Yesterday was incredible. We finally visited one of the most famous Waldensian valleys - the Piedmont Valley and Torre Pellice. It was so inspiring to stand inside the College of the Barbs (Uncles), where pastors and missionaries, known as uncles, would be trained. I was so excited to see the stone table, where copies of the Bible were made. And I stood in awe inside one of the caves where they would worship in secret. I could almost hear the rocks reverberate the sound of their voices as we lifted ours to join in their song - “Faith of our fathers, living faith...” What made the biggest impression on me, though, was a stone monument erected in 1932, at the spot where leaders of the reformation met with the Waldenses for six days and they signed a document which stated that the Waldenses would join with the reformers. This was honestly both good and bad. You’ve probably heard that this was when the Waldenses began keeping Sunday, compromising truth in order to join this new movement. This is true. But there’s something else you need to know. You see, many of the Waldenses had already begun to compromise, allowing priests to baptize their babies and attending mass on Sundays. This union with the Protestant reformation actually brought a revival into the hearts and lives of the Waldenses. As part of this unification, they also delivered the first translation of the entire Bible, a French translation, into the hands of the reformers. As a result, we have much to thank the Waldenses for.

As I stand in the alps, gazing out over the beautiful valleys and up at the rocky peaks, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like to have been here nearly 500 years ago, when the Waldenses realized their darkest days were behind them and that they could join a bigger movement. What would it have been like 700 years ago, fighting a seemingly endless war and taking refuge among the rugged beauties of nature? As I think about these things, my mind goes to the beautiful book of Psalms, many of which were written by a man who himself had to flee into the mountains. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:1-3). When the time comes for my faith to be tested, may I be as faithful as the Waldenses who knew that their help came from the Lord.

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