Archive for February, 2007

Seeking: Support Team

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Posted by Dave 

We are looking for a team of people to support us as we go. Let me explain what that means. Based on the book “Serving as Senders” by Neal Pirolo, there are 6 areas of support we need. 

1. Moral Support: Encouraging and active listening. We get cold feet and wonder if this is the right thing at times. It is a huge step to leave families and the lives we are familiar with. This will need to be worked out as to how we interact and share, but we are looking for support in this area. 

2. Logisitics Support: “handling the nuts and bolts of continuing home country responsibilities” says the book. Though the world is getting smaller in a sense with the communications we have now, we will still need the occasional helping hand here in the states to take care of things personally when we can’t ourselves. It could be maintaining accountability in what we do, helping to manage business/tax/health affairs when we can’t from overseas. Perhaps attending to shipping some things or finding resources that we can’t. 

3. Financial Support: I wish I could tell you that 20 bucks a month would support a starving missionary in the wilds of Milan, but I can’t. The cost of living is actually a little higher than in LA. But we aren’t going so we can get a bigger house; we are going in response to God’s call. So we will need support. 

Shelly and I are planning on working and supporting ourselves because we will have the citizenship and can do that. Ronnie will not be able to legally work right away, so financial support must be raised. One person has already asked about giving, which we are not quite ready for yet, but this function on the particular senders team I am looking for is not a person that is necessarily supporting us with your personal finances, but helping with management, perhaps taxes etc. 

4. Prayer Support: The biggy. We are looking for people to keep our ministry in the home churches minds. It’s easy to get lost in all the things happening, so the prayer support people will not only pray, but keep others informed of what is needed. 

5. Communication Support: This is an area that, due to our particular location, may not be such a huge need. We will be well connected for communications. We aren’t moving to the desert or jungle, it is a large western city with a better communications infrastructure than our own. So I will need to assess this as to what we need. BUT…. Perhaps I am missing something right now. IF this is an area you feel like you can help, then let me know. 

6. Re-entry Support: We are pretty much cutting our ties here. We aren’t planning on coming back. Well, we’ll be back now and again to visit, but as for moving we are in it for the long haul. So when we are back, we will need transportation/lodging, etc. 


The book is written about assisting cross-cultural workers, but as I mentioned we are not perhaps in such a foreign culture as some of the book scenarios. Milano is a large western city, very much like LA. Given the fact that there are 2 couples going, we will have at least each other for support, we have our families, and we have an excellent communications network to utilize. So some of the factors are perhaps not as great as they would be otherwise. However, all that means is that IF you commit to being on the team, you probably won’t have to do as much as in other situations. [how’s that for a pitch? ; ) ] But we still covet people to help in these areas. Especially the prayer team. If you are interested in this and you feel God is calling you to it, then contact me and we will integrate you into the process. We’ll find a time when we can start getting together. 

More documents in/altri documenti arrivati

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Posted by Dave 

OK, nonna’s birth cert with the apostille and my grandparents marriage cert with apostille got here from michigan. I called about the amendments to my mom’s birth cert and was told that those would be done this week and then sent to the Michigan Secretary of State for the apostille after that. Perhaps another month to get back here. Basically, it looks like everything is proceeding along nicely. I’m just waiting on my grandfather’s death cert from California and I will have all five I needed from my mom. 

I still need my original birth cert, which I’m waiting on from California. Well, I’m waiting for them to send it to the judge so he can decide whether I can have a copy of it. AND…. This is very important, I need to get my two sons birth certs so they can get citizenship as well. My oldest son Nate wants to live there for a few years with us while he has the opportunity, but he will need to be a citizen too. 


Il certificato di nascita di nonna con apostille ed il certificato di matrimonio dei nonni con apostille sono arrivati dallo stato di Michigan. Ho telefonato per i cambi al certificato di mamma, e mi hanno detto che succederanno questa settimana poi sarà spedito al ufficio del Segretario di Stato di Michigan a ricevere l’apostille. Ci vuole forse un’altro mese di tornare qua. Mi pare che tutto va abbastanza bene. Sono ancora in attesa del certificato di morto del mio nonno da California, ma quando arriva, saranno i cinque certificati da mamma di che ho bisogno. 

