Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pastor and Author, Dino Rizzo, Encourages Nashville Residents

1Mercy Ministries Nashville residents and staff were honored to host Pastor Dino Rizzo, the founding pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as their special guest last Wednesday morning. Healing Place Church has been named one of America’s Top 25 Most Innovative Churches and Pastor Rizzo’s book, Servolution, exposes his passion to see believers join together in a revolution of sharing the love of Christ by practically serving others.

Pastor Rizzo has taught leaders and pastors all over the world to serve the way Jesus served by reaching out to the poor and hurting right where they are. Examples of this type of outreach are demonstrated by hundreds of Healing Place Church members who volunteer to cook hot breakfasts for the homeless, help ex-prisoners re-enter society, administer free medical and dental clinics, and care for AIDS orphans. The list goes on and on. Pastor Rizzo and Healing Place Church were also leading forces in the efforts to help thousands of suffering people during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Teaching on perseverance, the storms of life and what is on the other side of our obedience, Pastor Rizzo shared with the girls and staff that Jesus has a much bigger plan for our lives than we can see and encouraged the group to never quit in the middle. He illustrated this point by explaining how, in the beginnings of his service ministry, he received a call that his house had burned to the ground. He asked residents to consider what they are walking through and understand that life’s circumstances and our responses to these circumstances have value for us and for others. There is always another side to the storms and trials in life.

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Pastor Rizzo has a sincerity and sense of humor that really impacted the Mercy residents and staff. Here is what a few of the girls had to say about his visit:

Lindsay said, “I am only in the middle and I need to be patient for God to guide my ‘boat’ to the other side. I’m going to be patient and fight through the storms in my life.”

Shaina said, “There is always another side to our story. There is always someone else on the other side of what we are going through for us to help after we go through it. We can’t stop halfway.”

Alex said, “I came to Mercy completely committed, and commitment opens doors to a fight. I will not get stuck in the middle or give up. This is the fight for my life and I am going to meet God, family, and friends on the other side!

To learn more about Pastor Dino Rizzo or Healing Place Church, visit www.dinorizzo.com or www.healingplacechurch.org.