I don’t really talk a lot on here about what we do, because I strive to keep this blog more as a place of growth and inspiration for you (and for myself). Yet we do need to keep our supporters informed, and I believe that learning what God is doing will be an encouragement. Because that’s what our work is about: he is doing it all. Without him, we can do nothing!
Almost from the start we felt called to serve God as missionaries. Our missions minded church supported many missionaries and they visited regularly. Their testimonies stirred our hearts to give our all to Christ. And for us, that meant the mission field.
We left for the mission field in May of 1989.
We set out with basically nothing. Just two kids and eight suitcases. No support base, no income or money in the bank, no property or assets, and very little cash.
Along our long and varied path of shoestring-budget missionary living, we have moved over 50 times. Living in towns (big and small), villages, and in the countryside. In the regions of Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Lombardy – and now Abruzzo, plus our summer home in Campania.
And lived in everything from a tarantula-infested camper (shudder) to a tent. And even in an old chicken coop, so cozy the chickens kept returning! We’ve gone without, been abundantly blessed, and learned countless lessons along the way.
It’s been an enriching experience, with the blessing and privilege of serving in many roles, although our main calling is that of pastoring, discipling, and mentoring. But through it all, we have learned far more than we ever taught. And are constantly blessed and amazed that God would even use two faulty people like us.
In 1997 Open Door Church in Suffolk Virginia took us under their wing and changed our name to Mission Italia. They have been and continue to be a great source of blessing and encouragement to us. And we are ever so grateful to the church and to our pastors!
Our Current Work
We now divide home between 2 regions. Abruzzo where we live most of the year, and Campania where we spend the summers, in Mario’s ancestral birth home. We encourage and teach the pastors and believers in these areas, as well as in other areas of Italy. While also letting our light shine in our needy areas.
For online safety, and to protect the privacy of others, I have created nicknames for our towns. Beautiful but Forgotten is our main town here in Abruzzo. And Beyond Forgotten is our lovely summer village in the Campania region.
Our summer village has only 4 other believers, not counting a few summer visitors like us. The pastor and his family live about an hour away, and he faithfully makes that trip each and every week.
We are the only born-again believers here in our main town. The nearest church, which we attend, is about 40 minutes away. They are a great support and blessing to us.
Mostly our updates are pretty simple. Much of our lives are daily routine. Because we are partially self-supporting tent makers, Mario spends a lot of time as an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. I fill my days with housework, writing, and encouraging neighbors. And we are also quite involved in our church near here.
You can always find our newsletters in our main menu or by clicking this link: Our Ministry News. Thank you for all your prayer support and the interest so many of you show for our work here. Know that we count on your prayers, and that as prayer supporters, you play a very important part in our work here!!
And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Visit my second blog:
If you love Italy and all things Italian, visit My Italian Home – for a bit of real life, in the real Italy!
All images are my own.