About the Scorziellos

Hello and welcome! We’re Mario and Sheila Scorziello, serving on the mission field of Italy since 1989. We’ve been happily married 40+ years, and have two adult children and nine grandchildren.

I, Sheila, am originally from Michigan. Mario was born here, but raised in the Bronx by non English-speaking parents. Love for the homeland never left his heart, and that tiny village in the lonely mountains of the Salerno province, is now our second home base!

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.

Little did we then know that Italy is known as the missionary graveyard.

Or that most missionaries leave after only a few years because of depression, lack of results, bureaucracy, corruption, and cultural difficulties. But God has graciously helped us overcome these difficulties. And because we believe in the power of prayer, we believe he will continue to use us to touch hearts and lives with his Gospel.

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 a unique and enriching experience and we’ve learned a lot! Particularly that ours is a call to pastor, disciple, and mentor. And we feel constantly blessed and humbled that God would use two faulty people like us.

We’ve had the blessing and privilege of serving as pastors, teachers, in evangelism, church planting, translating, interpreting, counseling, drug rehabilitation, and in ministry to youth, children, men, women, families, and in jails.

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.

Our only desire is to bring God glory. And to continue serving however the Lord chooses. Right into our old age, if he so allows.

Simple News

You can follow our updates on our blog by clicking this link: Our Ministry News. They’re mostly pretty simple, because much of our lives are daily routine. As 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.

We would appreciate your prayers for us and Italy! Thank you!

SPECIAL NOTE: Because this is simply our personal ministry (not a mission organization), we do not offer employment or service opportunities.

29 Replies to “About the Scorziellos”

  1. I enjoy your blog and love your style of writing. It is clear and easy to follow. I have done a lot of short term missions work (including Erfurt Germany which I am assuming is similar to your spiritual culture) and have talked to other “tent making” missionaries about the need to live among people in urban settings just as you are doing. Therefore, I very much appreciate what you are doing and love reading about your journey and perspective. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Julene, for your encouragement! I’m sure you know how much it means. I enjoy your blog too, and am happy I found it! I imagine being clear and easy to follow is a result of living so long overseas. In English we have to speak simply or few would understand us. And in the beginning at least, we are only able to speak simply in our adopted language. So simple becomes the norm for us! LOL!

    1. No Karen, we live in Abruzzo, the region to the right of Rome. At least most of the year. We also have a 2nd base in the Salerno province. Thank you for your encouragement, and the prayers for our wonderful people! So glad to have you on our journey in this, the land of our hearts!

  2. What a life God has given you together!

    We lived in Germany for six years and Italy was one of my favorite countries to visit. Loved Rome, Venice, Sorrento and Tuscany so much! Northern Italy was a place I escorted tourists to when I was a tour guide. You are living our dream. My hubby and I wanted to become missionaries to the Ukraine but God closed those doors but sent us to another place to serve Him. Proverbs 3: 5,6. 🙂

    1. Amen!!! God has given you a discerning spirit. America certainly needs to turn to the Lord. We are so grateful that those who are attracted to and have joined our little church this past year are searching for Biblical Truth. Please remember Ridgewood Baptist Church in prayer as we will remember you. Blessings my new friend,

    2. Italy is both gorgeous and wonderful, that’s for sure. But no matter how beautiful any place is, if us being there makes us out of God’s will – it loses its beauty. So right where God has you planted is the most beautiful place in the world for you. And personally, we’re coming more and more to the conclusion that the USA now probably needs “missionaries” more than any other place in the world. We’re grateful for all the shining lights God has in the nation. So let your light shine!!

  3. So glad to connect with you here on WP.
    I have to admit I’m a little jealous of anyone who gets to live and minister in Italy. We spent 5 weeks there a few years ago and simply loved it 🙂
    May God bless you both as you serve Him and give you an open door for sharing His love, grace, and truth.
    Blessings in Jesus,

    1. Thanks Kelly! It’s an honor to me to be able to connect with you! Yes, Italy is beautiful. But what we most love is the lifestyle. Laid back, easy going, and always time for an espresso in piazza with family or friends. But it can be maddening at times too. What’s great, is knowing it’s where God wants us to be! And we’ll take that open door…actually we’re praying for many of them! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

    1. Thanks Heather, and it’s a pleasure to meet you too! So glad that the Lord shines throught in this. The older I get, the more I realize that we truly can do nothing without him. We’re missionaries, but only because he chooses to use us in spite of our imperfections. And the greatest work is what he’s don in our hearts. Loving us, changing us, and never, never giving up on us! God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

  4. I am beyond excited to meet you. Thank you for commenting on my blog post. Now I know who you are and, honestly, I’m in tears. Your ministry for the Lord combined with your great love of Italy and the people cut me deeply. My website is a culmination of my great love for Italy and all of the things you mentioned about it…beauty, slow living, always time for others, history, and even though I have not mentioned the Lord in my posts, I think about Him. He told me once to “illustrate My beauty” and I’m doing my best with what He has put in my heart. Your love for the Lord is so precious. Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself. I am reading through your posts and finding amazing encouragement. Blessings to you both!

    1. Wow Susan! It’s so wonderful to meet another blogger who shares our great loves: Italy, Italians, and the Lord! I love your blog, mainly because you show that not only rich people can afford to visit Italy! And your love for this nation pours out of your posts. It’s a special place and (or at least we think) one to be experienced, not just toured. Yes, there is beauty & history to see and admire. But there is so much more below the surface – a special “live life & love it” quality in the lifestyle that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Glad you like our simple blog and especially that you find it encouraging. That makes it all worthwhile! Thank you!

  5. Hi and thank you for the follow. I read through a couple of your posts and I will follow you also because I clearly can learn from you. Italy, always wanted to go there but my wife of 46 + years isn’t keen about travelling and if the truth be told, neither am I. We’re home bodies and our five grown up children and our six grandchildren all live here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Whenever I think of Italy I think of the Apostle Paul in prison there and the early Christians that suffered through persecution. I was close to Italy for a few months, served with the United Nation Peace Keepers Armed Forces and spent six months in Cyprus. I look forward to reading more of your posts. May God richly bless you and Mario in your work for our Lord.

    1. Thank you Bruce, and we’re so glad to have you! But I know the learning will take place on both sides…we learn and glean so much from all our blogging friends. I love your blog ans sounds like you’ve had an interesting life!

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