“Open my heart and you will see, graved inside of it, Italy!”
– Robert Browning
Frequently Asked Questions
Where in Italy are you living?
In 2013, I was living in Catania, Sicily working as an intern to Bethany Labue, a fellow Communitas International staff member who lived here in Sicily for 3 years, until March of 2014. In 2014 I returned to California for nine months to get my long-term visa and raise support. I returned to Sicily towards the end of September (2014). I am now living and working in the town of Belpasso, where my an associate of Communitas, Stephanie Segura, lives with her husband Fabio and two children. Belpasso is about 30 minutes outside of Catania on the Southwestern slopes of Mt. Etna.
How long will you be there?
I am willing and wanting to be in Italy for as long as God would have me here.
What will you be doing?
Among other goals, I am specifically looking to foster collaboration and unity and find meaningful ways to serve the local community while inviting others to join me in the process. Ultimately, we want to point everyone to our Savior, Guide, Faithful Friend and Loving Creator: Jesus. He is our sole source of hope, peace, joy, comfort, healing, provision, purpose and life itself. Everywhere in the world people are desperately looking for these things. But they aren’t found in things. They are found in a relationship, a person and that person is Jesus. Having a relationship with Him won’t make your life easy and pain-free but it will drastically change it for the better. He is the “Relentless Lover” * we all are seeking (whether or not we realize it) and the only One able to restore the brokenness and shame we all suffer from as humans. We are learning to follow Jesus. His Spirit has led us to Belpasso and while we have some inklings as to what He may have in store for us, we are waiting on Him with open hearts and hands, eager to be a part of the work He is doing here. Whatever that may look like, we know from personal experience His primary work is that of restoring and transforming lives, families and whole communities and this is what, with His help, we aim to do here in Belpasso and beyond!
*”Relentless Lover” is a phrase I borrowed from Robin Jones Gunn in her book: Victim of Grace.
Why are you going?
Short answer: I am trying to follow Jesus and this is where He led me! He leads everyone on a different path that is designed just for them, no one else can walk that path. My path just happens to involve living in Italy while I try, with God’s abundant grace, to love on the folks whose paths cross mine.
Who are you with?
I am a full-time staff member with Communitas International (formerly known as Christian Associates) with the support and blessing of my home-church, Hessel Church of Sebastopol, CA.
Click on the link below to watch a short video introduction to what Communitas is all about:
Go to the links page to connect to Hessel’s and Communitas’ websites for more information.
How much financial support do you need to raise?
My monthly support goal is about $2,300 a month. This takes into consideration the euro-dollar exchange rate and miscellaneous expenses such as: health insurance, taxes, savings for: retirement, home ministry assignments and annual conference costs, Communitas service fees and ministry expenses.
If you feel led to give financial support, contributions can be made online via my Communitas International (CI) staff page: http://gocommunitas.org/project/hillary-cummings/. Click on the green “Donate” button and follow the instructions from there.
Financial support can also be given through Hessel Church either online through PayPal (http://www.horizon.hessel.org/give/) or by check, just be sure to include a separate note with my name on it when mailing checks to the church (5060 Hessel Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472).
How can I be a part of God’s work in Italy?
- Pray! Pray for me, Communitas, Italy, Belpasso, opportunities to serve and love those around me, invitations to speak the truth in love, good communication skills, more teammates to join me… Nothing is so powerful and effective as prayer!
- Stay in touch! While living in Italy may sound like a lot of fun, living in any foreign culture can present a lot of day-to-day challenges. E-mails and letters of encouragement are greatly appreciated!! For my mailing address, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me on facebook, facetime and skype.
- Sign up to be a monthly financial partner or give a one-time gift as you are led. See details on how to give in the section above.
- Have or know of a small group, Sunday school class, Bible study, community group or other gathering that would like to hear more about the ministry I am a part of in Sicily and how you can be praying for me and for Italy? Please e-mail or Facebook me with the specifics about the group and how to reach you, I would be honored to share for 5 minutes or 50!