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REF: The turning point…

16 November 2009 No Comment

About three years ago, while conducting a community of young people who needed lots of care and attention, the Lord started to speak to my heart regarding the needs of those who lived in distant places and were not able to regularly receive the spiritual nourishment that they were hungry for. He made me feel the aching of their hungry hearts, but the pressing responsibilities of that time made it difficult for us to visit them more often.

This was not easy for me, as I really wanted to do God’s will and take care of His sheep, but at that time all I could do was to pray for them, trusting that in God’s time He would make it possible for us to provide a regular spiritual nourishment for those dear ones.

On the night of that New Year’s Eve (2006-2007), as I usually do when preparing for the dawning of a new year ahead, I asked the Lord for some indications of what He had in store for us in the future, and He gave me the following Bible passage:

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert… I will give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people” (Isaiah 43:18-20).

I must confess that these living words of life were hidden in a mystery for me at the time, as I had no clue as to what they might mean for us personally. I still had not yet received what the Lord later revealed to me through “the story of Bamboo … my life“.

A few months later that year I started to experience the symptoms of a “burn out” and the Lord made it clear that, for the sake of our health, we should take a sabbatical year of rest before engaging ourselves in another ministry that would require a lot of our energies. Thanks to the generosity of a Christian brother who opened the door of his hospitality, the Lord provided a peaceful quiet place where we could recuperate our physical and spiritual strength, and later that year we moved to our present nest, here in Bracciano (Italy).

Most of you know the rest of the story, how last year I suffered two heart attacks and had to spend a few months in heart rehabilitation, and by that time I had totally forgotten about that Bible passage above. I could only thank God for the new opportunity that He was giving me to live and love those that He placed around me, as I learned to “walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) in His presence each day of my life. I didn’t really want more, although in my heart I was still hoping to be able to go back and teach God’s Word again, as I had done for so many years. But “God’s ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8)

By that time the Lord had started a healing process in our hearts, and He surrounded us with people whose hearts were also broken and needed healing. As we deepened our daily communion with God, He started to heal our hearts from the wounds of the past and ignite in us the desire to reach others around us with this healing process, Very soon we started to see the fruits of hearts healed and lives changed, and we realized that the Lord was now calling us to meet this universal need.

If there’s one thing that all human beings have in common, no matter what’s their social or economic or cultural background, it’s the suffering of the heart. Everyone experiences deep sorrows when they don’t feel loved or understood or wanted by others around them, and sometimes these wounds can last for a whole life if they don’t find an adequate cure for it.

As this vision and burden grew in our hearts, we started to pray and seek the Lord about what He wanted us to do about it, and it was then that He reminded us of a passage from the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus quoted a prophecy from Isaiah to describe His ministry:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the broken hearts, set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

“As My Father sent Me, even so I send you” (John 20:21) to heal the broken hearts!

This was the turning point of our lives, when He showed us that the new ministry that He wanted us to engage in was going to be called: “Healing Broken Hearts“.

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