The unseen spiritual realm is the reality the universal (or Catholic) Body of Christ is called to abide in God’s presence. Interestingly, the word Catholic is defined in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as this: ‘Universal or general; as the Catholic church. Originally this epithet was given to the Christian church in general but is now appropriated to the Romish church, and in strictness, there is no Catholic church or universal Christian communion. The epithet is sometimes set in opposition to the heretic, sectary or schismatic.’
This new season of the end times prophetic and apostolic movement in Italy is evidenced by a period of ‘unlearning’ of non-Biblical, personality based ministry of recent generations followed by fresh encounters and a deepening hunger for the Holy Spirit’s breath to resurrect the teachings of Jesus, who is the Spirit of Prophecy. (Rev. 19) We are deeply impressed by the elder statesmen of the charismatic and spirit filled churches in Italy weeping in these meetings as they share of the decades of dry soil and now receiving new and fresh rain from heaven. Many of them share great hope for this new season in Italy.
Sons and Daughters of Italy
Our team prayed and sought the Lord for weeks in advance of our trip. We delighted in Him as we watched on the first day our dear friends and leaders there also speaking the same words the Holy Spirit had been speaking to us. I had opened the first session with a declaration that this year’s roundtable would start at the high point we left off last year and go much higher. All those in attendance were amazed at the Lord doing just that and much more as we launched the first day and quickly all could feel the Lord’s presence and weighty substance (in Hebrew ‘chabod’) in the words being released by pastors from across Italy.
The words included revelation in these main areas: sons and daughters, spiritual Fathers, identity, seven mountains influence, intercession, and unity. We were impressed how some of these experienced leaders who had never been to a prophetic roundtable really experienced new ways to engage in the Holy Spirit as they became refreshed and recharged.
One of the most touching highlights occurred when Jerry and Ruth Wickline, pastors in Kansas and long term friends, felt led of the Spirit to stand in the gap for church members in the many churches represented and ask repentance on behalf of congregations with many examples of how church members place high expectations on their pastors. This ‘role-playing’ act shows the reality of why the Body has not advanced into its full destiny. It also reflects our honest human nature that often plagues the local church around the world from advancing ‘as one’. This process helps pastors forgive and mature. The high number of churches closing with pastors leaving the ministry tells us the challenges many pastors face in shepherding their ‘flock’ are very real.
This simple yet profound act, assisted by Anna, my wife, brought tears and even deliverance along with comfort and encouragement to many of the weary pastors. It was a cathartic moment and re-energized the pastors and leaders to press on in their calling as they go higher and deeper in the Lord.
Shepherding the Shepherds
One of our main objectives in Missions is ministering prophetically to our Missionaries, most of whom are pastors, and their church leadership while discipling them and bringing refreshing to their work in one of the most difficult fields anywhere.
Many times it is difficult for pastors to find trusted ears to listen and understand all they go through. Counseling pastors and leaders as we share in understanding their challenging jobs helps to foster real and lasting, trusted fellowship. How we shepherd the precious ones the Lord entrusts to our care in every church has eternal significance hence the burden pastors carry.
Together, the Body of Christ needs to grow stronger in the revelation of the holy fear of Lord in order to advance the Kingdom and destroy the works of the enemy. We are thankful for our many intercessors who pray for our many leaders around the world. We desire all of the fruit of the Spirit to be fully evident in our lives and those we are called to work within the many nations the Lord leads us in.
Cultures do vary but the modern ‘western mindset’ culture of how the church should be done has spread and not always in the most healthy way. Helping churches and people get free of any spirit except the Holy Spirit is one challenge we face globally and we trust the Lord for real advance and breakthroughs that we can not do in our own strength or flesh. We must receive fresh revelation and wisdom guided by the Holy Spirit to make any impact. There is much to re-educate and retrain through effective Bible-based and Spirit-led teaching, counseling and seeing leaders get free. (2 Cor. 3:17)
Our challenge is always ‘are we ourselves growing in the fullness of the Lord’s joy and strength and getting free ourselves?’ How can we possibly help anyone if we are not ourselves free and whole? We also covet your prayers for our Missions staff and team leaders. We are to walk in all humility and hunger for more of the Lord. Like the Apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2 we have no agenda but to see those we are blessed to serve and walk in the fullness of all the Lord has for them.
In 1 Thess 2:4 we emphasize Paul’s example of Christ-like shepherding in this “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so, we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. 5 For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is a witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.”
MSU College of Theology Growing in Italy and Globally
While we were in Italy we attended the first graduation of MSU College of Theology. Dr. Love Nwigwe received her Doctorate in Christian Counseling and a student from Sri Lanka, who has been a Christian a long time but came from a Muslim background received her Bachelors Degree. Excitement is growing as our curriculum is being translated into Italian and their next school year promises to have many more students studying under Dr. Prince and Dr. Love Nwigwe and Pietro Evangelista, a pastor and Christian book publisher in their respective churches in Ancona and Pescara, on the eastern side of Italy along the Adriatic Sea.
Both of these churches have a real hunger to train and release effective leaders in the seven mountains of Italy. These are solid leaders in the prophetic and apostolic calling the Lord placed in their hearts years ago. Pietro is a true apostolic and prophetic father to many of the pastors we are connected with there and he has raised up many mature and loving and fruitful leaders across Italy.
Prophetic Confirmation to Impact Government
One of the prophetic words given last year and confirmed this year was for young leaders strong in the Word and faith to enter into the political realm. Several came forward after this word was released to testify that important and strategic meetings were about to happen with influential leaders in the government. Pray for Italy to fulfill its God-ordained destiny.
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