“ITALY a mission field…come on? What about all those great churches and cathedrals? Isn’t there a rich Christian heritage in the country?” Welcome to the epitome of post-Christian society.
“Occultism, magic, and superstition are rampant in Italy with over $6 billion spent on fortune telling. An estimated 100,000-licensed witches, 3 times the priestly population, contributes to Italy’s reputation as a graveyard for missionaries (less than 10% of them ever returns for a second term).
In the words of one missionary: “In Italy you need two callings…one to come and one to stay!” There are less Evangelicals (0.73%) than in India, Africa, Russia, Japan or China. Divisions among evangelical churches is a reflection of what goes on in the government with over 32 political parties, and a chaotic state. Pastors are the first to admit: “we are few and well divided”!
As in most societies, the upper echelon of society may have experienced a great deal of worldly success, yet many are also experiencing a deep emptiness, with lives devoid of meaning and love. They are spiritually bankrupt…The new youth generation, unlike my days, is growing outside of the church walls and learned to distrust the Institution. So the answer to the initial question is a resounding YES!
Born and raised in Milano Italy, he came to the States at 18 to study and swim. Attended UCSD and San Diego State University and graduated in `84 with a degree in International Marketing.
2 World Titles and one World Record in finswimming at age 15 (24 hours swim marathon), 6 Italian National swimming titles, all American with 4 U.S. National records.
A serious back injury in early ’83 precluded him from ’84 Olympics dream.
Best US athlete at the 1998 Freediving World Championship and National record holder, in dynamic and static apnea.
Career spans from modeling and acting, to real estate, manufacturing and consulting (US Navy SEALS, Lockheed and startup companies including a successful IPO). The involvement in the financial sector (hedge funds) brought him back to Italy in 2000 to establish the first Italian Hedgefund marketing/consulting firm.
A higher calling in June of 2000 brought Jane and Peppo to full time Christian work. At first recruited by Campus Crusade for Christ and working with Executive Ministry in Palm Beach; subsequently (2004) in Rome with Greater Europe Mission as the field Director for Italy. In 2010 he opens the 1st Young Life club in Italy and in 2011 he establishes Via Veritas Inc. a non-profit involved in evangelism via small groups and special projects with youth. In 2012 he moves to Manfredonia (S. Italy) and within 3 months he establishes a new local church. In 2013 the whole family moves to Chattanooga, TN while Isabella finishes her HS studies. While there he institutes a sister city relationship between Manfredonia and Chattanooga in order to formalize evangelistic efforts between the 2 countries. The couple was back in Puglia-Italy early 2017 to start a new church and work with college students. In 2020 they came back Stateside and started an online outreach via YouTube PeppoCast (Italian) and PeppoCast E (English) with short stirring messages.
Born and raised in Rancho Santa Fe, California in a strong Christian family (3rd of 4 children)
Accomplished varsity gymnast and state medal winner (12 years), varsity head cheerleader and choreographer.
5 years college at the University of the Pacific and University of Southern California (business/communication major) Member of the Delta Gamma sorority
Former flight attendant for Continental airlines (5 years) and then Account Executive with AT&T and Lucent 3 years (Achievers Club winner for top sales). Now mother of 2 (Marco 25 and Isabella 19) Joined Campus Crusade for Christ with Peppo in 2000 and came to Italy under GEM in 2004. Co-founder of Via Veritas Inc. Involved in women ministry and travel consultant for foodies interested in Italy.
Marco 30, graduated in the summer of 2014 from UCSD with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in business. After a short stint as an entrepreneur in the IT world he is co-owner, with his bride Romana and CEO of Vibrant Meals– a successful meal prep and delivery service. They are the proud parents of Gioia born March 2020 and Camilla- August ’21. He also leads a Bible study group at the local Calvary Chapel and spearheads “Christian chats” among the entrepreneur community in Chattanooga.
Isabella 25, is an economics Westmont College graduate. As an influencer she has done jobs worldwide and has launched her tan through swimsuit line: True Tone. She is a licensed real estate agent and settled down in Newport, CA. In the past she has been involved in religious freedom programs in Washington DC and worked for the Australian ambassador.
First, allow us to give you an overview on the current state of the Italian “inner climate” as we perceive it.
We know that Italians are “religious” by nature. This religious belief has extended to the sensationalism thus incorporating areas of the occult (from horoscope to black magic) into the religious make up of the average Italian.