“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…”
Verona is probably most well known as the setting for Shakespeare’s beautiful tragedy of a love-struck Romeo and his Juliet, it is the fourth most visited city in Italy and home to the third largest Roman Arena in the country which is still used today to host a world-class opera festival each summer. Verona with its charming medieval center, Roman remains, and interesting castle complex is a taste of pure Italy.
Last month we visited Verona to survey its potential as a place to begin our ministry of establishing a local church after our initial time here in Rome. There are several others cities that I would still like to visit over the course of the next year but I must say that I feel strongly about Verona and will be praying earnestly to discern if the Lord is leading us to minister there.
Verona is located in the northern region of Veneto and is Italy’s twelfth largest city with a population of over 260,000 souls. From what I gather there are only four or five Protestant churches in the city, three of which are Charismatic. To put this in perspective, in my home town of Dayton, Ohio, which has approximately 100,000 less people than Verona, there are over 60 different Baptist churches of various stripes. If I could determine the total number of gospel preaching churches in Dayton then the disparity between the two cities would be even greater.
I hope to finish language school next Spring, after which we will likely spend another year in Rome in preparation of ministry and refining our language abilities. Please pray with me for the Lord’s discernment as well as for the people of Verona.