Kelly does not have a blog, but she does have a Facebook Page for all of us to follow where she shares information on the ministry that they are a part of there in Italy.
While on deputation 7 years ago, this is one of the questions we were asked the most by non-Christian people....why Italy?! The Italians have their Catholic churches, their saints, their religious relics, their priests.Why, they even have the Pope! Italy is, after all, a Christian nation with 96% of the people professing to be Catholic. So, why Italy?!
When my husband, Paul, was 12 years old, God burdened his heart for the people of Italy. He had never met a missionary from Italy. He had never seen a presentation about the Gospel being shared there. He did know that salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ alone and not by works. If the Catholic church encourages a works-based salvation, then 96% of the Italians are lost. So, why NOT Italy?!
Paul and I were married in the summer of 2003. Our first son, David, was born the following year, a month before we started deputation. Emma joined us the following year and then the four of us were on our way to Deruta, Italy to work with veteran missionaries Frank and Sherry DiBagno. Paul began his 2-year language course at the university and we welcomed Evalyn into our family in May 2007.
Upon finishing language school, we returned to the States for a short furlough and, yes, another child, Elizabeth, was born in November 2008. In April 2009, we moved our family to Grosseto, Italy to join efforts with the Frank Maietta family at Chiesa Biblica Battista. The church was started one year prior to our arrival and the Lord has truly blessed our growing church family! My own ever-growing family was thrilled to meet our fifth child, Lilly Ann, last October.
Four girls and a boy...they have brought so much joy to our lives....as well as lots of opportunities to share the Gospel with those around us. In a country that averages 1.2 children per family, we really tend to draw attention! Our children are witnessing to others through their actions and behavior (as the language is still a barrier) and have seen some very positive effects on people. We, as the parents, get to share the Gospel with the inquiring minds around us but we also get quite an earful of interesting parenting advice/criticism/philosophies and such!
Life on the mission field has taught me countless lessons in so many areas of my life...life as a mother has done the same! I look forward to sharing some of the happiest and funniest as well as the hardest and saddest of them with you and hope that you will find humor and encouragement in them.
Alright kids....how many of you could eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday for lunch?! I know my kids would if I'd let them! Maybe they only like them so much because peanut butter is a LUXURY item for us Americans here! A tiny jar of Skippy costs about $7! Needless to say, we ask all of our visitors to leave their clothes at home and pack their suitcases with PeAnUt BuTtEr when they come to visit!!
Yes, it's sad, but the Italians aren't too upset. They've come up with a better replacement....Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut butter. It's so good that they eat it on sandwiches, toast, crepes, pies, cakes, pizza....yes, pizza!
The Nutella pizza was made for dessert at a cookout we went to last week...can you guess what we 'grilled'? Not hot dogs or hamburgers. Pizza, of course! The brick oven in the background is similar to ancient ovens that were used for making bread! Now, don't worry....there were hot dogs at this cookout...they were chopped up and eaten on the kids' pizzas! Buon apetito!