Ciao! We’re Mario and Sheila, and we’re so glad you’re here! We’ve been happily married 40 years, walking with God since 1982, and serving him in Italy since 1989. We have 2 great children and 9 wonderful grandchildren. (Yes, nine!)
How it all began
It started with Mario’s burden to share the Good News with his people.
He was born in a southern Italian mountain village, but raised in the Bronx by non English-speaking parents.
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 given us a deep and abiding love for this land and its people, and helped us to endure!
And we believe that through the power of prayer, and by God’s grace, we will continue to see hearts touched and lives changed by the Gospel. Please pray that the Lord would use us as his heart and hands reaching out to these, our people.
Nearly 30 years here
During our years here we have worked in pastoring, church planting, teaching, counseling, discipleship, evangelism, children’s and youth work, drug rehabilitation, and refugee aid.
Jack of all trades, masters of none? That about sums it up! Because we’re just ordinary people used by God in the ministry of helps — in spite of all our mistakes and shortcomings. All the glory goes to him. He is the one who does extraordinary things, not us!
A journey of over 50 moves!
Our walk with him has taken us on a journey of over 50 moves, from tents to tarantula-infested campers (shudder), and from nice apartments to ex-chicken coops, so cozy the chickens kept returning! Along the way we’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff, many times over, and known times of great want.
And even though (for now) we’ve come a long way from those earlier needy years, we’d go back and do it all again. Because through it we learned that a life of purpose and meaning is what’s really important.
For the record:
I (Sheila) created and set up this site. (Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?) The homepage images are all ours (as are most images on this site). I am also the main contributor here; I communicate best through writing.
As a child in my home state of Michigan, I never dreamed of one day marrying an Italian and moving to Italy. But that’s what God had in store for me, and ’twas but the start of the adventure of a lifetime!
Mario is a people person who communicates best through talking, hugs, and kisses on both cheeks! He is the main photographer. (Most images on this blog are our own.) He does occasionally write posts, which you will recognize by the heading: A Word from Pastor Mario. For though we no longer actively pastor a church, he has an eternal pastor’s heart.
We love reading, studying, creation care, and simple living. The greatest blessings in our lives are family, friends, and the many spiritual children he has given us. But more than anything we love to tell the old, old story… of Jesus and his love. Our main desire is know him more and become people after his own heart. He is worthy of all.
For more updates on what’s happening with us, join our Facebook page or become our prayer partner!
Please pray with us that God would continue to use us to reach this nation!
Mission Italia, an ad-free blog, is also award-free — but we do thank you for thinking of us! No reblogs allowed.