Pray for the Whitmans – Pray for Italy

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Spreading the Truth, Spreading the Hope

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Evolution-Creation ConferenceOne of the frustrating things about ministering in a “religiously Christian” country such as Italy is the blatant contradiction in beliefs that people live comfortably with every day.

Not too long ago, I spoke with a very well-educated man who was trying so hard to get his religious beliefs to coincide with his scientific beliefs.  He wanted to consider himself a Christian, but he was dogmatic about his Darwinist beliefs regarding the origins of the world.

The average Italian we speak to does not even go that far…he or she would say they believe that God created the world, but also that it created “itself” by chance.

The Italian religious system could be summarized with the following motto: “Don’t ask too many questions.  You might not like the answer.”  

Italians need to find a more solid foundation than the ones they have been relying on so far: Catholicism and Evolutionism.

  • Both of them rely blindly on the changeable word of man instead of the never-changing Word of God.
  • Both of them demand that you believe them without questioning their faulty assumptions.
  • Neither of them are founded on truth, and neither of them can give hope.

For this reason, I am asking you to pray for these seven things with us:

  1. Pray for this weekend’s meetings, when our missionary friend Massimo Mollica (the former rocket scientist) will be coming to our church to speak on the theme of Science and Faith.
    Massimo has specialized in this field and will be a great help in equipping Christians in our area and evangelizing the many unbelievers of all ages that we have invited.
  2. Pray for Massimo and their family, as they come minister to us this weekend.
  3. Pray for our church people to come, and bring their friends.
  4. Pray for our students, who are bombarded every day with false teachings in their schools.
  5. Pray for the many people to the event, to actually come.
  6. Pray that people will embrace the only Truth and only Hope: Jesus Christ, creator of Heaven and Earth.
  7. Pray that in our hearts  we may honor Christ the Lord as holy, and always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in us; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (I Peter 3:15)
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Living between two worlds

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Just a few days ago, Eva expressed a deep realization, one that defines so much of the life of missionaries and missionary kids (a.k.a. MKs): “Daddy, it stinks…wherever we are, we are missing someone!”

I know it’s not just a problem for missionaries.  Maybe you are a grandparent with kids and grandkids in different parts of the world, or maybe you’re in the military, or your job has you living far from family and friends, or maybe you are in a ministry that has you moving around a lot.  Either way, Eva’s right: it stinks to be missing someone all the time!

I guess it’s a good reminder of the tension between living in this world, but looking forward to the next!

One of the ways this tension shows up is when we are planning a summer furlough (and all the missionaries said “Amen!”).  We can’t wait to come and be with so many of you, and to share face to face all the blessings that God has been giving us since last time we were together. It also means we still have meetings to schedule, presentations to prepare, airline tickets to purchase; all the while being blessed with a fruitful ministry that we care not to stop until the very last minute!

Just today, I began preparations on my sermon for next Sunday, which just happens to be a great missions message.  Last week we were blessed with discipleship meetings, informal get-togethers with people from church, prayer meetings and coffee with unbelieving friends!  The weekend before last, Daniel and I even were able to help out in a conference for the Italian Theological Academy, while my Dad preached at my brother Josh’s church plant in Imola!

Praise God for all he allows us to do, and the people we get to do it with, including our co-workers/family and brothers and sisters in Christ!

Needless to say, we love feeling useful, but also we’re a bit tired!  I think I can speak for all of us when I say: Would you pray for us to get it all done?

Praise God that we are not alone in this! We can’t make it without you!

Thank you for your faithful prayer and support!

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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun… And It’s Time To Head Home!

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It seems like yesterday that Melodee was packing our suitcases as we prepared for our summer furlough in America…now she is packing them again to head home.  We will leave with joyful hearts for all the blessings received and hopefully a few of them given along the way.
Also, a bit of sadness as we say goodbye to family and friends.

Monday, as you celebrate Labor Day, we head back to our labors of joy for the Gospel.

If we were able to connect in person, you know that our message has been simple: Battle in Prayer!  Are you battling? Are you striving?
Have you set a time or two a day to pray the Lord of the Harvest to send our laborers into his harvest?

Please pray for us as well:
1. That we can find daily joy in our labors.
2. That we can be safe in our travels.
3. That we can be wise and faith stewards of all that God has committed to us.

A busy schedule awaits us, as we jump back into a routine, but God is faithful.
May we also be found faithful.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon and Melodee, Noah and Eva

Whitmans Whitmans

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Ready or not, East Coast, here we come!

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Eva airplane


I don’t know about you, but I get slightly nervous whenever I hear those words… “Oh boy, what am I getting myself into now?”

How about, if instead, I said: “Help me help you!” That has a better ring to it.
You see, in less than a month we sail across the ocean blue toward the great US of A (How many clichés can I use in one sentence?).

Can you believe it? We have not visited our friends, family and supporters of the east states of America since 2017! Time flies when you are serving the Lord!!

We look forward to being with you in person to share with you God’s many blessings as well as some of the challenges of serving in a post-Covid Italy.

Click here for our summer 2023 itinerary.

So much has happened in this time, that we risk having a presentation that is too long and yet still not answer all your questions. So, please help us by answering the following questions:
What would you like to know about our last term in Italy?
What would you like to see more of in our presentation?

While you think about that, here are a few things you can pray for as we get ready to leave:

Top Ten Prayer Requests for Furlough Preparation:

1. Wrap things up here in Italy
– Finish up our ministry responsibilities
– Prepare our vehicles and house for a three-month absence
– Get the kids set up for ending the school year early
– Italian Taxes

2. Furlough PowerPoint (see request above)

3. Furlough Sermon

4. Display Preparations: Prayer Cards, Banner(?).

5. Finish scheduling “in-betweens” (what to do between weekends)

6. Update support estimate

7. US SIM card for phones and other travel necessities.

8. Pack suitcases

9. Safe travels to Rome Airport, Charlotte and Columbus

10. Good health and time and financial management of trip

We look forward to spending time with family and friends and even showing our kids as much of our beautiful country as we can!!

Thanks for your prayers!

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Present with the Lord means joy in the Lord!

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Greetings from my living room! I have tested negative of Covid with my home test, so I can move around the house! Hopefully tomorrow we can make it official, so that I can get back out into the real world.

Thank you for praying for Claudio. Here is one of my favorite pictures from a while back. I can’t believe Noah is eleven now!

Yesterday Claudio went to be with the Lord, for his great joy and our great loss.

Claudio came to faith after many years of praying on the part of the church and Donatella, his wife. When he gave his life to God, he was a new man! Until his sickness, he was a very active servant. He loved serving God and others, including our family. Even after his sickness, he became an avid reader of God’s Word and of other Christian books. He always had his pen and ruler out to take notes.

Praise God for faithful servants. Please continue to pray for Donatella and the rest of his family. Your prayers have sustained Donatella in the loss of her best friend, and her testimony has been great.

Praise the Lord, that in a culture where death brings no hope or certainty, a life given to God brings joy and certainty. May we continue to share this hope to all who will hear!

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