We have been working with Agape since 1997 first in Birmingham in the office, then for a few years with the Schools Ministry and then for another few years back in the office leading the Operations Team. Then in 2012 we left the UK to continue our ministry here in Italy.
Based in Florence we are part of the national leadership team with responsibility for managing the Operations team while Fran has responsibility for managing our national conference.
Fran has two sisters living in Italy and we first went to see them just after we got married in 1985. We’ve been travelling there ever since and grown to love the country and its people. We began praying about whether to move and work here with Agape in 2003. God opened that door in 2012.
Our nephew who was born and grew up in Italy has told us about how sometimes he would go to church with his friends in Italy for Christmas or Easter and that was something normal. But then in the same breath he said he wouldn’t dream of going here in England! He would then say “it doesn’t mean anything! – it’s just what you do in Italy.”
He has summed up what many Italians think.
80% of Italians would call themselves Christians which in reality means Catholic.
Our brother in law Paulo, sees the church as completely irrelevant, a rich and powerful organisation that has never helped him or anyone else. He is very bitter towards the church.
Italy is in desperate need of Christians who can demonstrate what it means to follow Jesus not just a set of rules and regulations (they are a culture who are masters at rules and regulations and then masters at flouting them too!) and demonstrate Jesus is a real person and worth taking seriously.
These are just some of the reasons we want to help this small ministry have a big impact. Thank you for being part of our team and helping Italians discover who Jesus really is.