Jessica and I met at the University of Central Missouri in 2004 and were married the following May 2005. We graduated with our undergraduate degrees in December of 2007. We then sensed God calling us to ministry, but we weren’t sure to what specifically. With both of us having an extensive background in music, we knew it would probably involve music in some way. We decided to attend Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, to grow in our understanding of the Word while waiting for clarity and direction from the Lord.
Then, in 2010, after attending Seminary for about a little over a year we felt God calling us to a ministry position in Milan, Italy, working for an international church. We loved ministering among internationals from all over the world! We came to know some of the dearest brothers and sisters in Christ that we have ever had the privilege to call friends. However, we also saw the great need for the Gospel specifically among the native Italians, and the need for more missionaries in such a lost, dark place.
The Duomo of Milan
God began then to do a great work in our hearts that has only grown over the last few years. He gave us a remarkable burden for the Italian people, and we came to think of Italy as our home. We knew then that Italy would be our home long term and began thinking about how we could focus our ministry on Italians. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to do this to some degree. Our international church partnered with a missionary couple who was planting an Italian church in the same area of Milan. We helped lead worship, served in ESL, and did evangelism outreach with them.
Then things took a sudden turn for us. After struggling for quite some time with infertility, we found out we were pregnant. Our joy soon turned to grief as our baby was given a terminal diagnosis with no chance for life outside of the womb. We had no idea how long she would live, but wanted to carry her for as long as God had numbered her days. A month later her heart stopped beating and we found ourselves in tremendous grief, and Jessica in much physical pain from pregnancy complications.
We had already made plans to return to the States for a time of healing. This was a difficult decision, but one that was necessary. But we knew that God was not finished with us in Italy.
Over the next five years, God grew us tremendously and blessed us with two miracle babies! Antonio was born in 2012 and Giacomo in 2014. All the while, Italy and its people weighed heavily on our hearts. We didn’t know what God’s timing would look like, but we trusted and knew that God would show us.
Our journey to serving overseas really started many years ago when God saved us. If you would like to hear more of our faith story and our passion for Italy, please connect with us. We would love to hear your story and share how God is continuing to work in our lives!
To read more about our journey to Italy, check out our BLOG!