Want to know why I’m this excited? My latest adventure will take me to Italy this summer!
“Why does Italy need missionaries? Didn’t the church start there?”
That question has been posed repeatedly as I’ve told people that I am planning on going to Italy this summer. Italy has a long history with Christianity, but most Italians live in a post-Christian world. They are in many ways over-familiar with the old stories, but under-gospeled. There are reminders of miracles, church councils, and Christ throughout the scenery, our hope is for new life to be breathed into this beautiful country.
I will, Lord willing, be traveling on a nine day service-oriented mission trip this May. My church has a partnership with a church plant in Salerno, Italy called Nuova Vita (New Life). We will be a nimble seven person team who will participate in physically labor intensive service for the church plant. The purpose of the trip will be to increase the visibility, perception, and influence of our church partner by transforming and beautifying a neighborhood in the city.
I am excited about this trip for many reasons. First, the team! Those committed to the trip are delightful, flexible, team players and I anticipate good things coming from this group of people working together. Second, the work! I love seeing physical, tangible movement and progress. I want to encourage those who are in Salerno long-term who will see the fruit of what we start on this trip. I am looking forward to having both physical and spiritual goals for this trip so that progress can be seen (and anticipated in faith for what cannot be seen!) And third, the church planters! Justin and Abbey Valiquette (and their four children) are our missionaries and church planters in Salerno, Italy. I have known them and worked in ministry with them for a dozen years. They were on my Summer Project through Cru in 2003. We labored together, sharing the gospel and our lives for an entire summer and I am delighted to see them again and understand more fully the work of the church they have undertaken in Italy.
How can you help? Great question! Thanks for asking! First, please pray! I am a firm believer that mission trips don’t start the moment we get on the plane, just as they don’t end when we return home. The prayer, team building, support raising, and preparation are all part of the trip experience. Pray for our team and Nuova Vita that we would be a blessing to each other and the city. Second, support me financially. I am raising tax-deductible contributions through Orlando Grace church. The cost for the trip including air fare, lodging transportation, and food is $3000 which I must raise by April 15th. The faith building portion of the trip begins now for me as I humbly ask for partners. I believe that missions requires go-ers, welcomers, and senders and that we can each participate in different roles at different times. It is my turn to be a go-er!
If you would like to join my team of senders and support me financially, I will gladly send you the details! Just leave a comment below!