Leaving Family {Plus Our Summer House}

Through our nearly 30 years here in Italy we’ve seen that God keeps his promises. It’s not been easy, but God is ever faithful. And despite the difficulties, we would tread this path all over again. For it has helped us know God in a greater way. And helped us see his glory, his majesty, and his splendor. 

We celebrate 29 years here next month! But it’s Joy mixed with sorrow.

Unable to attend the funerals of Mario’s parents and my grandparents, the needed closure took much longer.

Until we finally met our new grandchildren, usually when they were already 2-4 years old, our empty arms ached.

We’ve missed many milestones in our children’s lives, from graduations to first dates, as well as marriage engagements, weddings, and most special holidays and birthdays.

Yet God is faithful, and keeps his promises!

Jesus said, ‘Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.’ — Mark 10:29-30.

Yes, joy is often mixed with sorrow. It’s hard missing major events in their lives. It’s hard when loved ones are in the hospital, and flights (the only option we have) are just too expensive. And at such times the ocean lying between us that swells and fades with the tide, in my mind becomes even more immense.

So you ask, “Why do you do it? What makes you stay?” And rightly so. Because I’m sure it must come across sometimes as complaining. But trust me, it’s not. It’s just the reality of the situation. Facts are facts, and we are but human. Not Super Saints.

But we stay because of the Lord’s promise in Mark chapter 10.

No, not for the lands and houses, great as they are. If we cared about those, we would never have come in the first place! But for the people… and so many faces flash before our eyes. Those who have become as a mother or father to us. Those we regard as our children. For the love of them, we stay. And for the love of the many who have not yet joined the family. For them we stay, and that makes it worth it all!

And that’s why, though at times our hearts are heavy, ours is a tale of rejoicing! A tale of good tidings, for we have a good and loving Father, who does far beyond what we could ever think or imagine!

Like the incredible story of how we came to own a summer home!

One home for folks who have never earned above the poverty level seems ludicrous…but two? Yes, for we have inherited Mario’s ancestral home — the very house he was born in! And though he actually owns it jointly with his 3 siblings, they’re in the USA, so we’re the only ones who use it.

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Until my father-in-law’s death, we often visited Hubby’s hometown, which we call Beyond ForgottenOur children loved that village, which was like a giant playground to them. But I dreaded the visits in some ways because Papà never cleaned, and it was always our job to do a major cleaning. In other words: we loved him and knew he needed us. So I quenched the tears and rolled up my shirtsleeves!

But after his death in 2000 we stayed away.

We neither needed or wanted an extra home. Let alone the expenses involved! And with Papà gone, we didn’t really see any reason for going. Plus until we moved from northern Italy down here to Abruzzo, it was a long trip.

But as Hubby’s siblings (12-20 years older than him) could no longer make the trip from NY, they asked us to use and look after the place. They hated seeing the parental home just decline. “Plus not everyone has a rent-free home to use,” they said. And they even generously paid for the needed repairs!

And we’ve found that when God gives something, it’s because he plans on doing great things with it, which is what he is doing!

Read | The Whole City Heard the Word.

So we’ve fixed the place up. And we’re trusting the Lord to once again do great things. Why? Because of Mark 10, of course! And because we’re expecting God to use our summer-house for bringing others into the family!

We can never have too many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or children! Don’t you agree?

Image credits: Airplane by Pixabay.com; All others ©SheilaScorziello.com]

25 thoughts on “Leaving Family {Plus Our Summer House}

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    1. Thanks Mike, and yes I’m sure that you “get it” quite well. God has been good to us through these long years. It’s oft been hard – but the the thing that comes through the most in my memories is God is good and faithful!!

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  1. Hi Sheila, Wow, that is really something, that they would ask you to read them the Bible, that says something for God’s faithfulness and also for your witness. I’ve always believed that you have to earn the right to give the Gospel in most situations and this is but yet another example of God’s faithfulness. Amazing. Thank you for sharing! Grace and blessings!

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    1. Thank you Bruce! It’s funny, because after praying so long and so hard, we could hardly believe it. It was as though God was saying… isn’t this what you asked me for? He is faithful, even when we doubt!! Please keep this village in your prayers!!

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      1. I know what you mean. When I was with the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus I had an opportunity to talk to each of the fifteen or so Canadian and British soldiers that I lived with. All except one French Canadian. He wanted nothing to do with me. The LAST NIGHT I was there, he knocked on my door and said that he had had a dream where it was shown that I wasn’t the crazy one but in fact he might be. We talked for over two hours and hugged when he left. I left for Canada the next morning. I didn’t see any commitment to the Lord made but we did have a good heart to heart talk. I am hopeful that the Lord followed through with Him. It’s amazing what God can do!

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  2. Praying that the relationships you’ve started to build in Abruzzo will pave the way for divine appointments for them to know Jesus. And then may they start to build relationships with him! The Lord delights in you, Mario and Sheila, because you honor him above all, and your hope is in his abiding love (Psalm 147:11)!

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    1. Thank you Nancy for your prayers. That is exactly what we are trying to do. Form relationships that will give us the right to speak into their lives. He is faithful, and he wants them to have peace and joy in him even more than we do. And yes, his abiding love is the home of our hearts! God bless you ever so much!

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  3. Pastor Winters, a blogger I follow on here, shared whatever God buys He pays for it. If He wants something to happen, He will pay for it. It’s a quote I’ve begun to trust because it is true.

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    1. Hi T.R. I’m sorry, but I don’t quite get the point of your comment. Perhaps it’s the cultural gap, or maybe because I’m still getting over the flu I’ve had the last week. It sounds like a good principle, but could you clue me in?

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      1. That’s okay 🙂 I shared the quote because in your post you talked about God provided for you. It reminded me of the quote because whatever God wants done in our life, He will provide it to us. I hope that explanation helps.

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      2. Thanks that does help, T.R. Sorry for being so dense! I guess it’s similar to Hudson Taylor’s quote: “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s provision!” I’ve always loved that one, and the testimony of his life! Thanks for your encouragement, and yes, God is always faithful!!

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  4. Most certainly I agree, but sometime I think my agreement means little when I’ve had to give up so little. May God keep blessing you in the work and people He has called you to.

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    1. We all give up in some way to follow Christ, and it’s not a question of how much. It’s a matter of seeing, knowing, and really believing that he is worth it all. No matter the cost. Christ is worthy. Those who stay and seem to give up less are just as great in his eyes as those who go. Obedience is what matters! Be blessed in all you do for him!!

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  5. What a cozy home, Sheila! You know, my husband and I are in transition moving away from family, including my 93-year-old dad, in Oregon to our warm sunny cabin in the pine trees in northern Arizona. I need the sunshine since I suffer from seasonal depression and where we came from it rains almost all the time, except in summer. But leaving our family is very guilt-producing. We are not an ocean away like you, but it is not cheap to fly and we need to budget for our return trips. But our Christian community here in Arizona is such a blessing and a strong presence.

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    1. Wow Susan, we will be praying for you during this fun and difficult transition. And yes, there is a lot of guilt involved in leaving or staying far from elderly parents. Even when you know it’s what you must do. I do hope your dad at least has other family nearby, as my folks do. But it’s still hard. I’m sure though that have a strong community there will help immensely. I’m glad for you!

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