“You’re moving to Italy? When can we visit?!” Whenever we share that we’re re-locating to Tuscany, people’s eyes light up. Rolling hills, cypress trees lining winding roads, guaranteed golden sunshine, endless vineyards and olive groves, and of course the world-famous gelato ... who wouldn’t want to live there?
"Our desire was to bear witness to the Gospel in our small, very Catholic town of nearly 2000 people....but the Lord guided us to Catania, a city with a population of over 300,000 and no local Christian testimony."
“Let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset and olive groves. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze ... you can go round and round in circles for years.”
After a few years in northern Italy, we have moved ‘home’ to Sicily. Here I grew up, here my parents laboured. Palermo is the 2018 Italian ‘Capital of Culture’. And what a feast of richness in this city, capital of Sicily, with over 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, defined by many as ‘the most conquered’ of world cities.
It was late on Christmas Eve when I got the call. Fabiano’s Mum was furious. Fabiano had just wrestled her to the ground to prise a dog out of her embrace and thrust his sister flying back towards the door as he stormed out back to his Dad’s.
Europe is fast becoming the new mission field for the Christian world. Now the continent with the fewest percentage of evangelicals, it is increasingly harder to be taken seriously intellectually if you profess Christ. The universities, once founded to know God and His ways in the world are now amongst the most secular institutions in Western Europe.