Permission to stay

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:42 am

It’s that time again…

Every two years our living permits expire and have to be renewed. Immigration is a touchy subject in Italy. The last several years have seen a huge increase in the number of people from all over the world that come here looking for a better life. Because of that influx, the process has become a paper-chasing struggle to get the right documents signed by the right people and delivered to the right offices.

There is an office here that is set up to help people wade through the beruacracy. Since finding this office, the process has gone from nearly overwhelming to relatively manageable.

Here’s some statistics:

  • My application is 49 pages long. I needed to go to three different city offices to get all the right documents. So far it has cost around $150.
  • My wife and kids’ application is 43 pages long, but much of their application is photocopies from my application. Their permit will cost around $130.
  • The Department of Health came to make sure our house meets all of the housing codes.
  • The waiting time from when we apply until we receive our permits is usually around 6 months, though we’ve been told that the waiting times are much shorter now.
  • My wife and I were required to get documents from the courthouse stating that there are no warrants out for our arrest, and that we have no pending jail sentences (happy to report that we’re in the clear!).

I probably sound like I’m whining, but I’m really not. The paper chase can get frustrating. But it’s what we need to do so we can stay here and work with the church, so it’s worth it.



Posted in Newsletters at 12:45 am

Transition is a funny word, isn’t it? It sounds very formal, yet it conveys a message that simply states “change.” And for us change is, and has, definitely been in the air. First of all, we have an awesome change to report! After years of study, reflection, prayer, growth, and more Daniel and Simona Plesa changed their whole lives when they were baptized into Christ on October 3, 2010. We were quite a group whooping and hollering at the city pool on that cloudy Sunday morning. What a joy this was!!

Another transition to report is that of our changing team dynamic. The Casey family, dear friends and teammates, have decided to return to the states at the end of January. In Jason’s own words he writes,

As a family we have also made a decision regarding our future. For a couple of years now, I have felt the Lord releasing us and preparing us to move away from our direct leadership and involvement with the first church plant in Ancona. In the process we have prayed about where God would have us go next … In the end, after prayer, reflection, tears, and conversations with advisors we have decided to move back to the United States. I will be working with Heather’s father in New Braunfels, Texas and we will spend the next few years processing our experience in Italy, furthering our studies, getting our kids caught up and boosted forward in their education … and finding ways to use our gifts and experience in the local church there. We are in the process of figuring out how we can continue being a support and encouragement to our co-church-planters here in Italy and hope to continue the relationships we’ve formed after these 10+ years here.

As of September 1st, Brian has taken over Jason’s former job as Team Leader. With this comes many new challenges and responsibilities for Brian, as well as the entire family. This, for us, will be a major transition. Please pray for us as we embark on this new journey. The Caseys will be working with us until the end of the year and, after packing and goodbyes, will leave Ancona in January.

I was so happy to transition from summer to fall, but now as the cold weather is approaching, I wish there were brakes on this whole winter thing. The hardest part is when there are days upon days of rain and no way to do laundry! (We have to hang everything, but in this rainy season it sometimes takes a couple of days to dry.)

I guess I’m happy to report that I can think of no other “transitions” on the home front. I must say that we care for you all dearly, and really feel that you are a part of this “team.” We appreciate your prayers and support more than you can imagine and that’s why it’s important for me to talk to you about the big things, as well as the small things. Thank you for all you do!

Until next month…