Category Archives: Blog

No phone, no internet, but we are moved!

Just a quick update to say we are officially moved into our new house in Modugno. Come visit us whenever you want!

Keep us in your prayers during this time of transition and we will update all our faithful friends and fam as soon as we get internet going in our new set-up.

Thanks for your prayers-

Happy Resurrection Day!

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter to everyone. Easter is so important for us as believer’s. It is what makes Christianity different than other religions…we have a Christ crucified for our sins, but not a Christ who remained dead. We have Christ resurrected! THrough his resurrection we can have the victory.

Ministry: We are still working to organize a trip to Morocco again this summer (hopefully in June) with i6:8. Gianluca and I hope to go to a missionary care center in September to see how they run thing (we have reservations). Things in the church are going well. The church continues to grow spiritually and in numbers. God is guiding the leadership and forming an excellent team of leaders who will work together to accomplish more and greater things for the glory of God. The various ministries of the church are each coming under the direction of a leader and then each leader is under the senior pastor (a bit like most churches in the US). It is exciting to see the need for this develop! This means that the church is growing so much that the pastor cannot do everything on his own. God has brought a great team of workers together and we are excited to see how he uses them. Gianluca is preaching at the upcoming conference on April 28th. We are prayerful that it will be an event that will stimulate the spiritual growth of many young people. We are also looking forward to the upcoming men’s conference which Gianluca has been very involved in coordinating.

Personal: The house is almost done and we hope to begin the move this coming Thursday or Friday. There is still a lot to do, but we can do the rest slowly after we have moved in.Gianluca’s office is mostly done…a few finishing touches to get him settled and “up and going”. We are all feeling a bit unsettled right now with all the changes and stresses in the recent period, but we charge forward in faith knowing that God will meet our every need and bless or ministry here as long as he wants our service here.

Blessed Be His Name

1 Peter 4:19 “Therefore, let those also who suffer accodring to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name

We bless the Lord for everything He is doing in our lives. For every trials he allows us to endure, for everything he takes away in order to stregthen our faith. For every miracle, blessing and joy we have in our daily lives. Blessed be the name of the Lord. We pray that you remember to bless the Lord, and those who are suffering for his name. There is a persecuted church in this world (www.opendoors.com) who is suffering and dying for His name. And yet they, as we too have done, have chosen to bless the name of the Lord.

*On a personal note: Gianluca finished up his office this last week and we recieved the keys to our new house this weekend. We will begin work in the house next week and hope to move in as soon as possible. The workers here are continuing to work through great difficulties, but we continue to be hopeful that God’s will will prevail. Blessed be His name.

Aurora is one year old!

2_304_fbo3idmkzj.jpgThis last week we celebrated the first birthday of our daughter, Aurora (March 18). Saturday we had a special day with Gianluca’s family and our friends- a big princess party complete with a castle cake (made by mommy)! Sunday we were able to celebrate together as a family which was also special. We are so thankful for our Rory. She is a true miracle and a gift to our family. She is so filled with joy and sunshine and has brightened our lives since her arrival one year ago.

The rest of the week we had our regular schedule. Gianluca is still working on his office, we are still packing the house, Gianluca had meetings during the week and his men’s meeting tuesday evening. Wednesday we had our premarital class which we will be finishing up next week. We are also working on creating the couples/family ministry for the church and on preparing a video/DVD that presents our ministry here in Italy (and the rest of the world through Mission i6:8). We are also trying to figure out how to get our Italian drivers liscenses- we had been using the international type initially, but will now need to get the official Italian one.

2_305_ss3qmrmxas.jpgBirthday’s are good occasions to celebrate the people in our lives. We are thankful for our family- for our two very precious children and also for our spiritual family- those who sustain us with their love, prayers and support. Happy Birthday Rory, we love you!

March 5- 11, 2007

Gianluca and Carli spent the majority of the week preparing for the one-day retreat for the couples who are attending the premarital course- including a day of prayer and fasting. Which, due to an unexpected loss in the family of one of the couples, was postponed the Saturday afternoon before the retreat on Sunday.

We are also spending a lot of time packing up our current house and trying to figure out things for our new house (we have been looking for a kitchen, which unfortunately in Italy, you have to purchase on your own- it is not part of a house). Gianluca is preparing his new office which is located with the other church offices in the basement of his parent’s house. He has had a lot of work to do to prepare it to be an office space, but it will be a really positive thing for him to be able to have his own space and quiet in order to prepare for presentations, classes, sermons, meetings, etc. His office has a separate access from the other offices and so it offers more privacy and quiet. He is really looking forward to using it.

