Waldensian Review No. 122 Summer 2013 - Page 8

significant because I started really to pray the name of the Lord, asking for help and salvation. While I was taking care of myself in order to recover my health, I attended church activities with a different spirit and interest. I read the Bible, finding in it real consolation. I also participated in youth meetings organized by FGEI [Italian Evangelical Youth Federation], sharing my faith with other young people. I really felt the hand of the Lord get me out of the pit, as Psalm 116: 6: says: ‘The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me’. I was very confused at that time because I had to decide what to do with my life. I called my art studies into question: I did not know whether to continue them. In my heart I felt I wanted to do something for the Lord, to thank him for the work of salvation which took place in my life, but I did not know what. One day, I told my pastor that I would be available to preach. I didn’t know why. My pastor was very happy and asked me to preach on Sunday, 13 May 2007. The text was Mark 2: 13–17, where Jesus says: ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners’. While I was writing, I felt in my heart a deep insight: ‘And if I enrol at the Faculty of Theology to become a pastor?’ All the choices I had made in the past were from my mind. This was the first choice that came from the bottom of my heart. My pastor, however, advised me to do a year of volunteer work first, to put into practice the meaning of service. And it was so. I went to Palermo, to the Waldensian Diaconal Institute ‘La Noce’, and I worked as a volunteer in a foster family. In September 2008, I began to attend the Waldensian Faculty of Theology. At the time of my choice I was not able to give clear reasons for that choice. All I knew was that it was a gift that the Lord had put in my heart and I had to start using it somehow. During the admission meeting with the Ministries Committee of the Faculty, I gave this reason: ‘I want to become a pastor to serve the Lord by helping to see that every man and every woman could discover the talents that He has put in their heart’. Now, after these years of study, Youth group gathering in Riesi, Sicily, April 2013. training experiences 6