In this eBook, Pasta, pizza, and Pinocchio, Howard Culbertson answers questions he has been asked about missionary work in Italy. Originally published by what is now The Foundry for the Nazarene Missions International mission book series, this book carried ISBN number 0-8341-012-4. Some material has been updated for this eBook edition.
Well, these preceding chapters haven't contained every single question I was asked during a home assignment year. However, these questions to which I've given written answers cover most of the subjects.
A few times I've been asked questions regarding my own feelings about serving in a denominational structure. I'd like to respond to that kind of question in closing.
I am fully committed to seeing the Church of Jesus Christ fulfill the Great Commission given to it. I'm laying my life on the line to help this Body carry out its Mandate. I understand that this will mean vulnerability, because I have put myself at the disposal of the Church, at its service.
A biblical concept of the Body of Christ says some things to us about interdependence. The freedom the Bible talks about is freedom from sin, not freedom from each other. It's not a freedom that's synonymous with individualistic independence. Interdependence means that we place ourselves under the direction of others who will make decisions regarding our place of service, resources for ministry, strategy for the future, and financial welfare.
This, of course, is no different than working for any organization or business. The great difference is that I have chosen, in response to God's call, to be a servant of the Body of Jesus Christ, and I work under its direction.
Strangely, I have discovered myself to be most free when I yield myself to a ministry of servanthood in the Body of Jesus Christ. The alternative contains far more risks for me than I am exposing myself to now.
My sincere thanks to you, my dear friends, for allowing Barbara and me (and Matthew and Rachele) to be a part of your world missionary outreach.
-- Howard Culbertson,
1. The Leaning Tower, the Lira, and
Women's Lib |
2. Italian, Illegal Drugs, and Insulated
3. Fiats, Florence, and Furloughs |
4. The Military,
Missionaries, and the Mafia |
5. Marco Polo and Ronald McDonald
6. The Cerratos, Alabaster Churches, and
Work Crews |
7. Communism, Catholicism, and the Charismatics
8. Sincerity, Self-support, and Sowing
the Seed |
9. Books, Broadcasting, and the Bible College
10. Culture Shock and Carpeting |
11. A Word from My Heart