David

Howdy!   I’m a 37 year old American (Class of 2002 Texas A&M Aggie) who felt the call of God to serve as a missionary for the Lord Jesus Christ in Milan, Italy.  On October 21, 2002 God spoke to my heart through a close brother in Christ and challenged me to step out my comfort zone this year!   I was slow to surrender but found myself challenged by the statement, “Don’t sell out to the American dream.”

I grew up in a Christian home where the Word of God was central, faith in Christ was key, and walking with Jesus was taught and modeled.  As a result, I trusted Christ at an early age under the guidance of my parents.  At home, I learned disciplines of the faith like  tithing and spending time alone with the Lord.  Two of my Dad’s sisters and their families were missionaries in Western Europe, so I was exposed to the concept of missions in a concrete way through close family members.  This was the precious foundation on which the Spirit built in my early years.  However, it was not until college that God began to challenge my comfortable plans and goals for the future with a much loftier and less-comfortable route…

All through college, I had planned on finishing my Telecommunications Engineering degree, getting a job, getting married, having children, and serving the Lord in my local church.   While all of these things are well and good, I found that this was my highest aspiration–my greatest goal.   God showed me that I wasn’t keeping the doors open for His leading–specifically in the area of missions.   I had always thought of missions as something that other people do.   When I allowed Him to speak to my heart, the floodgates opened wide!   God showed me that my goals and desires in life were not lofty, but indeed too shallow and weak!   I was internally settling for the best that the world had to offer and not the best that HE has to offer…

God has used authors like  John Piper to forever change my way of looking at life.   After a great deal of wrestling, the Lord has helped me to see that my life is not my own–it’s His.   I know that in worldly terms this sounds so constraining and restricted.   In all honestly though, I’ve found so much freedom in surrendering my life to Christ–as I’ve never known before!   I’ve adopted Philippians 3:7-8 as one of my life verses…“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.   More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of  knowing  Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”

Leading up to this…God used the Body at  Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX to transform and forever enlarge my vision of who He is, to stretch my faith in supernatural ways, to grow and challenge my knowledge of the Word, to teach me how to lead, to show me what discipleship is and how to disciple others, to give me a love for the nations, to teach me about the beauty of a  gospel that is absolutely free, and to show me that Jesus Christ alone is all that I need–all that I desire–and all that I could ever hope for!   I praise God that He was so faithful to plant me within a Body of Christ that would influence me like Grace has…

After serving the Lord for most of the first year in Milan, I found myself drawn to the Italian culture, people, and language in a supernatural way.   In my heart were new desires to love and serve the people of Italy so that Jesus Christ might be proclaimed among them and His Kingdom constructed in their midst!   Another miracle: God powerfully worked through the prayers of His Body and allowed me to learn Italian during the first year.   He used all of these things to motivate me to commit to a second year.

Halfway through my second year, my desire to pursue the American dream was completely gone and in its place was a strong desire to serve the Lord Jesus as a missionary in Milan!   It was a decision that came naturally to me after God has prepared my heart.   At that point, I decided to pursue theological education at  Dallas Theological Seminary and to join  Crossworld formally as my sending mission.   By His grace, I finished a four-year Masters of Theology degree to prepare me for church planting in Italy!   Each summer during seminary I went back to Italy to refresh my Italian, reconnect with my friends there, and renew my relationship with the local church there,  Chiesa Stadera.   While in the states, I worked with the Crossworld mobilization team to recruit men and women for God’s work around the world.

God blessed me in January 2008 and allowed me to meet a beautiful and Godly woman, Jana Greenwich, who is now my wife!  Aside from the gift of salvation that God has given me in His Son, Jana is the greatest gift He has ever given me!  I’m so thankful to have a woman like her at my side!  Together, we’ve embarked on the calling of a lifetime.  The Lord has lead us to make disciples, train leaders, and plant churches in Northern Italy!