This is part 2 of a multi-part series on my recent trip overseas to visit with ministry leaders and specifically house/simple church leaders in Kazakhstan and Italy. You can read part 1 about Kazakhstan here. In he next several days I will be sharing some take-a-ways from this experience. But for today…
I was greeted in Italy by John (Juan Carlos) and Betsy. I met them through a common friend Ed Magnum during the pandemic. Over the past several years, we have had many conversations online about simple church and they have been excited to be a part of the Simple Church Alliance. I was excited to meet them for the first time in-person.
John and Betsy and their two children moved to Osimo, Italy after a visit and their subsequent burden from the Lord to move and serve there. They are originally from Venezuela and have lived in Miami for a bit, but have called Italy their home for many years now
I arrived to learn that we were hosting a wedding on my first day. I blew up a lot of balloons, then traveled to the nearby town’s city hall for the official wedding performed by the mayor. We then came back for one of the most interesting wedding celebrations I have attended. The bride and groom were from an Arab/Muslim background, and, of course, John and Betsy (along with much of their family who now live there) bring Latin influence into their Italian countryside home.
Over the next several days, I observed the ministry that is truly “simple church.” John, who is an entrepreneur in the field of robotics, along with his wife, are taking ownership of their faith. They are not waiting for someone to tell them what to do, they are filled with love for those around them, and listen to obey Jesus as He is leading them to love others and intentionally get involved with their lives. It was beautiful to see and experience.
Currently, two other couples are hoping to start a new simple church in the nearby town of Porta Rigonati. Will you please pray for them and for the many Italians and immigrants who are connected to their simple church?
Tomorrow: Part 3 – Take-a-ways
Check out this video of John and Betsy from a few years ago sharing more about their story.