My wife Christina and I have been planning to start a new YWAM base in Italy in 2021. One of the biggest hurdles facing us has been to do with visas. For non-Europeans to volunteer with YWAM in Italy they need a religious worker’s visa. For your organization to sponsor these, they need to have at least one hundred forty people working in Italy. YWAM Italy had only around ten.
In the Spring of 2019, we were leading a DTS outreach team into Italy from YWAM Ships Kona. Going into Italy, we prayed and said, “God, if you want to do anything, please do something in the area of our visas.”
Half way through the outreach, we partnered with a church that we had found online. They were very hospitable – letting us stay there and lending us a car.
Before we left, we had a picnic and invited people from the church to tell them about our outreach time. The pastor called us over to his table and wanted to hear more. We told him stories from our time – people we were connecting with and praying for on the street.
Then he asked us, “What is your vision?” We shared how we hope to start a base there to see the nations come to Italy so that Italy could go to the nations. He was very touched, and asked what challenges we had. We talked about needing property, finances, and staff, and then we told him that the biggest challenge we had, that we really did not know what to do about, was visas.
He quickly said, “That’s mine. I’ll take that one. I want to help with that.” We were a little confused, so we asked him what he meant. He went on to explain that he is the vice president for his church’s denomination and would be happy to sponsor a religious worker’s visa for anyone coming into Italy to work for the gospel.
A month later he had already sponsored a full time YWAM Missionary from South Africa to work in Italy. Just like that, our prayers had been completely answered in a way we never could have predicted.
YWAM Ships Kona Volunteer Staff