Scott & Sharon MacLean
Serving with Crossworld in Northern Italy
** -Updated 09/11/2017
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question to be taken to the place below where I've answered. Or you can simply scroll down to real through all the questions and answers.
We work in the city of Milan which is located in north central Italy. Milan Bible Church is located on the south side of town. Punto Luce Church is located in San Giuliano Milanese - a few kilometers outside the city limits of Milan, but still very much within the metropolitan area.
We are currently living in San Donato Milanese, about 200 meters outside the city limits of Milan (in the direction of San Giuliano Milanese).
Milan has a population of about 1.3 million within the city limits and around 5 million who live within the urban area.
The vast majority of Italians would consider themselves Roman Catholic. While the teachings you may hear from Roman Catholics in North America may seem the same as what we as Evangelicals would believe, one needs to take into consideration that Roman Catholic teaching adapts itself to the predominant religion of the region it is in. Since in North America Protestants are in the majority, their teaching will sound more Protestant. Here in Italy, the “normal” (and official) teaching of the Roman Catholic church would not be in line with the Gospel message as explained in the Bible.
But “official” doctrine is not as important as “where the rubber hits the road”. That is, what people believe. For the Gospel is, from the start, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The church is the gathering together of those who have this individual relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. Most people, especially in Northern Italy, do not have this relationship with God. We are less concerned with what label they put on themselves than the relationship (or lack thereof) that they have with Jesus.
This is the "short" version. You'll have to ask us personally for the full story.
God allowed both of us, while still quite young, to see the importance and value of missions He did this mostly through our families and churches. The input of both in children's lives are VITAL to God's work of missions. He allowed us to see, over the years that this (foreign missions service), was what He would have us do with our lives.
That is how we both ended up (at different times) joining Crossworld (UFM International at the time). At their candidate school, they got to know us and we got to know them. It was this mutual getting acquainted that led the folks at UFM to see that Scott's gifts and abilities were a good fit for the ministry in Italy.
While Scott was raising support to come to Italy, Sharon was raising support to go to Brazil. When we decided to get married, we decided that Italy would be the better place for the two for us to serve the Lord.
Two things come to mind – food and family. We know, without a doubt, that the best food in the world is found in Italy. We love to eat. The people here are also warm and friendly. And family is vitally important. We like the importance that family plays in the lives of Italians here. An ideal Sunday afternoon for an Italian brings this all together. They typically would get together with family, have a big (and wonderful) meal that lasts for hours while they sit around spending time together and talking up a storm. It’s wonderful!
Although living in the Italian culture has its frustrations, I think the hardest part is being far away from family.
You can pray! This is a very hard area to work in – very apathetic to our message. We need God to work in people’s hearts to create a spiritual thirst and draw them to Himself. You can also be a part of our financial support team (see the next question). And you can encourage us, by letting us know that you are praying.
Financially supporting a missionary is a way to “invest” in something that will last for an eternity. You can pledge to send in monthly (or quarterly or annual) financial support by sending a gift in to Crossworld along with a note indicating your pledge amount. Or you can give a “one-time” or occasional gift. In any case, click here for instructions on sending us financial support. Thank you!
We are home this summer (2017). As Karis gets into the higher grades, we will be somewhat constrained to take our furloughs during summer vacations in order not to fall behind in her school work.
More details can be found here.
Given that we pay the same price here in Italy to mail a postcard as a letter (about $2.25 to the US), we have found it is much less expensive to mail an envelope full of postcards to the US, and then have them mailed from there (total of about $.68 each).Why do your Prayer Letters and Updates look so different?
In August 2013 we switched to a different service for sending out our email prayer letters and updates. MailChimp makes it easier to keep our mailing list upd to date, allows our subscribers to update their own information and allows us to send more graphically pleasing emails. And the service is free.
If you no longer receive our prayer letters and updates (or if you never did get them) and want to be added to our mailing list, just click here to be taken to the sign up form.
What happened to your Pray for the MacLeans Google Group?
We swtiched to a different service (see the previous question). Old letters and updates will still be visible at the Google group page (for the moment). The new service also provides and archive of old updates which can be accessed from a link in the emails we send.
Because I didn’t think of it as I was writing this up. Could you do me a favor and e-mail me your question so I can add it to the list. Thanks!