Fashionably Early

Image result for statue of lucifer in Turin

The statue in Turin of the defeated enemy

30 September 2016

We met Shelly at seven in the morning to prayer walk around the heart of the fashion district.  As we walked, Shelly pointed out some startling things that had been staring us in the face—things about the fashion industry that we had never bothered to question.  For example, some of the designs are so weird that you can’t imagine anyone actually shelling out good money for them—yet people do!  Of course those people don’t happen to be people like you and I.  Those people have so much money that it’s nothing to them to pay $9000 for a ridiculous dress[1] that they will only wear once.  They buy it to wear to a party or some other event for the super-rich, where there will be folks who recognize the dress from the latest fashion runway show.  At the same time it’s a way to mock the silliness of the rich women who buy these ridiculous dresses.

The other thing she pointed out was that some fashions that are so sheer that the woman wearing the dress is virtually naked.  It’s a way to rob a woman of all the beauty and mystery of her femininity and again to mock her at the same time.

The final thing she showed us is how some of the fashions are non-gender-specific.  Androgyny is rampant throughout the fashion industry.  This constitutes an all-out assault on both masculinity and femininity.  It probably started small, with the man-purse and the man-bun.  Some of the clothing could go into a gender-fluid store.  What place does traditional marriage have in such a world?

Not only that, but some of the clothing is also non-age-specific.  It’s as though the fashion industry is out to rob children of their innocence, making children’s clothing so that they look like tiny clones of Madonna or Beyoncé or Axel Rose or Fabio.  No child would ever pick out such clothing without the influence of some deranged adult.  Likewise some of the adult clothing is designed to make them look like giant babies—and none of these are Halloween costumes.  Think of the effect the fashion industry could ultimately have on the family, itself.

As we prayed and walked, I was suddenly struck with the understanding that there are many, many slaves in the fashion industry.  Of course there are the people who work in third world sweatshops, sewing for the fashion industry, but I realized that the models themselves are just as much slaves—eating little to nothing, vomiting the food eaten, lest they gain weight.  Drug abuse is rampant throughout the fashion industry.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: happy people don’t do that to themselves.  Drugs are a way of keeping people in slavery, be it prostitutes or fashion models.  Enslave the mind and you can do whatever you want to the body.

Afterward we had breakfast at a coffee shop across from La Scala Opera House.  Then after breakfast, I took the team to my favorite street market.  They wandered through the market, fascinated by all the wonderful things they saw.

After lunch at home, we went to Turin to help Missione REM with their bus ministry.  The Asheville team had brought with them 22 Bibles for Missione REM to give away to English speakers.  They gladly received them.  Italian Bibles are easily available, but English Bibles are not.

Giuseppe[2], who had picked us up from the train station, told us that there wasn’t much to do, but in fact, it turned out that there was plenty for us to do.  We encouraged them.  The Asheville team got the chance to spend an afternoon in my shoes, listening to these missionaries speak about the challenges and rewards of their ministry.  Sometimes the most encouraging thing you can do is just be there and listen.

When the nearby school let out, we watched as they sprang into action, going out to talk to the teens at the bus stop.  Some teammates went out to help with the kids who spoke English (of which there were a few) while others backed up the REM team in prayer.  There were a couple of kids who expressed an interest in knowing Jesus, and they were invited into the bus and given materials (booklets and CD’s, and two of the English Bibles we had brought) to help them make their decision for Jesus.  Of course, there were those kids who refused to talk with the REM team once they understood that this was about Jesus.  Others stood aloof or joking, poking fun at the ones who showed an interest.  And all this flurry of activity happened in a brief, twenty minute window of time.

Then we re-entered the bus to continue our visit.  Two members of the Missione REM team spoke English, so that I wasn’t the only one translating.  Isabella, being the REM teammate with more experience and better English, gave a brief explanation of the ministry focus (evangelism) and challenges, particularly there in Turin.  She told us some things that I hadn’t been aware of:

  1. The city of Turin gave permission to the satanists to practice their rites (including animal sacrifices[3]) as long as they do it underground—literally. Space was given to them underneath the streets of Turin in which to hold their meetings and sacrifices.
  2. Turin has been consecrated to the defeated enemy[4]. There is even a statue.
  3. Turin was the headquarters for the pope’s army to seek out and murder the Waldensians[5].
  4. Turin is the European capital of satanism[6].
  5. Most Torinese people practice witchcraft in their homes.
  6. Very few Torinese have ever heard the Gospel at all.

