I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. My parents were immigrant Italians who moved to the US before I was born. My first language was their Abruzzi dialect, and I spoke broken English until I started attending school.
I was raised a Catholic and a sincere believer, going to confession every Saturday and attending mass each Sunday. However, at the age of 12, I began having a crisis of faith, and at 13, facing the fact that I was probably going to hell for some things I enjoyed doing, I stopped going to confession and church. At 14, when a classmate died from a heroin overdose, I tried to return to the church but was met with condemnation and threatened with hell for my mortal sins. I became angry with the priests, the church, and God, and declared myself an atheist.
I was popular at school, got good grades, did well at sports, and girls liked me, but, like most of my generation, I was beginning to rebel against the establishment. I got into hard rock music, began smoking marijuana, was binge drinking, and opposed the Vietnam War. I went to university, but only grew more disillusioned with life. During my second and third year I fell more and more into heavy drug use.
Then my world fell apart. Within the space of days, one of my friends committed suicide and my girlfriend informed me that she’d had an abortion. I went into shock and then depression. I stopped using drugs and began searching for the truth, first turning to yoga and then to Buddhism. At the same time I decided to find my roots by making a trip to Italy and traveling through Southern Europe. That’s when I met members of TFI.
In May 1973 I came to know Jesus in a new and personal way, thanks to a few TFI members in Naples, Italy. I came to understand God and His love. He healed me of the guilt, remorse, and depression, replacing it with love, joy, meaning, and purpose in life.
This changed my life for the better, forever.
Why I am a member of the Family International
I found the love of Jesus with the Children of God. I can think of no better place to serve Jesus and others than in the Family International. I have had a wonderful and meaningful life!
How I live my faith
I am currently a full-time missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I’m doing what I love best: sharing my faith with those He has called me to reach, primarily in poor and underdeveloped countries, where He has called me to serve.
- Youth Outreach Ministries
- I have been involved in youth ministries throughout Italy, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Peru, Chile, Argentina, France, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Democratic Republic of Congo. My ministries always involved teaching the Bible, from basic to advanced courses.
- Personal Witnessing
- I love sharing my faith with others. Teaching the Bible and Christian outreach with TFI Christian publications and productions are my favorite forms of sharing my faith. I also have extensive experience in counseling people.
- Humanitarian Aid/Volunteer Work
- I first became involved with humanitarian efforts while in India and Almaty, Kazakhstan; later in Madagascar. In 2008 I participated in a food distribution project in the small village of Kikimi, on the outskirts of Kinshasa (DRC). Then in early 2010 my wife and I formed an association, Espoir Congo, which has now become a village project, providing a primary school and medical center in collaboration with our Congolese partners SABEC.
- All throughout my years with TFI I have administered mission centers and various programs, including a production center in Madras, India, as well as in Paris, France. More recently, I participated in TFI’s coach program. I speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and at one time a little Russian and a little Farsi.
- My father taught me the value of hard work, diligence and faithfulness, and as a student I held many part-time and summer jobs: landscaping, factory work, warehousing, stock keeping and inventory, delivery, truck driving, sales, clerical work, restaurant work, etc. Drawing on these experiences over the years has helped me to better relate in my Christian outreach to people of all walks of life, whether managers or workers, students or teachers, across numerous industries and services.