This summer, among the Exch@nge american team in Montespertoli there was Owen, and here's his story:
I was very blessed to be able to go with a team from First Bible Church last summer and help the Borroni's with their Exchange camp. My life was impacted by God at the Exchange camp in several ways. Three of these ways are 1) The message of the Gospel is universal, 2) I have a heart for the people in Italy and 3) It opened my mind to the future possibilities of where God may lead me.
Before I went to Italy I never really thought about the needs of people from other countries or cultures. I was only focused on what was going on around me in my small town in Alabama. The first Sunday we were in Italy that all changed. Going to church with the Borroni's I realized that God has placed people all around the world to worship him. The people at their church were so filled with the spirit and just joyous to be at church. I realized then that it was because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was awesome to see that people from all the way across the world believe the same thing that we believe back in America. That Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross in my place, was buried to prove that he died, rose on the third day to prove that he had defeated death and that his sacrifice had been accepted, then appeared to many people to prove he had really risen. To see how that message doesn't change due to different languages or cultures left a huge impact on me.
The second thing I listed kind of ties in to the first. I went over to Italy with the Gospel on my mind. While I was at the Exchange camp I realized the need that the kids in Italy have for the Gospel. God really put that on my heart during the camp and has kept it on my heart ever since. Before I went I didn't think that you could get so attached to someone in five days but on the fifth day of camp I realized you could. I remember feeling as if I couldn't leave the kids, that's when I realized God has given me a heart for the people of Italy. Since then there hasn't been a day that I haven't thought of the Borroni's or the kids they are working with.
Just as the second thing ties into the first thing, the third way I was impacted ties into the second. Now knowing that I have a heart for the people I have seen God start keeping my mind open to possibilities for the future. I've always been interested in being a missionary but after the Exchange camp I have been even more interested. I'm not sure if God is calling me to the mission field or not but I've seen Him open my mind to the possibility through this camp.
Because of these three ways and many more that I have been impacted I am extremely excited to go back next summer. It was a life changing trip last summer and I know God will use it to impact me even more next summer!