They are Not Forgotten: But Who Will Go?

Beautiful words for the King are in my heart. And I long to use my voice (or keyboard) to adequately communicate all the longing in our hearts. I’m thinking of our trip tomorrow morning. We’re going down to my husband’s hometown, nicknamed Beyond Forgotten, in the Salerno province. How we long to portray the poverty and desolation of the area, but words are so inadequate to express the real needs there.

My heart overflows with a noble theme. I recite my verses for the king. My tongue is like the pen of a skillful writer, (Psalm 45:1).

As we wrote in Beyond Forgotten, it’s an isolated village, in a forgotten area of Italy.

Only one road, winding up the mountain, leads to the hilltop town. Through the beautiful national park of Cilento, with its almost haunting beauty. But it’s not so much that the scenery is spectacular, though it is. Nor is it that the road leads to an exciting town, because it doesn’t.

It’s more the sensation that no one wants to stay there. That few go, or even want to go there.

We rarely see anyone, or even pass other cars during the 1½ hour climb up the mountain. Some cows, a few horses, and once in a while a shepherd or farmer.

Most of the crumbling, caved in roads are closed down.

Even GPS navigators warn of entering a restricted area.

Work is almost non-existent.

Crazy national park laws prohibit the farmers from doing so many things. Yet, with no industry, farming is almost all they have.

Most families and young people have moved away. Yet unemployment remains over 20%. There are no schools, and almost no stores.

Street after street of abandoned houses.

Full of abnormal alley cats, who use door steps as litter boxes. Trash lays where it falls. Who cleans abandoned streets?

The nearest hospital is 38 minutes away, but they can’t get there.

The road, closed down after a landslide years ago, has never been repaired. Making the nearest reachable hospital 48 minutes away, down twisting mountain roads.

So what makes us go, you may wonder? Yes, what indeed?

Who wants to go to a place like that? The only answer we know to give is: people like us, and people like you.

People with God’s love, hope, and peace in their hearts. And a longing to share it with others. People who know that though all in this life may seem hopeless — there is hope. Both now, in the midst of difficulties, and in the life to come. That is the message we have. Let’s not forget to share it!

We all have others around us who need to hear that there is hope. To know they are not forgotten.

Who goes to them? Who will go to them? Open your door and take them some cookies. Open your home and have them in for coffee. Open your ears to really hear what they are saying. And your heart to truly love them.

They need hope. They need to know they are not forgotten. But first we’ve got to show we care. Will you go?

Please keep us and the villagers in prayer. They need to know that they are not forgotten!

We’ll be without internet for most of July, unless we use the pizzeria’s wi-fi. Much to my delight there is a pizzeria! (Oddly enough.) The only way for us to have internet there is with a landline phone, too costly for a couple of months each year. But that’s OK. We need the reminder that internet is not a necessity. A helpful tool, yes. But we can live without it.

[Image ©TheScorziellos-Mario]

4 thoughts on “They are Not Forgotten: But Who Will Go?

  1. Praise God for burdening your hearts to share His love with those, who have been forgotten by the rest of the world. The Lord has not forgotten … He is sending you there. Praying for you and for the advancement of the gospel.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ai. We really need and count on the prayers of God’s people. We can not reach them, but God can, and he has not forgotten them!

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  2. Sister Sheila, I believe so strongly in the power of Intercessory prayer and especially for others whom we may never meet in this life, for it is the REAL meaning of laying aside “your” life for another as time is the ultimate sacrifice in this finite life we live. Eternity starts just beyond that threshold but until then, time spent cannot be regained. You have my wife’s and my prayers for you and Mario and that the Holy Spirit will lead your steps and allow you to accomplish His will!
    My son and his wife just got back from a weekend trip into a beautiful part of Colorado that is very similar to what you describe as far as the geography. It’s nicknamed the Switzerland of Colorado. And he took many, many pictures. Beautiful, scenic waterfalls and mountain-scapes. Unlike what you are trying to convey, the people are there because they are there, not for ministry, not because they are “stuck” there, but because they want to rest.
    I tell you this for this reason, my son told his mom and I that the pictures, though beautiful, don’t do the area justice. That has to be in your heart as you try and describe the abject poverty and having a person’s hands tied due to crazy laws and such! I can appreciate the point you are making. A person with heart, compassion and mercy can always realize a situation is always much worse for those having to live through it.
    Anyway, you might not get this until you get back, but our Heavenly Father knows and hears. AND He sees our Hearts, yours, your husbands and any who are helping in the service (ministry) you provide.
    God bless you as you do the Lord’s work and we look forward to your return with a good report!! Blessings abundantly (so they can be scattered abroad!)

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    1. Thank you so much, Pastor Roland, for your encouragement, and for praying for us while we were gone. Things went well, and we are much encouraged by our time there. I hope to be posting an update in the next few days. Things are a bit upside down right now. And yes, what it heart-breaking is that the people do feel ‘stuck’ there, and without hope. We go because we offer the only real hope any of us have. Mario and I met, married and lived in Colorado (Denver & Greeley) for about 12 years, and you’re right, it is breath-takingly beautiful!

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