These revelations also made it very clear why Missione REM had turned their ministry focus to Turin[7].

Then Isabella told us one more thing that I hadn’t known: she said that two of Missione REM’s three buses had broken down on the way to Turin.  I knew that two of their buses were broken down, but when I heard that both had happened on the way to minister in Turin, it was suddenly very clear to me that it had been a demonic attack.  Turin is obviously a satanic stronghold.  As a prayer warrior, this made me want to do some spiritual housecleaning, so to speak.  And we did, launching into prayer for them and for the city of Turin.

Next, Billy, the head of the missions team from Asheville, shared about the missional focus of the church and the reason that they had come to Italy[8].

Isabella responded by sharing how important my ministry is to Missione REM, housing them whenever they are in Milan, giving them a place to share a meal, supporting them in prayer and encouraging them at the bus (whenever it’s in town).  I listened, marveling at how the simple things I do—things I learned over 26 years as a housewife and mother—could be so powerful and encouraging.  Isabella said that now she feels like she’s got a home with me.  It was both encouraging and humbling to hear about the value of my ministry.

Then Leo, the young pastor of a local church, came to join us.  The Holy Spirit gave me a prophetic word for him that greatly encouraged him.

When Giuseppe took us back to the train station we found that our train was delayed because of a train strike.  We finally caught a train an hour and a half after our scheduled train.  So we arrived home later than expected after an early start to the day.  But we all agreed that this was a great day.  God is good!

[1] $9000 is exactly twice what I paid for my car.

[2] You may remember Giuseppe, the recipient of the Miraculous Love Letter from God.

[3] Of course, they don’t admit to it, but there are also human sacrifices.  When I first moved to Italy over sixteen years ago, I remember reading about people finding human corpses in the woods near Turin—corpses that had obviously been ritually sacrificed.  The police always refused to comment, and the newspapers eventually quit reporting about the continuing discoveries of sacrificial victims.

[4]  I refuse to name him, but choose, rather, to remind him of his sure and certain defeat—and to remind myself (and my fellow believers) of our sure and certain ultimate victory over him.

[5] The Waldensians were actually the first Protestants, living hidden and wandering in the Alps of Italy, Switzerland, and France.  They predate Martin Luther’s Reformation by almost 400 years.  The Waldensians were severely persecuted for owning and reading Bibles, holding unauthorized prayer meetings, and not baptizing their babies into the Catholic Church.  Men, women, and children were slaughtered if they refused to convert to Catholicism (and few did).

[6] I knew it was a center for satanism in Italy, but I didn’t know about it being the European center.

[7] Of course, you probably know Turin as the place where the famous Shroud of Turin is kept.  The Shroud is housed at the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in the Cappella della Sacra Sindone (the Chapel of the Holy Shroud).  A replica of the Shroud is permanently on display in the chapel, the Shroud itself is occasionally put on display and sometimes taken on tour in its humidity-controlled, bullet-proof frame.

I have not seen the actual Shroud, but the replica blew me away.  Whether this is the Holy Spirit testifying to the authenticity of the Shroud or just the fact that I am deeply in love with Jesus, I can’t say.  Whatever you think about the genuineness of the Shroud, here’s my thought: it may not be real, but it is true.  Think about it!

The presence of the Shroud makes Turin a Catholic pilgrimage site.  This is not to say that all Catholics are superstitious, but especially here in Italy, there is a lot of superstition mixed in with Catholicism.  So in addition to all the satanic and witchcraft elements, there is also some superstitious idolatry going on.

[8] To support my ministry of encouragement to missionaries through Prayer, Hospitality, and Collaboration, see www.europeanfaithmissions.com.

 

One thought on “Fashionably Early

  1. Pingback: The Gift of Presence | Walking By Faith in Europe

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