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Friday, July 02, 2004

UPDATE JULY 2004

Corinthian Studies. In cooperation with our brothers at Ancona, Harold is presenting what is becoming a simple, street-level Italian commentary on 1 Corinthians. These studies aim at more than simple knowledge of the text, since the local believers also need vocabulary acquisition of the idioms of Scripture. Perfectly valid standard translations often contain precise expressions that less well educated people may not use. It is one thing to speak the "street vocabulary" of Italian; it is another to know how to communicate the richer language in which Bible concepts are expressed. So, Harold presents the standard Bible text together with amplified paraphrases "in other words" that express how Paul would speak the message of Corinthian letter to modern Italians.

Convention at Torre dell?Orso. In the extreme south on the heal of the Italian boot, the church at Lecce sponsored a rich gathering for Christians from various parts of the country. Mike Householder of Johnson Bible College led challenging seminars on Church Growth; Gianni Bruno, (Latiano), student at JBC, translated for him. Enid was approached at last minute to step in for another sister to help with children. The convention theme "Church Growth", centered around the concepts expressed by Peter (2 Peter 1:3-11). Covering other aspects of growth were men like Roberto Innocenti (Rome) Tony Console (Bergamo), Antonio Ligorio (Latiano), Pino Neglia (Lecce); Harold preached on "Self-control." Matt Crosser collaborated with Gianni Bruno in organizing and leading the young people's lessons. One hoped-for outcome of this convention was the raised vision that all our churches may actually grow, utilizing the simple, but effective, wisdom of God in Scripture. We heard comments like "This year?s program was very encouraging" and "Too bad our time together is so short," and "We hope we can encourage our congregation to develop these great ideas!"

Jerrod Sharp, student from Lincoln (Illinois) Christian College, is interning with the Fowlers this month. Besides other mission activities, he is creating a database of Harold's library. After a two-weeks, crash-course at Perugia language school, he is able to speak some Italian and make friends with the Christians. This is a real plus, since the folks here appreciate his trying to speak to them in their heart language.