Italy (MNN) — COVID-19 hit Italy very hard, and Operation Mobilization Italy is weathering the storm, hoping to see the country remade to the glory of Christ. Italy lost 368 people to the virus in one day, by far the most for any country in a single day since the outbreak began. You may have seen videos of the quarantine in Italy, with people leaning out of their windows and singing together. Many of those people are Christians, and many of the songs are about the Gospel.
Among the Christians in Italy are those who work for Operation Mobilization Italy (OMI).
Davide Bogliolo (Da-vide bo-YOLO) says of OMI’s personal situation, “Now we are stuck in the houses. I have to say that the theme here is is quite good. And we are healthy, you know, none of us has been infected or is as any kind of has the problem. So, the staff is okay.”
Living conditions during the coronavirus outbreak
Bogliolo says OMI is responding to the virus much like many others in Italy and around the world: they are staying in their homes, trying to help not spread the virus.
Citizens in Italy can go out and buy groceries, Bogliolo says, and for emergencies. But, “You need to have a statements with you to give to the police if they stop you. It’s not that they are checking on you. But if you are going around, they may stop you. And if you if you state something that is not true, you can be in trouble.”
But, the virus is negatively affecting the ministry. While staying home, Bogliolo says OMI is not able to carry on many of their ministries. “We have anti trafficking ministries that at the moment are suspended because we cannot be on the street on during the day. Youth meetings in the churches; we cannot do that anymore. Mobilizing the church [and] trying to encourage mission or [sharing] the Gospel. We cannot do that at the moment.”
Being the light of Christ in a dark time
Bogliolo is trying to encourage people and be a light in the dark situation. He stays in contact through social media, texting, and email. As the crisis drags on, he is thinking about what things will be like when the outbreak is over.
“I really have the feeling that we are going to be a different country, [a] different people after this experience. This is a really massive community experience that we were not [expecting] to pass through.”
Bogliolo asks believers to pray that Italy will be renewed after the outbreak and time of fearfulness. “How can we be a blessing for Italy, after the crisis, to have wisdom and depth [of] vision? To meet people and to encourage and restore them with the Gospel after this emotional crises that we are facing?”
And even as believers in the West deal with their own coronavirus isolation, let us all encourage each other in whatever way we can, whether by communicating over the internet or helping at-risk people get groceries.
And pray that the Holy Spirit would destroy the coronavirus, and that many would come to Christ as a result.
Checking for the coronavirus. (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)