“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”
– Isaiah 64:4
This theme of “waiting” has been prevalent in my life the last few years of serving with TEAM in Bologna, Italy. It is so much easier to for me to work hard and “get things going” rather than fall on my knees and wait on the Lord. I’ve been reminded through long bouts of sickness, and through the frustration of living in a different country, that waiting on the Lord is all that I can do. Serving the Lord in full-time ministry has to be about waiting and trusting God to do great things for the advance of His glorious kingdom. God has worked when I have done nothing but rely upon Him in prayer.
Toward the end of 2011, in partnership with our local church Nuova Vita, we started the ministry of Vite Trasformate (Transformed Lives) to reach out to women are who are forced into prostitution. We were overwhelmed by the huge problem of sex trafficking in Italy and discouraged by the fact that we had “nothing” to offer these women. We did not have a house of refuge or even any ministry funds. The heart of the ministry had to be prayer and faith. Twice a month, we walk out of our church doors with baskets full of snacks, small gifts, and evangelistic letters to meet the women on the streets and tell them that God loves them. We offer our friendship and the hope found in Jesus.
Now I’m grateful that we did not start off with a fancy website, a beautiful safe house, or a ministry account overflowing with donations, because we were “forced” to depend fully on our Father to provide. We pray that the women hear the Lord when He calls them off the streets and into His arms of love and refuge. Through waiting on God in difficult times, we have seen Him rescue and call one woman to Himself! We have cried tears of joy as we’ve seen other women shyly walk in through our church doors.
God is calling people to Himself in our city, and I am humbled to have the privilege to wait and watch and trust. God is faithful.
-Written by Ruth Brucato, TEAM missionary in Italy
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