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V a 1 e r

f/hat has already been done in Italy?

During World War II, Guy Mayt'ieid was stationed in southern Italy as
a chaplain.
While there he met Giuseppe Settembrini who asked Guy for

only one thing,

to promise to return and help spread the good news of the


On August 7th, 1947, Guy kept his word.

The Mayfield family, together with Betheen Grubaugh (a missionary
nurse), returned to Italy.
During the next two years they were joined by

Charles & Mary Francis Phipps and Evelyn Jones.

Mac k Wilma Coffey
tollowed in January of 1953, Charles & Jesse Lee Troyer in May of 1953.
These first years were spent working with a small nucleus of believ
ers and establishing a Bible institute.
Although the institute closed

its doors five years later for lack of funds and manpower, several young
people who were trained there became the leaders in developing Italian


the grandchildren of those first students of God's word are

now faithful members of the Church, evidence of the blessings of God

through the generations.

In 1964, Harold & Enid Fowler came to Italy, and were followed by
Roy & Barbara Goldsberry.
Both couples located in unchurched areas: Rome
and Taranto, respectively.
Jim & Caranita Wolsieffer, missionary interns from Johnson Christian

College in 1971, returned to Italy in 1977.

thriving radio ministry.

They have since developed a

"Radio Incontro" (Encounter Radio) reaches into

thousands of homes and shops in southern Italy, and has produced numerous
leads for evangelistic follow-up.
In just the last few years, Charles k Ivia Phipps have returned to
Italy as have Ryan & Carrie (Fowler) Carr, and Jim & Charlea Cormode.
Dan & Linda Flory are also now on the field.

Throughout the years the native Italians have grown steadily in

their faith,

commitment, and love for the Lord.

Vito & Franca Gentile

work with a church in Ciampino; Giuseppe & Rosetta Italiano are with the
church in Terracina; Vito Ligorio is preaching in Latiano and the sur
rounding area; Giuseppe (Pino) Neglia works closely with the Troyers in
Lecce; and the Vincenzo Petronelli family work as missionaries in Li lie,
France. The men of the Bari church have accepted responsibility of lead
ing the congregation since the death of Malcolm Coffey.
Is there really a need for more missionariea in Italy?


Italy is roughly the size of the State of Arizona,


holds over 57 million people, one-quarter the population of the entire

Init.ed States!
Nearly 100 Italian cities have populations of 50 thousand
and more.
Most of these are surrounded by smaller towns and villages.
Serving these millions of souls are less than 2 dozen New Testament
That number includes the non-instruments I

Churches of Christ, of which not all are open to fellowshipping with the
' ins trumental ists . "

Adding to the need, death has taken Malcolm Coffey t 12/31/S5) and
buy Mayfield



the work.

Illness has also


))ack to the Statesi, and seriously affected other missionaries.

the Carrs

But i a n ' t Italy already a "Cbriatian'* nation?

I t is true that the Roman Catholic Church has been

accepted as an Italian cultural traditionf but these traditions

have not made Italy "Christian."
Most Italians are familiar with Biblical stories and

characters, but these people are equally familiar with patron

saints, the veneration of Mary, and other very non-Biblical

concepts and practices.

In fact, the Roman Catholic Church in

Italy has presented these practices as equally important as

Scriptural teachings.
Even the Catholic Church has

lost much of i t s



Although 90% of all Italians are baptized into the
Catholic Church as infants, only 52% consider themselves practic
ing Catholics by the time they are adults.
A full third of the
country votes communist in general elections, and the Red Brigade
actively promotes terrorism throughout the country.
Italy is a nation cynical about The Church; any church.
inconsistancies of the Roman Catholic hierarchy have been well
documented throughout the centuries, and many Italians view the
institutional church as Just another wealthy business, out to
protect its own interests.
The Joy of salvation,

the Lordship of Christ -

these are new

realities which have no part in the cultural traditions.

