Missions in Italy: Preface

ebook: Rookie Notebook -- Our first nine months as missionaries (Part 1)

In this ebook, Howard Culbertson re-lives his first nine months as a missionary to Italy. These seven chapters, including a Preface and a Postscript, are full of stories reflecting on what it means to be a cross-cultural missionary to Italy. Originally published as an NMI mission book by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (now called The Foundry) with ISBN number 0-8341-0401-6

Rookie Notebook

I hope that when you finish reading this book, you won't be disappointed.

You see, it's really too early for me to write. I don't really have any great new insights to offer on missionary strategy. I haven't been here long enough to make valid evaluations of programs and emphases. Nor at this point do I have any marvelous success stories to tell of how the Holy Spirit may have worked in, through, or around my life to evangelize Italy. Why, then, do I write?

Well, these first nine months have been some of the most exciting ... some of the most scary ... some of the most laughable ... and some of the most tearful months of my life. For nearly nine months we have been continually buffeted by newness. Every day has been almost a whole new world for us. But I know that the longer I'm here, the more that newness will wear off. And some of the most extraordinary things will become all too ordinary.

Undoubtedly, after 12 more months have gone by I will see things differently from what I do now. So, I'm writing today to preserve that fresh rookie perspective. Here, then, are the vivid memories of a new, still-wet-behind-the-ears missionary.

I also write to say "thanks" to those special people who have invested part of their lives in me. My story is, in part, their story. I've written this to help them to share in the excitement of these first few months. So here's a book written to my dad, Nolan Culbertson. When I was in middle school, he said to me, "Howard, if you feel like God is calling you to the mission field, I'll see that you get there even if it takes all I have.". .. to Paul Miller, who took a chance on me against all advice ... to Millard Reed, my pastor at a crucial period in my spiritual life and in my relationship to the church ... to Paul Orjala, whose teaching, counsel, and life enabled me to form a biblical understanding of missions and what it means to fulfill the Great Commission in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries ... to Chet Galloway, who insisted that Christian education really be education ... to Gary Sivewright, a close friend who's laughed and cried with me through more memories than I care to even think about ... to the Uvalde (TX) Nazarenes who, in my first pastorate right out of seminary, dared to walk with me in two miraculous years of the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Well, I guess I'd better stop there and get on with the story. I imagine you picked up this book to read about missions and not about all the people in my past. . . . [ continue reading ]

   -- Howard Culbertson,

  Page:  1. Preface  |   2. Somebody stole my jungle  |    3. I've always wanted&nb sp;to wear  a pith helmet  |    4. Sometimes I really want to go  home   |    5. It's part of the culture  |    6. Because He lives,&nbs p;I can face  tomorrow   |    7. Postscript  |    Next→ 

Somebody stole my jungle

arrow pointing rightI thought being a missionary meant going to a tribal group in the middle of a jungle. Then we wound up being deployed as missionaries to a European country. . . . [ more ]

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