Italy (MNN) — Italy's worst
earthquake in three decades reduced much of L'Aquila to rubble.
Although rescuers did find a survivor more
than 40 hours after the quake, most of the operations have shifted to recovery.
The death toll is expected to
rise past the more than 260 dead, and almost 28,000 were left homeless living
in tents or under open skies.
funerals are expected to be held tomorrow and the pope is preparing to visit
the devastated region.
It could take more than a month to
get a damage and rebuilding estimate, many of the buildings being centuries
old. However, officials are trying to
get a handle on what t will take to get the region functioning and getting
Greater Europe Mission's Peppo
Biscarini says they are more than 80 kilometers away from the epicenter of the
quake, but are looking for ways to respond.
"The situation is pretty chaotic there. I'm trying to work with the
National Evangelistic Alliance now to see what we can set up in an organized fashion."
local pastor is organizing efforts for the victims of the quake. Peppo says,
"Apparently for now, the food supplies are good though they need sugar,
salt, bread and oil. Their immediate need is for personal hygiene: toilet
paper, tooth brushes and paste, feminine supplies, and diapers. There is also a
need for underwear and socks." (A
special tax deductible fund for relief has been set up at GEM. Click here to help .)
praying for open doors. "We have
had over one hundred aftershocks since the big one on Sunday, so it's not over
yet. People are somewhat nervous and open to a discussion on faith."
Holy Week, and Biscarini says people, faced with their own mortality, are
looking for answers. "We run a
specific Bible study for the 'influencers' and this one particular Countess has
been invited by some peers and she always respectfully declined participation,
but because of what has happened, she was actually eager to come and
the team, there is great hope. Greater
Europe Mission has served in Italy by equipping evangelical leaders at the
Italian Bible Institute and through a mobilizing website (www.MissionePerTe.it)
and church-planter training manuals.
One church in Italy has
"given birth" to three daughter churches in the past seven years. If
such reproduction continues, every town in this province will be saturated with
vibrant churches in this generation.
Missionaries are working among
business leaders and professionals as well and God has called many influential
people to Himself. As the vision is passed on, Christians in Italy are trusting
God for more conversions, more life transformations, and thousands of new
churches in unreached Italian towns.