We are in Italy not only to acquaint people to the idea of
Jesus, but to introduce them to the New Life He came to give!

How bmve we prepared for tbi" nttHing?


I am fortunate:
I was raised in a Christian home, and
dedicated myself to the Lord's work during my high school years

in Ames, Iowa.

Following graduation I was accepted at Ozark

Bible College (now O.C.C.).

My interests were in music, but my first (and last!) week of

OBC's music theory course convinced me that if I had gifts, they
must lay elsewhere.
I continued my vocal education, but shifted
my major to the New Testament program.
My desire to reach the Italian people began to take form
during OBC's "Missions Emphasis Week" in October of my Freshman

I can see now how the Lord was preparing me for this moment.
I had studied one language in high school and was interested in
learning others - including Italian;
I was interested in the

Italian culture and lifestyle (especially the food!);

and I was
learning that my relationship with Christ was more important than
any other.
Also, an Italian missionary, Harold Fowler, had begun
as OBC's annual mmissionary-on-campus professor.
Throughout that week in October I listened and learned.
vision for missions caught hold, and for the next three years my

commitment to take the Gospel to the Italians grew.

At the end

of my Junior year at OBC I left for Italy to spend three months

in a study of the mission field and to help in any way I could.
My internship stretched me spiritually.
It helped me to

better comprehend the Italians' need for the Gospel as well as my

ability to fit in with the people.
I became very good friends
with one Italian my age.
Even though we could not understand
each other verbally, we comunicated very well.

I completed my internship, confident of my calling.

I would

It is certainly no coincidence that after investigating the Italian

mission field and commiting myself to service there, God brought Valeri

into my life.

She too had decided to serve God in Italy, and was plan

ning to return there.

This fact alone made her interesting, but once I

got to know her... well, we were married on January 12, 1985.


My parents, Malcolm and Wilma Coffey, have been ministering in Italy

since 1953.

I was born in Bari, Italy, in 1960, and with the exception

of our furloughs, I was raised there until I was fifteen.
My schooling,
social background, and mother tongue are Italian.
1 did not become
comfortable with English until we moved to the States while I was in high

At the age of seventeen I entered Cincinnati Bible College (CBC),

where I spent the next five years earning an Associate's degree in

English Bible and a

Bachelor's degree in Education.

After graduation, two temporary Jobs, and some serious soul-search

ing, I began teaching in a pre-school in 1983.
I was administrator of
"Our World," a pre-school/day-care program located in the White Oak
Christian Church building in Cincinnati (now Apple Blossom Child Care).
I have always felt called back to Italy.
In 1978 I returned on a
summer internship.
For the first time I really saw "my" country as a
mission field, not just home.
I was responsible for teaching Vacation

Bible School and camp classes, doing office work, and attending to the
multitudes of details that arise in any mission.
My parents related to
me not only as a mother and father, but as senior missionaries, sharing

with me the essence of their thirty-plus years:


in Christ.

to spread the hope we

Since returning to the States my desire to begin ministering in

Italy has grown steadily.

For me, Italy is not only home, but a "field

white unto harvest."

In August of 1983 I discussed with my parents my desire to return to

Three months later, visiting a friend in Joplin, Mo., I met

Steve, who was making plans to return to Italy as soon after his gradu
ation as possible.

Now, we are in Italy together!

W!iat have we done i n I t a l y ?

In October of 1986 we located in Perugia, home of a university and

language institute.
Our studies began right away in October lasting
through November of 1987, with a two month summer break to allow us to

participate in Christian camps and other activities.

Steve studied

language skills (missionaries on the field had advised us that this is

the most effective way to master the language in the shortest time).
Valeri took three months of advanced studies in Italian history and arts

to further prepare us to understand.the culture that we must make our

During our 13-month stay in the city we had the priviledge of
lending a hand to Ryan & Carrie Carr and their work.
Unfortunately, due
to his health problems and their departure, the work did not continue.

