“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” —Ephesians 1:3
Dear Friends and Co-laborers,
Praise God we have just completed our 26th year in the ministry. For the last twelve years we have been laboring by faith and through many difficulties to start and bring to maturity the Sola Grazia (Grace Alone) Church in Mantua. Our ministry goals still seem very far from being achieved but we praise God for His mercies throughout the years.
It is with the greatest gratitude to the Lord and to all our partners—like you—that we praise God. He keeps us when we fail and fall and He humbles us when we think too much of ourselves.
2019 has been a blessed and challenging year through which the Lord taught us many things. The greatest personal lesson has been the need for personal disciple in my daily routine. I am in charge of the ministry of the church, teaching and preaching, training church members, and evangelizing the city. I am also overseeing Coram Deo Ministries, which focuses on publishing sound literature, Bible conferences, and helping other churches to grow and resolve difficult issues. I am constantly receiving calls from all over Italy from pastors, church planters, and believers that are passing through major issues.
Being the only full-time laborer in this ministry, it has not been easy for my family or me. We have had to learn to limit many activities that we once enjoyed. Nevertheless, we love this work and we love the people whom God has given us. We would never change what we do for anything!
By God’s grace, our children are growing! Our daughter Lisa is at college at Bologna University. She did not pass the medical exams and so she is now studying Business and Economics in English. She is very happy and we see her doing well in that path. She attends Nuova Vita church in Bologna (New Life Church). Our son Tommy is eighteen years old and taller than his father. He is becoming more like an adult and is concentrated on his studies. He does not have many Christian friends and sometimes feels alone. Pray for him. It is not easy. Pray for the conversion of others who are his age. Our little daughter Eva has just turned nine years old and she is the funny girl of the family. She is extremely sweet and is involved with her family and the church.
Sola Grazia Church
In 2019, we finished our study in the book of Acts. It took us more than two years to cover the book and we have been very blessed and challenged by the Lord. This past June, we also started a series on the Gospel of John. At the moment we are in chapter three—studying the miracle of the new birth. I am so amazed by God’s grace for such wretched people as we are. The members of the church are sweet and lovingly, and willing to follow the lead of their pastor. It is a blessing to see how the expository preaching of the Word of God creates a sense of the reverence of the Lord and a loving gentleness among the Christians. During the meetings, several people have expressed how the preaching is shaping their thoughts about God and other biblical doctrines. Those who come from a Pentecostal background have said that they are especially blessed.
Training is the Main Focus of our Ministry
In the last eighteen months we have invested most of our time in the training of believers. I have been personally training three men (Marcello, Massimo and Giuseppe) in the church in Systematic Theology. We are also reading books on church elders. The men are really taking seriously the church and the ministry. Marcello and Massimo are starting to teach our CORE SEMINAR course in the Adult Sunday School class and are leading the Sunday Service.
Every three weeks, my wife Emanuela leads the Women’s class of the church. They are studying the book of Genesis. We also just launched a course on-line for Women called “First Principles.” It was developed by Simeon Trust and is called in Italian PRINCIPI BASILARI. The 8 videos have been subtitled into Italian and can be watched individually or with a group. In the first two days, we had around seventy subscriptions from women of different ages and backgrounds from all over the Italian peninsula! Now subscriptions are over 200 from all over Italy. Please pray that this free resource will be used extensively and bless many women, their families, and their churches. The English version can be found at https://simeontrust.org/courses/first-principles-women/.
Church building project
Here we have bad and good news to report! The bad news is that two months ago we discovered that the church property that we wanted to purchase is near a plastic factory that emits a terrible smell. Because of this, we are looking for a different building in the village. The good news is that we had made no commitment or signed no contract to buy. Can you imagine our predicament if we had signed a contract and then discovered that we had bought a building next to a smelly company?
Whenever God enables us to print a new book in Italian we refer to it as our “Latest Miracle.” Therefore we are pleased to announce that our latest miracle at Coram Deo is the publishing of “The Gospel of God, Romans 1;1-17” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Thank God for His provision. Thank you for your partnership with us and for all your prayers for our ministry.