C’è pure il mio certificato originale di nascita da California di che sto ancora aspettando. Va be, aspetto che lo stato lo mandi al guidice affinchè lui possa decidere se lo avrò io. E una cosa di più…. ho bisogno dei certificati di nascita di entrambi i miei figli affinchè loro anche possiano ottenere cittadinanza. Il figlio più grande vuol accompagnarci per qualche anno mentre avrà l’opportunità, ma così anche lui avrà bisogno della cittadinanza. 

The dollar and the euro…..

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Posted by Dave 

The dollar has been on a slow slide for a while now. When Shell and I went to Italy last summer, the euro was worth $1.23. Now it is worth $1.31. Every month the dollar is worth a few pennies less in Europe. So what? 

For Ronnie and Kristi trying to raise support, and for me, having most of my work based here, that can be bad news. IF I continue to draw most of my income from the US while trying to live in Italy, it means my money is buying less and less every year. Add to that the high taxes in Italy and my income may be significantly diminished. Ronnie’s support that he needs to raise gets harder and harder. For example he may need $3000 per month to live there now. But in 2 years that will not be enough anymore. He may need $3100-$3200 per month just to account for the diminishing dollar. 

Not to say this is something to panic about, it’s not. I don’t think God is calling us to go and forgetting about how He will support us. But these are concerns to us. 

Fortunately, if Shelly’s job is transferred, then she will be paid directly in euros, which will help us. I too would like to revamp my website in the near future and do an Italian version as well. Not sure how it will happen, but I would like to open up my skill set to Italian companies too. I have never marketed myself or my work. Well, that’s not totally true; I tried it a few times but bombed. The Lord has always brought clients for my work without me ever really doing much other than being faithful to render the work. I’m praying that he will continue to open those doors, but in Italy as well. I am doing work for a company in Hong Kong right now. I do work for companies in New York and Ohio and the Bay Area, so working from distance is not a difficulty. Finding clients is. This is a funny business in that it is so highly personal. Art directors get to know you and will continue to give you work, but it is VERY difficult to approach people you don’t know. They usually already have a list of trusted illustrators that they use, and giving you work takes away from those they already know. Italy may be even more so since this is a way of life in Italy. On the surface of it, it would be highly unlikely that an Italian company would hire an American artist, but……. all things are possible with the Lord. So I pray and ask that the Lord would open up these opportunities. 

Kristi’s Passport

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Kristi applied for her passport around 2 months ago and still no passport in the mail.  Please pray that she will get it in the mail soon.  This week has been a radical one for Kristi and myself.  We both went to a retreat last weekend and we both knocked our backs out.  Make a long story short, chiropractors can be expensive especially when your insurance does not cover it.  We are also trying to save for the trip to Milano, pray that our backs would heal quickly and the Lord would provide the amount of money we will need for the trip.

I want to thank all of you for all of your prayers and support. 

Pastor Ronnie

Update! There are no updates!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Posted by Dave 

Work has been busy and there are lots of lessons to study for. Add to that the fact that there is not much notice of what is happening on the documents now, and it just seems like there is little to report. The blessing is that there is lots of work. I want to rent an apartment for the trip this June, but they are expensive. So I need to work and save some moolah. The fact that I am busy is good. But the fact that there aren’t any updates to the blog for a week is not good. Sorry about that, I’ll try to keep things coming. And not just sorry excuses….. 

Aggiornamento…….. non c’è! 

Ma c’è un sacco di lavoro ed anche lezioni da studiare. Giunto al fatto che non c’è ancora notizia dei documenti in questo periodo….. c’è veramente poco da raccontare. Il buono è l’abbondanza del lavoro di che c’è bisogno se voglio affittare un appartamento milanese ‘sto giugno per la nostra visita….. ma la mancanza di aggiornamenti…. non tanto. Vi chiedo scusa. Vediamo se riesco di aggiornarlo….. e non parlo di più scuse…. 


