'I went to buy a gelato ... and I got the gospel'
Roberto’s story | What happened on a hot day after school in Italy
“I live in Florence, Italy. In 1989, I was doing my final exams at high school. I didn’t know anything about Jesus, back then. But on the last day of my high school exams, I took the bus home from school and it was a really hot day. So I decided to get off the bus one stop early, to buy a gelato.”
“I bought the gelato and then I noticed that right next to the gelato stand was a green tent. It was a Christian evangelistic crusade. I’d never heard anything about evangelical Christians. I thought that they were foreign people. Maybe they were from Germany? But I was curious, so I went into the tent and I met someone who told me about Jesus. He gave me a Bible and I was interested, so I went home and I started to read the Gospel of John.
“After about six months of reading, I believed in Jesus and I was baptised.
“Now, I work in the Christian bookshop in Florence. It’s directly opposite the Galleria dell’Academia (which houses Michelangelo’s sculpture, David) … so it’s often very busy, especially in summer. We get lots of tourists. They come in to have a look, and I sell Bibles to them as well as other Christian books.
“Of course, I like the whole of the Bible, but I especially like John 5:24. Jesus said, ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.’
“That verse was important to me when I first became a Christian, and it still is. We don’t have many evangelical Christians here in Florence, maybe less than 1 per cent, so there is a big opportunity to pray and tell people about Jesus …”