There is but one road leading to the isolated town, our summer village. A place little touched by time, by technology’s progress, or by the frenetic pace of getting ahead. 

Though much time has passed since our first visit in 1989, in many ways time seems to have stood still.  The inhabitants remain much the same. Once young faces now replace the wrinkled ones we had known and loved. Yet much the same in many ways. With the same lines of suffering and hardship.

The same bleak look of hopelessness. Hopelessness one doesn’t expect to find in 21st century Europe.

Time still passes slowly there. They while the day away in simple tasks. A bowl of pasta. A little weeding in the garden. A chat with neighbors. But mostly they just sit and wait. For what, they don’t even know.

And there, at the top of the hill, sits Mario’s ancestral home.

When the place first came under our care, it seemed mostly an annoyance. Still one more thing to tend to. And a house we don’t need, but can’t sell, because he co-owns it with his siblings. And property there, in what is becoming a ghost town, doesn’t sell anyway!

When the place first came under our care, it seemed mostly an annoyance. Still one more thing to tend to. And a house we don’t need, but can’t sell, because he co-owns it with his siblings. And property there, in what is becoming a ghost town, doesn’t sell anyway!

But we went out of love for his family, glad to do them the small favor of tending to needed repairs. And now we keep going out of love for the abandoned people of that abandoned area.

  • For many years there was only one road going in because it took over a decade to repair the other one after the landslide.
  • There is almost no work — NO WORK in giant letters.
  • And agriculture, their traditional livelihood, has been greatly hindered because of crazy natural park laws.
  • They have only one doctor for the 500-600 people.
  • The nearest hospital is 45 minutes away, down the steep and winding mountain road.
  • Few shops, and only the tiniest of grocery stores.

They feel forgotten. Abandoned. And hopeless.

We go to show that they are neither forgotten nor abandoned.

And to show that there are others who think of them and pray for them! We go hoping to offer a bit of encouragement, friendship, and hope.

And we go because the almost haunting beauty of the place has captured our hearts. But the people have totally claimed them!

How would you go about showing love and offering hope to people in such circumstances?

And will you join us in praying for this village and the numerous villages like this in Italy?

Only prayer can really help them, and help us understand how to better reach them!


10 thoughts on “Beyond Forgotten {Our Summer Village}

    1. Yes I realize they’re wasn’t really helpful input. I put it out there more as a way of helping people to see where we work, and as a call to prayer for the many villages like this here. Thanks for reading and God bless you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m a “note & gesture” kind of guy myself. Take our neighbour for example. At Christmas we gave them a pointsettia and a note, thanking them for their friendship, expressing how important they were to us and that we were praying for them. (Prov. 18.16) There’s a lot of “breaking down walls” to do before they trust enough or are open enough to want to hear more… but this neighbour – who has given headaches to many in the neighbourhood – is nothing but WONDERFUL to us.


    1. That’s amazing, Mike. That your headache neighbor treats you well. The Lord works in wondrous ways! We also use little gifts with notes. That always goes over well. And we also invite the people in for dinner, for coffee, or for something to drink. Or just drop in for surprise visits. Many of them are so lonely, they seem to really enjoy it. It also helps that people here in southern Italy are “piazza people.” They hang out in the piazzas to chat, get something to drink, and watch the people go by. Anyone can join the groups, and it’s a great way to get to know people!


  2. So the government doesn’t allow agriculture because they have made thei land a protected park? Well, I would start a petition or letter to the government asking what they intend to do about taking these people’s livelihood away. Perhaps they could hire a lawyer.

    If that’s no good, I think cottage businesses might work out. If some of the people know how to make a product really well, or a product of the area that is unique and could be sold in cities or online.

    Sharing God’ word through meetings (ouside or indoors) at your husband’s house might be good. Asking people to come who wish to be prayed for.

    Start a book club using a Christian book.

    Have meetings with films of nature, in all its complexity. Get a telescope and set it up to see special parts of the nite sky and then speak of God. But when you invite people, make sure they know some of the meeting will be about God so they don’t feel fooled.

    Well, those are a few crazy ideas. I used to share ideas with my church, but I guess they didn’t like them. Lol


    1. Wow Belle, what a lot of great suggestions! I am afraid, though, that the petition would not work. The Italian government doesn’t work well that way. And so often these thing are mafia controlled. It’s a complex system. We have thought of cottage business, or even things related to tourism. But the problem there is that the median age is probably about 55. The vast majority are retired, and many are in their upper 70s or 80s. A bit late in life for that kind of thing. Perhaps some of the others would work though. And I don’t think they’re crazy! Most anything is usually worth a try. It’s just that this is such a particular situation. Quite complex. Yet we are convinced that the Lord knows how to reach out to their hearts! Thanks for the ideas, and please keep this special area in prayer!


  3. How could anyone do more than you are doing? Blessings for your ministry, wherever the Lord sends you.
    We pray for the Lord to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the message of hope in Christ.


    1. Thanks for your encouragement Fran. But I think there is always more to do, and new ways to try. But we really thank you for your prayers. We know that, in the end, that is what will really make the difference!!


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s