Woman-to-Woman Worldwide is an effort by Disciple Women to experience solidarity with one another, to affirm the unity of the church in Jesus Christ, and to join the common struggle for justice and peace in the world today by educating and advocating for those needs. Journeys occur annually. Recent destinations include China, Mexico, and, most recently, Italy and France. Subscribe to Just Women to read more stories from the most recent trip.
Torre Pellice, Italy
Oct. 21, 2014 By: Adiana Gonzalez
As our bus driver, Felice, skillfully maneuvered the bus through the narrow winding roads up the mountain, we all marveled at the beauty of what is the mountainous city of Torre Pellice. As Felice brought the bus to a stop, we began our trek on the sandy brown dirt road of the original Waldensian community hundreds of years ago. The cool air breeze felt perfect as the fog blended the horizon where mountains met skies.
After passing the newest Waldensian church and various homes of the townspeople, we encountered the natural forest distinguished by its narrow dirt pathway. Luscious trees overpassed above us as we walked passed water streams trickling along beautiful rock segments patterned in brilliant tones of brown and gray. We even encountered a water fountain supplied by nature itself with fresh crisp water straight from the mountains.
We weaved up and down, side to side, through the rocky staircase provided by nature, down to where we met the entrance of a secret cave. Using the flashlights on our cell phones to light the ground, we felt the slippery and muddy rocks as we ducked and crawled our way through the short and narrow entrance. It was hard to imagine that this is what the Waldensian people had to do in order to come and worship God. Once we squeezed passed the entrance we found ourselves in a very open and spacious room lit only minimally by small peeking holes created by the tiny spaces between rocks. Once our eyes adjusted to the darkness it was clear to see how many people could fit in this space and worship God freely and abundantly as they wished.
It was eye opening to simply stand in the darkness and think of when these believers were forced to worship in a cave simply because they did not express and practice their faith the way the government-sanctioned religion chose to do so. It was such a great example of how a minority in a society is oppressed based on their faith and religion; and yet how they stood by their God faithfully knowing God would provide. In moments like these, one truly can stop, appreciate, and give thanks to God, because we are so abundantly blessed… often, more than we know!