However, seeds were planted that we pray with time will grow and show
We try to keep in touch with some of our contacts that we made in
Perugia, praying that the Lord will continue to work in their lives.
With the end of our studies, we are now locating a few hours south
of Perugia in a town called Sulmona, near Pescara (see map at back).

town has a population of approx. 30,000, which along with the densly
populated surrouding area, amounts to about 200,000 people: all these
people with no evangelical work in the immediate area.
The only noncatholic work is the Jehovah's Witnesses (which is very strong in that
area), so we really have our work cut out for us!

Church planting! evangelism, and shepherding are among a few of the

ministries we plan on. A contact tool that we plan to use is teaching
English lessons to any interested individuals. Many are searching for

good English teachers (English being the international language & neces
sary in many situations). This would give us two important things, one,
that essential initial contact, and two a position and reason to be in
the community. We will be attending the church in Pescara until we have
established a group of believers large enough to survive alone (4 or 5
family units). We also share a special burden for the youth in existing
churches. We have some experience in youth programming and Bible les
sons, and expect this area of ministry to be a substantial challenge.
We intend to do in Italy what we have done in the States:

use our

skills and gifts to proclaim the Gospel, and teach the converts to be

like Jesus.

The approaches we take and the programming we use will be

tailored to the Italian culture, but our goals remain the same.

We taught classes for Suhday School and other church oriented activ
ities in several churches during our collegiate years.

During Steve s

schooling, he had a year's experience in slide production with Impact

Brass and Singers and dramatical presentations done by the group.

We prepared through our collegiate studies, and have carefully exam

ined the mission field waiting for us. We served on the White Oak evan

gelism team for a short period before leaving.

We also helped in the

establishment of a shepherding program while there.

We bring to the challenge placed before us by God, willing hearts

and faithful minds. We hope you will consider being our partners for
spreading New Testament Christianity in Italy!
Family Information:

As of January 7th, 1988 the two of us became three.

joined the ranks on the Italian soil.

Micah David

He was born weighing 3.5 kg. and

measuring 50 cm. (71bs lloz. k 19 in.). Many have contributed in cloth

ing and food to help us. We hope support will increase to meet the in
crease in expenses and decrease in value of the dollar.
The Lord's timing is always right.

When we were really ready to

move (after having the baby in Bari), the Lord made an apartment avail
able, one that was far better than any we had seen up to then, yet cost
ing less than others we had heard of like it.
Our new address is:

Via Valle 2/A

$7039 Sulmona (AQ)

Forwardinjir Attenta:

Gary & Louise (Siebert) Feldmann have chosen to work with us in the

They are our stateside contacts.

Gary works for a Cincinnati firm as a Computer specialist. He and

Louise were married in May of 1987, at which point he joined our team.
Louise graduated from Cincinnati Bible College in May of 1981.

Previously she was a fund-raiser and public relations person for the
mini Children's Christian Home.

Currently she is the administrator of

Apple Blossom Child Care Center, which is located in the White Oak
Christian Church building.

They bring to our team experience and dedication - to the Lord


to our goal second.

Their present address is:


6038 Monticello Dr.

Cincinnati, OH
(513) 681-8411 (513) 741-8882 -


Any funds for the mission should be sent to the following name and

Southern European Evangelism Mission







SDonaorina Churches:

White Oak Christian Chur'bh, Cincinnati, OH, where we were actively

participating while in the States, has chosen to be our sponsoring

The Eldership, having considered us and the mission, is willing
to provide us with spiritual leadership.
Our other supporting churches are:

1) Blendville Christian Church, Joplin, MO;


Centerville Christian Church, Centerville, OH;

Church of Christ, Earlham, lA;
Farraville Church of Christ, Farmville, VA;

First Church of Christ, Ankeny, lA;

6) North Grand Church of Christ, Agps, lA (Steve's home);

7) Racine Christian Church, Neosho, MO.

A uS'l'ri a






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