National Youth Congress in Rome
Congress unites youth from Italy, the U.S., France and Spain.
by Jane Paone –
The Greater New York Youth Band performs during an ope air meeting.
Majors Massimo and Jane Paone are command leaders in Italy.
Over 120 youth and leaders, together with the Greater New York youth band and timbrelists, gathered in Rome for a national youth congress under the theme “One.” It was an apt theme, as God brought together as “One” in Christ young people from Italy, the United States, France and Spain.
Major Sandra Ryan from Toronto, Canada, was the guest speaker, sharing her experiences and thought-provoking words from God’s Word with the young people. She reminded them of the absolute necessity to be linked to Christ Jesus. She related it to needing her bodyguard when ministering in Chechnya, who told her, “Without me, you’re dead!”
The young people had opportunity to exchange ideas and to pray in small groups. During praise and prayer times, they worshiped the Lord in various languages. They gave their witness as they made their way to the center of Rome for an open air concert on Sunday afternoon. Many people were pleased to see The Salvation Army in Rome and wanted to know more. Contacts were made with the curious bystanders.
The youth band brought to the gathering not only their musical talents, but also a wonderful spirit of service and love for the Lord. By the end of the weekend it was clear that any barriers (due to language or race) that may have existed were broken down, and the delegates were indeed “One in Christ,” responding to the call to live for his glory and to make a difference wherever he placed them.
The climax of the congress was the concluding service on Sunday evening, when many young people made their way to the mercy seat. A man, who had heard the singing and praise from the street, entered the hall. At the conclusion of the meeting, he too came forward for prayer.
We pray that the Lord will continue to work in the hearts of these young people. It was a great experience for both the Italians and the Americans who took part in the special exchange with their “Partners in Mission.”