How to be filled with the Holy Spirit/Come essere riempto dello Spirito Santo

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Posted by Dave 

I am reading this book [title above] that Ronnie gave me for Christmas. And everyday I get something else out of it. I have been feeling the lack in my own life lately and have therefore been reading this book to draw closer to the Lord. It would be too much to try and explain the whole background, but in wanting to know the Lord more, I read this today: 

“The Spirit was given when Jesus was glorified…… if you dedicate yourself to the glory of Jesus, the Holy Ghost will become the aggressor and will seek to know you and raise you and illumine you and fill you and bless you.” 

Sometimes I get too wrapped up in trying to seek the Holy Spirit, meaning really the gifts of the Spirit or benefits of the Spirit but circumventing this very simple principle. 


Sto leggendo in questi giorni il libro [del titolo soprascritto] che Ronnie mi ha regalato per natale. Ogni giorno riesco di scavare qualche pietra preziosa. Ultimamente ho sentito una mancanza e quindi, volendo avvicinarmi al Signore, leggo il libro. Sarebbe troppo a spiegarvene tutto, ma volendo conoscere ancora di più il Signore, ho letto oggi: 

«Lo Spirito fu dato quando Gesù fu glorificato…… se ti dedichi alla gloria di Gesù, lo Spirito Santo diventa il cacciatore e cerca di conoscerti e di alzarti ed illuminarti e di riempirti e di benedirti.» 

Penso spesso che sono io che devo cacciare lo Spirito, cercando il suo favore [i suoi benefici/doni], ma sbaglio. Se cerco di portare la gloria a Gesù, lo Spirito mi troverà. Non c’è bisogna di cercarlo. 

womens retreat this weekend

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Shelly and Kristi are heading out to a womens retreat this weekend. “Seasons” will be the theme. Pray that the Lord will speak to both of them, that they can minister to other ladies as well, and they return encouraged.

Shelly e Kristi vanno ad un ritiro spirituale per le donne questo weekend. “Stagioni” sarà la tema. Pregate che il Signore parli loro, che possiano anche aiutare alle altre e che tornino ispirate.

Back from the consulate/tornato dal consolato

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Well, all went well. I still don’t have the definitive word on the adoption yet, since Sig.a Buiano is out for a few months. But the lady that did answer my questions, Monica Pescatori, seemed to think that it would not be a problem. She also said the Birth Cert I got from the comune would be OK even though it said it was only good for 6 months. The adoption thing is a huge relief, even though it was expected that it would not be a problem. Thanks for your prayers. 


OK, tutto a posto. Non c’è ancora una risposta salda sull’argomento dell’adozione, dato che Sig.a Buiano ha preso commiato per qualche mese. Però la signora che dava risposta alle mie domande, Monica Pescatori, sembrava di aver pensato che non ci saranno problemi. Pure il certificato della nascita che ho ricevuto del comune va bene anche se è scritto sopra di avere una validità di solo sei mesi. Tutto questo dell’adozione è un gran sollievo, anche se non ho aspetatto nessun problema. Vi ringrazio per i vostri preghieri. 

To the Italian consulate on Friday/al Consolato Italiano venerdì

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

I’m going to take off Friday and go to the Italian consulate in LA. It’s on Wilshire over by Santa Monica

It’s nearly impossible to get someone to answer the phone and the consulate officer in charge of citizenship issues, Raffaella Buiano, is really nice in person. So while it’s a ways, I’d rather go in person than try and call. I have several different questions, the biggest is whether or not the adoption will prove to be insuperable. If it is, then we are in some trouble. 

I chose Friday to go because someone else said they are always happiest on Fridays. Hey if it works…… 

Pray that all goes well and the adoption turns out not to be a problem. 

