—Byron Peters, Pastor
“I met Jesus, but what to do with my drugs? They were really good drugs. I hated to throw them away so I gave them to my friends.”
That is the testimony of Sam Spatola, Joy Purvis’ father, whose conversion to Christ in the 1960’s meant a radical break from the California drug scene—albeit not without giving his friends one last “trip.”
After that Sam became a fervent witness for Jesus Christ. Burdened to evangelize in Italy, he moved there and started planting churches. Forty years later missionaries are being raised up through Saints Bible Institute (now led by Samuel, Joy’s brother) and churches are being planted through Saints Equipped to Evangelize—both organizations launched by the Spirit of Jesus through Sam. (By the way, know someone looking to study abroad? Saints Bible Institute may be a perfect fit for that gap year or semester abroad).
The connections seem too tight to be merely coincidental. Christ Community Church values the very same things these ministries encourage: Biblical literacy, a broad humanities education, evangelism, missions and church planting. Ministry in Chapel Hill and in Italy are very similar—both are deeply secular. And the Purvis family spans both of these worlds (Joy grew up in Italy).
So CCC is sending six members on an exploratory trip to Italy to ask, “Lord, might there be some synergies between our ministry and theirs? Might you be calling us to come alongside one another to reach Italy with the gospel?” The team is: Dana Saleeby, Michael Bruxvoort, Bob and Susan Sisk, Garret and Jessie Prestwood. They leave May 16.
Would you please pray for them? Pray for team unity and health, for ministry opportunities, for insight into gospel partnership opportunities, for creative thinking about how to engage secular Italy with the gospel, and for faith that discerns God’s hand on this trip and possibilities for future engagement between these ministries and Christ Community Church.