As Christians we are called to be missionaries to the world. We are to be salt and light both in word and deed. We demonstrate what humanity is to a lost world as we live out our call as the body of Christ. We present people with the living Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel message of salvation by grace through faith alone.
Often, as Christians, we ask whether we are to be missionaries or not, but the truth is that missions is for every Christian. Not all are called to go overseas, but all are called to be involved.
This brochure serves to present you with the grave spiritual realities of Italy that you may discern in what way the Lord would use you, if the Lord would use you, to make a difference.
Why is Italy a forgotten mission field?
Most people perceive Italy to be a Christian nation because the Catholic Church headquarters resides in Italy. What they don’t know is that though 95% of Italians are Catholic by birth, only 5% are practicing Catholics. For most people in Italy the Roman Catholic church is a joke and for the religious folk it’s simply a tradition. Most all young people have chosen to become atheist. Most old people are religious without understanding of the doctrines of the Christian faith, especially in regards to salvation - perhaps the most important doctrine of the Christian faith. Italy is a forgotten mission field because few people know of the dark spiritual realities underneath the religious and artsy facade of Christianity.
How did Italy become so lost?
One reason is because the Gospel has been hidden from the people. All Italian Catholics, if you ask them how they can go to heaven, will tell you it depends on their works or behavior. The gospel they have been preached is a false gospel based on human effort, not the living Lord Jesus, the Savior who regenerates and causes spiritual birth. As a result, most have abandoned the church thinking since they were baptized as a baby they are saved and all will be ok, if God actually exists. Others see the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and want nothing to do with God; their entire understanding of Christianity and God is distorted. The religious folks, on the other hand, continue to be faithful to a set of rules and traditions while remaining uninformed of sound doctrine and true Christianity which is to be lived out in everyday daily lives; Christians are to be a community of believers in love with Jesus and on mission with Jesus.
The world was changed forever during the reformation of the church in the 1500’s. Unfortunately, this reform has not yet arrived in Italy, some 500 years later. Another reason that Italy is so lost today is that at the time of the reformation gospel preachers were killed or chased away from Italy. Today, with the domineering power of the RCC the evangelical church is small and fragmented throughout Italy. The need for the Gospel in Italy is tremendous!!!
What does Italy need today?
When we understand the spiritual context of Italy based on the history of Italy and how it got the way it is today we are able to understand their situation; this is the first step. In a very real way the people of Italy have been spiritually abused by false gospels and oppressed by false churches and movements. In addition to the RCC’s erroneous teachings and the problems thereof, we find that 9 out of 10 people we evangelize will ask us if we are Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons! In order to love the people of Italy we must understand them. Most people are afraid to talk about God because they’ve been abused so much by these false preachers who speak in the name of the Lord... Above all we must demonstrate true Christianity with our sacrificial love and with our lives. We must gently and slowly present them with the true Gospel so that the Lord can transform their hearts. As missionaries we are tempted to give them too much of the Gospel in one sitting. We must understand the practice of sowing and be content to give them small doses of the Gospel. Just like the prisoners in the concentration camps during WWII who could not be given real food immediately or else they would have died, so Italians must receive the Gospel in small doses or else they will get pushed away from God the Father and perhaps never come close again.
Italy needs missionaries who can: adapt to the culture, understand the context, speak their language, live out the Gospel in everyday life, sow the Gospel in small doses, evangelize with the wisdom and grace of the Holy Spirit, make disciples and do all that is necessary to form church bodies that unite in the mission of Christ Jesus.
Jesse and Jeryvee have committed their lives to the work of church planting in Italy where: 60 million people have yet to hear the gospel in it’s beauty and simplicity and they know not the way of salvation. Today Italy has virtually NO gospel presence, but this is changing as we persevere and undertake the task of church planting in Italy. Many people are hungry for truth. Their lives are falling apart. Their country is falling apart. Christ is who they need! Christ sent us. What an honor we have!
As missionaries we sow the gospel seed through deed and word, we evangelize and present people clearly with the Gospel of Christ, we follow up with people by forming relationships with them with a Gospel focus, we make disciples of Christ by teaching God’s Word and the ways of the Lord, and we train disciples with the call to be church elders so that empowered by God’s grace they can oversee the church body as we go on to continue starting more churches. By God’s grace we are apostolic church planters.
How can you help?
We cannot fulfill our call alone. We depend on Prayer and Financial Support from individuals, moved by God Himself, to partner with us in this mission. Is Jesus calling you to partner with us?
As a married couple our monthly financial need is a minimum of $3,000 US. This is to cover our living and ministry expenses. We are seeking additional partners to reach our goal of $3,000/month. We need to raise an additional $900/month.
We also have the some Special Needs: $7,500 for a car, $3,000 to get into a more hospitable sized apartment, $350 for a guitar, $150 for a cajòn drum.
To join our Financial Team please make checks payable to Saints Equipped to Evangelize with “Schreck” in the Memo section:
P.O. Box 587
Bradenton, FL 34206-0587
Your donation will be greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.
We send out monthly prayer requests. Contact us to be added to our Prayer Team.
Our vision is to see TEN churches started throughout North Italy before we depart to be with the Lord. Each of these ten churches will be connected as sister churches. Each will have native Italian pastors trained to oversee and guide the church body. Each church will be involved in equipping the Saints for ministry and for bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to their communities. Each church will be involved in supporting missions work abroad through prayer and financial giving.
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
- Mark 6:34