Although we are disappointed that we were unable to do the retreat this weekend, we are well prepared now and are looking forward to doing it later this month. We also have hear that the house should be ready by the end of the month for us to move in! This is a very positive thing and we are hopeful that it will really work out.

All things in faith…

With faith that the Lord our God is faithful and sovreign, we continue to serve him as long he allows us to have this amazing privelege.

2_298_64yezvnvbo.jpgUnfortunately, we just recently found out that one of our sending churches has decided to close its doors- causing for the loss of a great family and for half of our financial support. It is another challenge for us to put our faith in God. He has always provided, and if he wants us to serve him here we know he will continue to provide for all of our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Just as he will provide for the needs of our dear family members who were a part of this church body.

It is also unfortunate that things here at the center, and with the mission board, continue to be under tension. There are important decisions to make and the enemy wishes to divide God’s servants, so that these decisions cannot be reached. Yet, just as with our finances we continue to hold to the faith that God is in control and in the end it is His will that will prevail over our own stubborness or unwillingness to change/see our errors.

It is furthermore unfortunate that the house we have found is still not ready and that they continue to lobby for a price that is above what we would like to pay. Yet, in faith we have begun to put all of our things in boxes and move them to Modugno (storing them at Gianluca’s parent’s house). We know that God will provide the way and in His timing. And we look forward to the blessings that this new home will bring us. They are doing a lot of work in it and it will be nice to just move in and enjoy being closer to the church and our work in the city.

All things in faith…

In faith we will also begin our Mission i6:8 school and take 3 more trips this year! God is truly blessing the Mission i6:8 ministry. It is touching the lives of the young people here in Italy and through these young people it is blessing the lives of believers, missionaries and the lost around the world.

In faith we will also be continuing to develop the couple’s ministry at the local church. The premarital course is going wonderfully and each couple testified, during the class last week, how much the course is challenging them and helping them to change! We are looking forward to the upcoming one day retreat with these couples and to further developing this ministry in order to bless all the families of the church.

In faith we live each day, and each day God provides us the faith we need to affront each aspect of that day…both the positive and the challenging. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Our hope is Christ, for we are convicted that he is in control and that he works for the good of those who love and serve him.

Happy “Love” Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, or “Love” Day, as I like to call it. As my husband says, “It is just another over commercialized holiday in order to make more money.” And he is right. Yet for me it is also an opportunity to ask ourselves how we are doing at expressing love to those around us, our brothers in Christ and those who are lost, and to our Savior?

Things are zooming along here. The kids grow too fast and Gianluca and I are nearing our 5 year wedding anniversary (at times it seems we’ve been married much longer, and other times we think, “Wow! 5 Years”…depending on the day!). Rory is putting along walking holding on to everything in her grasp, pushing toys around the room, gripping chairs, legs, tables, etc. She doesn’t like to sit down and does not like to be helped. She is fiesty. EJ is speaking in full sentences now, switching easily between Italian and English. Soon he will be correcting me! Gianluca and I have begun to pack up our house. Prayerfully the house will be ready very soon. We will, however, be moving as soon as we get our stuff packed and if the house is not ready yet we will be staying with Gianluac’s family until it is.

Things in the church are going well. Gianluca is visiting local churches with a team of i6:8 members sharing about their experience in Morocco and the vision of i6:8. They hope to take three more trips this year. One in June to Morocco again, one in August to Albania, and one next December. i6:8 will be begin it’s school again this month and Gianluca will be teaching. We will be sharing the new couples ministry to the church in a week or two. We are prayerful for their response because we know that there is a big need.

Gianluca just hosted two gentlemen from England who work with the ministry Next Level- a ministry that helps with church planting and development. We hope that they will be able to partner with and bless the evangelical church in Italy. It was a crazy several days for him and I think in the end the kids and I saw him twice!

SO back to the infamous introduction to this brief look at our weekly lives…how are we doing at loving? More specifically, how are you loving those around you? I have been amazed in the last few years to see how the enemy is destroying the church from the inside out- divorce, church divisions, scandals, problems with team work, lack of submission to leadership/church authority, church hopping, insaddisfaction with everything the church does or the pastor says, lack of recognition of th divine authority God has given our pastors, etc, etc. There is persecution around the world for those who believe in and follow Christ, but the more amazing thing is that we are auto-destructing. So, how are you doing at loving? How well do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in your church body? Do you show love to the team you work with in your ministry? How well do you love and submit to your pastor as the authority God placed over your church- or do you just hop to another church when you feel unsaddisfied? How are we loving the world around us who is lost and without Christ? When is the last time you, or I, shared the gospel? Yesterday? Last year? Never? DO we love the world through setting a Christ-like example in our marriages? our interaction with other believers? the respect we show our pastor?

