Ken and RuthAnn Wells – Church-planting in Northern Italy
1. Mission: To plant as many reformed, evangelical churches in Italy as the Lord will bless.
2. Target group: specifically lost Italians – both the unchurched as well as those steeped in unbiblical Roman Catholic dogma. Secondary target groups include Albanians, Romanians and Africans living in Italy.
3. We have been working as church planters in northern Italy since 2005. We work primarily among the Friulani. They are a segment of the Italian population located in the extreme north and noted among Italians for their closed-community mentality, strong work ethic and ”i loro modi bestemmia” (“their blasphemous ways”). Difficult to know with certainty whether this is seen as a source of pride or not, it is routinely acknowledged among themselves that Friulani ‘common- speak’ blasphemes God more than any people in the world. We seek to evangelize these folks using various methods, knowing the likelihood that they have never heard the gospel before. Following those on-going efforts, we seek to make disciples through conversion, Biblical instruction and modeling the Christian life. These days we divide our time between distributing gospel tracts each weekday morning, evangelistic meetings in the late afternoon and leading Bible studies in the evening, according to our gifts and God-given gender roles. We are also involved in training the members of our church-plant in Udine to do evangelism. Ken still preaches there from time to time. We look to God’s grace for our success in anything, but especially in raising our two still-at-home children, Jared (18) and Abbie (16). We are also very happy that our daughter Olivia (20) is studying art in a town about ½ hr. away, and that we get to see her most weekends.
We have 3 other children who have since moved back to the U.S., gotten married and are now seeking God’s plan for their careers. Their names are Hannah (27), Adam (25) and Pete (23).
4. Prayer requests –With less than .05 of 1% confessing evangelicals, the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (our area) continues to be regarded as one of the most difficult places in the world for the gospel to take root in (there are multiple reasons for this). Often referred to as ‘the graveyard for missionaries’, patience is certainly required. Faithfulness to the mission, rather than much visible fruit is often the parameter by which we encourage one another as we wait on the Lord to produce true converts. Please pray that that God would be pleased to glorify Himself in this way and that RuthAnn and Ken would be wise as both ministers and parents.