I grew up in a family where going to church was a regular activity. I attended all of the church functions, sang in the choir, participated in the youth group, and helped out where there was need. But, I still felt there was something missing. When I was 12, after taking a course on becoming a member of the church, I was presented with the fact of my personal need of the Savior, received Christ into my life by praying with the pastor, and was baptized. Sadly however, there was very little connection between my faith and my personal life, and I entered some turbulent teen years where I began to drift away from the Lord. I began to look for excuses to not attend church and found friends that had no spiritual interest. Since my parents required me to go to church, I decided to find a job on Sundays so that I didn’t have to go. The door opened for me to work at the local AM radio station on the weekends and I believed that I had found the solution. Except for the fact that my job was to go around to all of the churches in town and record or broadcast the church services! My plan backfired because in reality I was in church every Sunday!
The summer after I graduated from high school I went to a guest ranch in Colorado. I went with a friend and we both stayed with the staff for the week we were there. The ranch is very special place where the staff are all born again believers, and yet caters to vacationers who usually do not have any idea of what it means to know Christ. It was there, during that week, that God used several staff people to challenge me as to the life I was living. I realized that I was not living for God, even though I had asked Him into my life. As a result of that week, I came home and recommitted my life to Jesus Christ, and dedicated my life to live for Him.
I went to college and got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ in Bible study, evangelism and discipleship. I started to grow and mature in the faith. Later, after graduating from college I returned to the ranch to work full time and I had the privilege of sharing my life with others who were just like I had been.
After working at the ranch I attended Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions (now Columbia International University), and it was during my time there that I felt God’s call on my life to serve Him full time. During that year a missionary from Italy came to the school and he had a profound effect on me. I began to understand that God was also calling me to serve Him in Italy. Now, after 29 years of service we have seen the Italian evangelical church grow to the point where leaders need training and preparing to take over the responsibility for the leading the Italian church into the future. My wife Cindy and I are actively involved in training and preparing Italian leaders.
Cindy, Stephanie Roofner, Liz
I am in leadership development in the New Hope Evangelical Church (Chiesa Cristiana Evangelica Nuova Speranza) in Casalecchio di Reno near Bologna . It is my privilege to work with 3 elders and help them grow in their walk with the Lord and their respsonsibility as elder-leaders.
I am also team leader of TEAM staff working together in Bologna whose mission is to bring the gospel message to not-yet believers and to build up Italian believers to be faithful disciples of Jesus.
The “Bolognesi”, those living in this area are people who have pretty much left behind their religious roots and upbringing, looking to find hope in society, in politics, or in materialism.
Primary Prayer Request:
Pray that many “Bolognesi” would come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ, and that God’s Spirit would open their hearts to believe in Jesus.