My wife and I were both born and raised in Ohio. I was reared in a faithful Catholic family. A confused Catholic youth worker gave the story of Jesus’ grace to me when I was fourteen. That experience gave me a false salvation testimony that I used when I started going to a Baptist church in tenth grade with a friend. That Baptist church was the first place I heard truth clearly preached from the King James Bible. The realization that the preaching was true because of God’s Word thrilled me. I moved to Columbus and searched for a church close to where I was staying. There I discovered what standards are and began changing mine. A bus route took over my usual Saturday activities, and I found myself lingering around the church wanting to converse and be with the people of God. Upon deciding I wanted to go to Hyles-Anderson College, I received an application in the mail. The application asked me for my testimony of salvation. Conviction gripped me because I knew I was not saved. The next Sunday, on August 3, 2003, I repented of my sin and asked Jesus for His gift of eternal life.
Not only did I meet my Saviour in Columbus, but I also met my beautiful wife. She was reared in a Christian family. She and her family have always attended Baptist churches. At the age of ten, she raised her hand to be saved at a revival meeting that her church was having in August of 1993. She walked down the aisle and prayed with a lady friend in the church. Many years passed, and she became very convicted about her salvation and questioned whether or not she was saved. Then on April 4, 1999, after the Lord’s Supper, she got the reassurance of her salvation and was baptized.
We have one son and one daughter. William Allen was born on December 9, 2007, and Ann Marie was born in Italy on September 7, 2011.
For some reason, it seems like Milano has no fall, just summer and then winter. I know that isn’t the case, but it feels that way at times. Recently, we met a man from Northern Africa who has lived in Italy for many years. Derek seemed desperate for spiritual help. He is now at a low point in his life. He claims to have at one time owned a small café and lived in a nice apartment with his wife and daughter. Now his wife has moved to England with his daughter, and he is living in an apartment with six other men and can barely afford the rent, while the landlord watches TV all night, keeping him from sleeping. He works long hours almost every day of the week. We took him out to a restaurant to chat about life and get to know him a bit. The next day, he met us after the service at our church location, and we spoke about his need for salvation. Possibly the conversation was too long, or possibly he was distracted by his current situation; but after several hours, he was still blind to his need. Please pray for Derek and the many people like him, who are so distracted by the temporal that they do not see the spiritual. Also pray that as we focus on meeting people’s spiritual needs, we would have compassion and generosity towards their temporal needs.
We have had several rare interactions while out soul winning recently. From a lady asking us to pray for her weak legs to people actually admitting their belief in God despite peer pressure, it has been interesting. On one recent occasion, two young ladies were sitting in the grass when we approached them. The first responded that she was a Buddhist from Sri Lanka, but her friend from South America immediately confessed that she believed in Jesus. Then in the same park, a young man sitting with two friends again said that he believed in Jesus in contrast to his friends who had said that they did not. That was followed by another young lady disagreeing with her friend, who had first said she did not believe. Often approaching a group of young people can be intimidating, but we are grateful for these and others who are willing to stand up for their beliefs. Each one of these was speaking in a historical, religious sense rather than a spiritual and relational one. We gave each of them a tract and preached the saving Gospel to them as much as they would permit.
A brief update on some of our personal situations: we are still in need of obtaining one birth certificate from New York for our citizenship. It appears that there are a few ways to accomplish this. We have chosen the least expensive way (that is, if we get everything right the first time). Unfortunately, this requires a lot of paperwork, persistence, and patience, all of which goes contrary to my character (except that last one). While citizenship does not bear on our housing, it does seem like the proverbial door is closing on any possibility of purchasing here. Available rental properties have diminished in recent years, and prices have risen. The Lord has allowed us to stay in the same home for almost 12 years at the same price as our original contract. He is able to supply all of our needs, and we trust Him to direct us to our next home.
We want to thank our faithful supporting churches. As inflation rises, stocks crash, and gas prices soar, you have been consistent. We don’t take that lightly. We are humbled by everyone who generously and sacrificially gives to help the Gospel be preached here in Milano and around the world. We also want to publicly thank First Baptist Church of Hammond for their generous donation for the national pastor that is starting a church here in Italy. He expressed to us his gratitude and said, “It is a great blessing to us and God’s answer to our prayers. They have been to us an instrument of God.”
Missionaries to the people of Italy,
Christopher, Amy, William, AnnMarie, and Charlotte Yetzer