Neil and Kathy Vanaria
Ministry in Sicily
Landing in Sicily is initially a relief to those who have risked their lives crossing the sea and endured unspoken horrors on the journey. That sense of relief soon turns to discouragement or despair as people realize that the free homes, guaranteed income and many perks that human smugglers promised them if they reached Europe are not a reality. While many come to escape religious persecution, famine, and war, a large number come as economic refugees seeking a better future for themselves and their children.
Not everyone who comes will be able to stay. Many have heart breaking stories and we pray that they might be looked on with favor and granted asylum. While they wait, though, we do all we can to make their lives better, to listen, encourage, train, prepare them for the future but above all share the truth that all that seems to be for evil, God can and will use for good. Jesus Christ is the Savoir of the World. He is the Hope of All Nations and to know Him is the "Human Right".
In 2017 we opened a location in Mineo near Europe's largest refugee camp. Hundreds of people passed through that center which remained open until the decision was made to close the camp. People were dispersed to various centers around Italy and we remain in contact with many via Whatsapp or Facebook.
In 2018 we opened a location in the city of Caltanissetta to serve a large immigrant community that has settled there. While more of the migrants in this city are seeking to settle here long term, paperwork, language and practical assistance continues to the greatest needs. Loving in word and deed is part of preaching the gospel of truth.