Jane Oden works with her husband Mark in Naples, Italy. Together they have recently led a young team of locals in planting Chiesa Evangelica Neapolis: a new gospel community holding out the message of salvation. At the Seeking Europe’s Lost event in June, Jane shared the challenges and joys of moving her family overseas for the cause of the gospel:
“Before we left, lots of people said to us, ‘the children will be like sponges when it comes to learning the language.’ However this has not been our experience! We have found it difficult and traumatic at times. Half of the time I feel like some character out of ‘Allo ‘Allo! as I try to navigate my way.
“The people who live in Naples have been here a long time. They are very established and so it has taken a long time at the school gate to form relationships - at times it has looked impossible. I’ve also missed the wise counsel of my friends in England, as I try to make sense of what is a biblical path to follow.
“But these are all perfect conditions for growing dependence on God – though this is still something I am learning to do! It has taken time to get established, but the Lord is giving us chances to witness to him amongst this community.
“The great joy this year is that our children are now established. They are thriving - no longer exhausted by school but enjoying their learning, friendships and relationships. It is a wonderful thing to see!”
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