And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then the short version is: I was adopted as an infant. But I was adopted OUT of the Italian family. Which means that when it comes to demonstrating a link between Italy and me, I have an extra step to go through. I have to get access to my original birth certificate that is sealed by the state of California because that is what shows that I was actually born to the Italian side of the family. 

Now Italian law 91/92 of the 5 February 1992 president’s decree is that ‘Italian citizenship is transmitted automatically at the moment of birth, IF the father or mother is an Italian citizen’. 

So I should be eligible, but these things seem to be largely determined by the people looking at the paperwork, and there doesn’t seem to be much chance of appeal at least from here, if things go awry. So pray that I find favor again with Signora Buiano on friday. 

I also have some other questions, but those are of minor importance comparatively. 


Vado al Consolato venerdì, quale si trova su Wilshire Blvd. presso a Santa Monica. È quasi impossibile una telefonata e pure la ufficiale, Sig.a Raffaella Buiano è molto gentile parlandola faccia a faccia. Poi, anche se è un po’ lontano, prefirerei andare di persona. Ho qualche domanda, ma il più importante è di sapere se l’adozione mia mi negerà la possibilità di cittadinanza. Se sì…. abbiamo un problema. 

Vado venerdì perché qualcheduno mi ha suggerito che gli ufficiali del consolato sono di più buon umore il venerdì. 

Pregate che tutto va bene e l’adozione non ci sarà un’ostacolo. E se voi non sapete di che cosa sto parlando, ecco un conto breve: fui adotto da bambino, ma è la mia famiglia italiana che mi ha rilasciato. Dunque, quanto a dimostrare una collegamento io con Italia, c’è un passo di più che devo fare. Ho bisogno del certificato originale di nascita- quello ormai chiuso in un ufficio dello stato- per fare la prova che io sono infatti nato ad una italiana. 

Norma Italiana 91/92 del decreto presidenziale di 5 Febbraio 1992 dichiara ‘Cittadinanza Italiana si trasmette automaticamente al momento di nascita se la madre o il padre è di cittadinanza italiana’. 

Allora devo essere idoneo però mi sembra che queste cose sono in piccolo modo determinate di chi ne cura, e se non c’è gran opportunità di appellare. Poi, pregate che trovo di nuovo favore con Sig.a Buiano venerdì. 

Ci sono pure delle altre domande però non sono di tanta importanza. 

Shelly’s Job Transfer

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Well, I talked to my manager as soon as we decided that we were going and he said he would see what he could do to assist me in transferring to Europe. Since my manager is from Europe (England), he understands the difficulties in relocating to another country.

Last week (Jan. 24), the manager for 3M Unitek Europe was visiting. My manager met with him and part of the topic of conversation was my desire to move to Milan. The European manager is interested in having me move – but the headquarters are in Germany, not Milan.

But there are other obstacles besides – the IT Department is usually handled at the European level and not at a business level. So to have me report to 3M Unitek instead of 3M will be difficult. And relocation expenses are being cut back. Even though my position is a lower level position and would not qualify for relocation benefits, if the company needs to sponsor my Visa, the cost could be significant. If I understood my manager correctly, his Visa to get his family to the United States was about $40,000. Even if mine was only $10,000, that’s probably more than my company is willing to pay right now.

Now the good news, if Dave can get his citizenship then I should qualify to get a Visa to be with him. That Visa should allow me to work in the European Union. And if I can’t get a job with 3M Unitek, I may be able to apply for a job within 3M in Milan.

In past years at 3M Unitek I worked in International Customer Service. One of my customers was the 3M Italia subsidiary. Although the people I worked with are no longer part of 3M Unitek, they are in management at 3M Italia. So I may be able to speak with these managers to assist me in getting a job outside of 3M Unitek but sill within 3M.

Lastly, one other point that my manager made – with relocation your retirement and other things are transferred to your new position. Since I will not be qualified for relocation benefits, I may lose my retirement and 401K. And after 18 years with the company, this is a significant loss.

To put everything in a nutshell, the good news is that they want to transfer me; the bad news is it might not work out because of business politics. Keep my job transfer in your prayers, please.