In the Footsteps of Paul…
Andrea (LCC ’98) and Heather (LCC ’97, LCS ’01) Gentile began full-time ministry in Italy in 2001. In cooperation with the Mediterranean Christian Mission at that time, their goal was to help establish new leadership and regain some stability for a church in the city of Ciampino, just outside Rome.
In 2010, they began to reexamine their goals, feeling called to plant new churches in the area south of Italy’s capital. Andrea says, “…our personal mission was (and is) to spread the Gospel in a manner that is meaningful and that touches the real needs of the communities.” Today, they are in full-time ministry with Team Expansion, whose purpose, strategies and experience better fit their current needs and goals.
A native of Italy, Andrea came to Lincoln Christian to earn his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Preaching. “It gave me the tools to study and interpret the Bible and deliver a message that can change lives for the glory of Christ,” relays Andrea. “It also gave me the basics for understanding theology and philosophy and making a reasoned choice to follow Christ—and motivate others to follow Him—in such a ‘liquid’ society that is always changing, and without a spiritual vision.”
In their current work of planting churches and building relationships, he “can still draw from the lessons and the skills acquired in my LCU years in order to give reasons for my faith and hope in Christ.” Heather’s BA in Church and Family Life and master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling has helped her to navigate a new culture and see the patterns in human relationships among Italians. According to Heather, “These insights are allowing me to live a full life in another country and help Andrea see how he can speak the Word into his home culture. It is also helping me be a good disciple to other ladies, helping them with different parenting and life issues.”
They continue to look for new workers. “We are in deep need of team members who will respond to the call to go into this harvest, and to join us for a long-term (if not life) service. The European field—and the Italian, in particular—is unlike any other and needs humble and dedicated Christians who patiently and continually sow the seed of the Gospel and do not expect immediate or short term results.”