Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is proclaimed at Easter!

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Today’s keyword is Easter.

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins…
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

I Corinthians 15:17, 20

I remember it like if it were yesterday: I was scheduled to be operated on my tongue cancer in Milan the week after Easter. 

Providentially, that Easter I was also called on to preach.  I don’t remember what exactly I said, but I remember the text I preached on, and I remember the feeling that if for some reason I was no longer able to preach again, I was happy that it was this message that would be my last one: Our hope is based on the absolute certainty of Christ’s resurrection!

Incidentally, on my way home from church I heard a song on Radio Luce about Easter that kept repeating: “If this is true, this changes EVERYTHING!”
Praise God, that Christ has changed everything!

“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

I Corinthians 15:55

Lockdown will not change what Christ has done and what his resurrection guarantees!
Last year for Easter we weren’t able to leave our homes.  This year we gather together, even with the unpleasantness of masks, social distancing and inability to have a choir or worship team.
Yet the most important thing is that Christ is proclaimed!  And praise God we are together to sing his praises!

To quote the old saying: No Jesus: No hope.  Know Jesus, Know Hope!

May God remind you this Easter of the power and the hope and the blessing of our Savior!

We look forward to seeing you next week! Buona Pasqua!

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Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is our legacy

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I’m so excited you could stop by!
We’re on week five of our seven-week adventure.

I’m really excited about what I have to share today.
I’ve been wanting to share it since the beginning of the year, but I just couldn’t find the right moment.  So here goes!

Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is our legacy.

Today’s keyword is legacy.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”
Hebrews 12:1

On Christmas day one of our favorite people went to heaven after a long battle with cancer.
As missionary kids we affectionately called him Uncle Vernon, but he was officially Doctor Vernon Rosenau, recently retired president of Baptist Mid-Missions.

Vernon was much more than a boss.

– Vernon was my mentor and my friend, a fellow MK (Missionary Kid).
– He recruited us to join Baptist Mid-Missions.
– He counseled me on my own journey with cancer.
– He believed in us and gave us some amazing opportunities to serve God.

It’s hard to measure the impact that he had on us and so many others (you may be one of them).

One of the strongest words that comes to mind when thinking of him is legacy.
Vernon’s grandparents were part of the original team that went out to Africa with Baptist Mid-Missions. (For a more detailed tribute click here.)

In reality, as believers we all have a legacy…
People passed down the faith of Apostles to us.  My dad likes to say: “There are no spiritual grandkids.”

In our case there is both a spiritual legacy and a genealogical one.  
My dad is a pastor.  Melodee’s dad is a pastor.
My grandfather was a pastor.  
Several of my ancestors were Baptist pastors in early colonial New England.
To top it off, I am a 13th generation direct descendant of William Brewster, who happened to arrive in the New World on the Mayflower, and was the de facto pastor of that congregation.
All this may seem like a great privilege, and it is…but it is also a great responsibility.

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Luke 12:48b

Your legacy is no less important than mine.
You are a direct spiritual descendant of Christ’s disciples that sat on a hill in Galilee and heard the Sermon on the Mount.

What a privilege!  What a responsibility!
May we leave a legacy worth following even after we have concluded our own race and fought the good fight.
May we leave a lasting legacy until Christ’s return.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is for children!

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I’m so happy you’re back!  I’m glad we haven’t worn out our welcome yet!
We’re on week four of our seven-week adventure.

Today will be short, but especially sweet!

Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is for everyone!
And for everyone, I am speaking particularly about children.
Today’s keyword is children.

but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14

By far the greatest victim of the Covid-19 has been our children…

Imagine babies that are born in a world of faceless people.
Imagine children who can’t attend Sunday School.
Imagine children that can’t play on swings or play soccer, or run freely, or take ballet lessons or just hang out with their friends, or go to birthday parties.

That’s the world our children are living in.

Yet the Gospel is unchained…even for children.

We are saddened to not be able to offer our vacation Bible school for the second summer in a row, but we are thankful for the teachers who prepare lessons for the children every week.

On top of that, as a preacher I have enjoyed preaching to the children every week.

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

Next week it looks like the elementary-aged children will be able to return to school…for how long we don’t know, but we know that they are in God’s hands, and they are loved, and the Gospel is alive.

Please pray for the children!

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is ONLINE!

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Can you believe it’s already week three of our seven-week adventure together?
More and more I can’t wait to share with you one small nugget of what God has been doing.

So here goes: week three!

Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is ONLINE!

Today’s keyword is Online.
Our ministry is no stranger to online.
You might say it’s in our DNA!

In 1976, when I was only a year old (I know…that dates me!!), my parents, with the help of their outstanding support team, had the vision of beginning a TV ministry: bringing the Gospel into Italian’s homes every day since then.

Then in 1982 the Radio arrived. That ministry continued until recently, when it could no longer compete in the era of on-demand programming and video.

But no worries!  In the meantime we went online with our first website, followed by YouTube and Facebook channels!

We also gained Daniel, a technology genius, who then became director of the Radio, married my sister Elizabeth and now is a co-pastor and leader in the church and on our team!

Then Covid-19 arrived.  God provided in the meantime our amazing pastoral intern Danilo, who also is versed in technology.

By the grace of God, with the vision of these two men, we were ready for the new challenge and the new opportunities it has brought.
Within a week of lockdown we were going live both on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.

That brings us to this week…

Sunday afternoon I received a lovely message from my landlady, thanking me for my message.  I didn’t even know she was following our service!

Monday I received another message, from the mother of one of our members, who is following from a city three hours away.  She happened to be following my message online as she wrote me!  She needed advice about a decision that she needed to make that affected her testimony.

Wednesday, as every week, our small groups, met all around the city through Zoom and other technology.  We have a sister in faith who lives 40 minutes away, but because of lockdown she has joined our prayer group!

I’ve already mentioned how there are people in various isolated parts of Italy who attend our services virtually now, when before lockdown they had no way to attend anywhere.  Some people have returned to church after years of not attending because they began following online.

I would say that makes for a pretty good week! 
Praise God for technology, and why not…for this unwanted lockdown!

We look forward to seeing you next week! 
Please pray for us!

As always, we love to hear from you, we love your feedback, and we love your questions!

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Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is preached.

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Last week I made a bold promise:
To celebrate Valentine’s month,  rather than overwhelm you with so much that your heart will explode, for the next seven weeks we will attempt to only share one request a week and will keep it short and sweet.

So here goes: week two!

Even when the world is locked down, the Gospel is preached.
Today’s keyword is Preaching.
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2
“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

As I write to you, I am thinking with joy and trepidation about the message for tomorrow.  What a privilege to be able to share God’s Word to God’s hungry people!


I have been enjoying preaching verse by verse through Paul’s letter to the Romans.  It certainly is a big responsibility and fairly time-consuming in study time, but it is also one of our greatest opportunities to edify Christ’s church in Perugia and around the world, as well as to preach the Gospel every week!

Our church family is blessed with a hunger to know and apply God’s truths and share it with those around them.

As you may already know, the ministry we are a part of has always had a strong preaching ministry.   I thank God for the many years of faithful preaching by my father, Fred Whitman, both in the church and on television since 1978!

Many things have changed over the years, but not the commitment to preaching God’s word, verse by verse, week by week.

Even now, with the pandemic and lockdown, thanks to new and old technology, we are able to get that message out, and people all over the world continue to follow along.
With so many ministries shut down, including the children’s ministries, even our children are hearing the preaching.  What a blessing to see them take notes in the front row!

Please pray that God will save souls and transform lives through His Word (Isaiah 55:11)!

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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