Gods Work in Italy

John and Christina

In the summer of 2013, we returned from six months of missionary training in Ghana, Africa. The door had closed for us to go to Columbia, which was where we were to be full-time missionaries upon finishing the training in Ghana. The Lord obviously had other plans because he closed that door abruptly. So we prayed “Where to now, Lord?” Since I spoke Spanish, I thought that He would send us to a Latin country. I took a week-long trip to Panama and spoke with a pastor there to see if that was where the Lord wanted us to go. But the Lord did not confirm Panama.

Then we thought perhaps Peru, the country my mother was from. We met-up with a missionary pastor serving there who was back in the states for a couple of weeks. We spent some time talking with him and then prayed about it all together. The pastor even opened his doors to us and said that if we did go to Peru, we could stay with him for a time. However, again, the Lord did not confirm that for us. So, we decided that instead of trying to find a door that would open, we would wait for Him to let us know when and where it was time to go back onto the mission field. It’s been nine years since.

Then in January of 2020, my aunt mentioned that my Godfather’s sister had passed away in Italy and had left a house to him that no one was living in. Cristina and I thought, “Wow! Wouldn’t it be awesome to live in Italy!” That was the first thought we ever had of living in Italy. The following Saturday I went to the farmers market near my house, which was my usual Saturday morning routine, and which is how I had met a vendor there who is also a brother in Christ. That morning as we were talking, he told me that he had heard that there was an evangelist speaking in San Diego, who shared what he believed God told him, “God is going to give Italy the boot and let the light shine in.” What he meant by that, was that God was going to shake up Italy and then let the light in, because Italy has never experienced a reformation all through history. My thought was: “I want to be a part of that!” As I was walking home from the market, I sensed the Lord telling me that he wanted us to go to Italy. My heart was stirred and I got really excited, like I did when the Lord told us He wanted us to go to Ghana.

We love this quote from Gladys Aylward, because we feel the same way as she. When asked why God sent her to China – she answered: “I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China…I don’t know who it was…It must have been a man…It must have been a man…a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing….and God looked down…and saw Gladys Alyward…And God said- “Well, she’s willing, send her.” —Gladys Alyward

Years ago, in the 1950’s, my dad and his brothers had immigrated to the United States from Italy. My father had passed away when I was about five years old. All my uncles had become naturalized citizens of the U.S., so I assumed that my father had become an American citizen before he died. Remembering I had seen my dad’s green card in his wallet, I opened his wallet and saw that it did contain his green card. That led us to think that maybe my father never did become a citizen, that maybe he had passed away before he could. After a call to the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles, we found out that if my dad had passed away before becoming an American citizen, I would qualify for dual citizenship. Not just me, but my children and wife as well. As we delved into an investigation, we found out that, indeed, my father had passed away before he could complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. This was very intriguing to us, as we could see the Lord’s hand in all this, how this must have been a part of His plan from the beginning; seemingly, I was born into this situation to do this task.

The Italian citizenship process took a little over a year, because of COVID. I am blessed to say that everything went through, and I am now an Italian citizen, as well as my children. Cristina, because she is seeking dual citizenship through marriage, can apply three years after I became a citizen. She will, however, have to speak Italian with a B-1 fluency when she applies. Becoming a citizen of the country I will be serving on the mission field was actually an answer to prayer! One of the things that I had always thought about was when I enter a country as a missionary, I really did not want to lie at the border as to why I was going to their country, I told the Lord that I didn’t want my first act as a missionary to be a lie – now I don’t have to say why I’m going to Italy, because I am an Italian citizen. He recently reminded me of this request I had prayed to Him —HE is so Good! Before I had gone to Ghana, the Lord had spoken to me and told me that “I would adopt a country and the country would adopt me.” I thought Ghana was going to be that country. When that door closed, I thought to myself that maybe it wasn’t the Lord, it was just a random thought. However, when I received my dual citizenship confirmation from the Italian consulate, the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that it was He who had spoken those words to me. How much more can I adopt a country and a country adopt me than becoming a citizen! He is so Amazing! And I am so humbled that the Lord would speak to me. I have asked the Lord for several confirmations and the Lord has been so gracious that He keeps reaffirming His call for us to go to Italy “I am weak – He is strong”. We have no doubt that is where the Lord wants us. We don’t know how he’s going to get us there, but we know He will. He did it for us when we went to Ghana, and we see the fruit from Ghana.

So we are excited with much anticipation of what He is going to do for Italy. By faith we have set a date of March 2023! Since setting that date, the Lord has confirmed over and over that we are going —“I believe and He helps me with my unbelief.” We are going to a country that though they believe in God and have a Bible, they have never accepted the finished work of Jesus and have never experienced a revival. We are not going with an agenda or with an expectation, just with anticipation of the work the Lord is going to do, and we know God only does good works. We cannot express how moved and touched and humbled we feel that He would consider us. That He would use us to share Christ and His truths (the Bible) in Italy. He loves the Italian people and His desire is that they come into a personal relationship with Him through Christ. He wants them to know that they can have assurance of their salvation through Jesus, and that He completed the work, so salvation comes through Him alone, and not through the Catholic church and works —Jesus plus nothing is “The Good News”!!!

In Cristo, John and Cristina Inglese

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