I hope this Valentine’s Day you and I can ask ourselves “How am I expressing love to those around me?” And that we can make real changes in our marriages, our ministry teams, our churches, our families, our lives, and in the world today. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

We love you all. And Christ loves you too.

Keeping busy!

2_277_vwdshwqik1.jpgThese last several days since Gianluca’s return have kept us very busy. The Sunday morning after his return we faced two departures- my mother left to return to the USA and Gianluca’s brother, Mirko (the youth pastor of the Modugno church), preached that Sunday in church sharing about his departure for Australia that upcoming Wednesday (I stayed home with Aurora as she was still recovering from a difficult bout of the flu).We spent the week preparing for our premarital class, Gianluca’s i6:8 meeting, and for the Mission i6:8 presentation in church. Monday Gianluca had a meeting with the core leaders of the Italian national youth organization Generazione Scelta to talk about the upcoming year and what it holds. Gianluca was able to share about Mission i6:8 and the upcoming plans (our goal, for example, to take 4 trips this year). Tuesday Gianluca had a men’s meeting in the evening (and Rory was finally getting back to her old self). Wednesday we spent together with Gianluca’s family before Mirko left for Australia that evening at 12. It was both a sad and exciting goodbye. Mirko will be going to study youth ministry at the Hillsong school in Australia for the next year. We are excited for this opportunity for him and for the blessing that it will be to the church. Thursday evening we had our premarital course, which Carli taught this week. Praise the Lord that it is going very well!

2_293_66zmnpoynl.jpgFriday Gianluca had an i6:8 meeting and Sunday the team from Morocco presented at both church services in the Modugno church their experiences on this mission trip (unfortunately I came down with the flu all over again on Friday and Saturday).

We are happy to all slowly be getting back to health and even happier to hear that we should be able to move into the house that we have found in a month (longer than we would prefer, but thankfully not too long!). God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Start it out with a bang!

This year ended and began with a couple days of time with the family. Christmas eve, Christmas day and New Years eve and Day we spent at Gianluca’s parents house. We laughed a lot and ate too much and played games too. We watched a fireworks display from the roof of Gianluca’s parents’ house that the city of Modugno had put on New Years eve.

The end of one year and beginning of another is always a time to reflect upon the year that you have just finished. It was a challenging year for our family and ministry and we are glad to be branching off onto a new road in our lives and ministry this 2007.

2_276_e0h9ea063e.jpg2_279_yhpts7oxbt.jpg2_280_s0drhnbpoi.jpg2_281_ylxem9bk1a.jpg
My mom arrived on the 28th after a very crazy and very long journey- unfortunately without any luggage. The kids, EJ in particular, were thrilled to have grandma here and demanded her full attention! We enjoyed her time here and only the Lord new how much I, Carli, would need it!

Gianluca left on January 3rd for Rome and began an equally crazy journey to Morroco for the Mission i6:8 winter missions trip. The team led the church services at the Modugno church the Sunday (New Year’s eve) before their departure- sharing about their upcoming adventure and what each person hoped to give and gain from this experience. The church comissioned them and prayed for the wives who were holding down the home front too!

After the fireworks of New Years Eve our own little firework, Aurora Zoe, was admited to the hospital for 3 days after a severe allergic reaction to the penicillin she was taking for her bronchitis. Unfortunately upon her return home three days later she and mama came down with the stomach flu. She is still recovering from this 3 week bout of multiple sicknesses and is pretty week from not being able to keep food down.

We said hello to Gianluca and goodbye to my mom within a day of one another- Gianluca arrving the 13th and my mother leaving the 14th. EJ was happy to have his Daddy home, although sad to see Grandma go. It was a tough 2 weeks during Gianluca’s trip and so I, Carli, was happy to have him home again with the family. So we had a bit of a bang and a boom to the beginning of our new year. Trials have begun to surface, but we have faith that 2007 has many blessings in store for our ministry, our family, and those we minister to here in Italy and around the world. [On a side note: please forgive our lack of updates recently. We have once again been without internet for an extended period of time]. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those who have begun this new year with us in prayer. We know many of you have been praying for Aurora and for Gianluca’s trip too. We feel them…they sustain us.