Spoto Family

Spoto Family

Jim & Lori Spoto
Missionaries to Spain

Association of Baptists for World Evangelism

December 2023

2023 November 5th We as members at our church meeting at the end of October voted to recognize ————- as another elder. The first Sunday of November we presented him to the whole church and prayed for him personally, his growth spiritually and for wisdom in leadership. ——- was a 19 year old kid when he started coming to the church. He is now 40 years and has grown up in the ministry. 
As a result, the Lord has now given us 3 men as elders and leaders of the church – G—–, M—— and A——-. We are rejoicing in how the Lord has been guiding every step in the transition of the leadership from missionaries to Italians! This is the very reason that the Lord has called over 30 years ago to accomplish! We were called as church planters – lead the Italians to Christ, disciple them to take over the leadership.

2023 November 19th Every month we have an Agape lunch. Sunday November 19th, we had the wonderful surprise of N—- and P—– who drove in that morning to be with us and give testimony to God’s grace and mercy in their lives and thank the church personally for their prayers. If you remember P—– is the lady that had the scooter accident back on August 18th in Loano Italy which is in Liguria. She fell asleep while driving her scooter and hit a wall. She took most of the impact with her head and her right leg. She ended up with a broken femur and concussion. As a result of the broken femur she had fatty embolisms form in her brain. It was really touch and go for the first few weeks. The doctors didn’t give her much hope, but we started praying and the Lord starting answering. According to doctors only 3 out of milion come out of this condition! Well P—– is one of those 3!! She is home and doing physical therapy and has had almost a complete recovery!! PTL!! N—- has grown spiritually and has become a man of prayer!

Jonathan “the cook” Jonathan at his group that he goes to 3 days week did some cooking with the folks there. We don’t always write about him but he is really a missionary in his own right! God uses him in ways that are incredible to open doors and conversation! We thought that you would appreciate the photo of him cooking! 

2023 December 16 Christmas Program Through these past years one of the things that we have been doing is turning over more responsibilities to the Italian believers. One of those big responsibilities is the church’s Christmas program that we hold every December as a way of evangelism and having new folks come in. Lori has always planned it and organized it. Last year she was involved in the guiding of the program but this year it was entirely the responsibility of the ladies of the church. It was a joint effort and we are really proud of what they did. The message was clear and at the end one of the young men A—– (a future elder) brought the message. Again we are really proud of their leadership and their effort that was invested. Please pray for the hearts that were there who were not saved.   

December Scripture Calendar Distribution We gave out 100 scripture calendars in our plaza of our weekly market on the 14th. We had some returning from other years looking for them. It is a wonderful way to get the Word of God into their homes 365 days of the year! May the Lord bless His Word!  Please pray for those that received one.

2023 December 17th “Passing the Baton Sunday December 17th, we held a special service of “passing the baton”to the leadership of the church “Il Faro Chiesa Cristiana Evangelica”. It was a special and very moving Sunday for us and for them. We as the founders of the church have turned the ministry of the church over to them. During the service by way of pictures, we recounted the history of church from the first bible studies done in our apartment, to those that were saved, the first place that we rented to hold services once the Lord gave us our first believers, to finally receiving the one time gift in 2000 to purchase the part of the building where the church is now. Then what was a real joy was to have E——- and his wife R—— there to pray for that moment at the end. E——- and R—— hold a special place in our hearts since we have known them basically from the very first days we arrived in Italy. They were newly weds in 1991 and E—– was the one who corrected those first sermons I (Jim) ever preached in Italy!  He is now the pastor of the church in a town called Lanzo where I preached in the beginning years before we started our services. Now we want to be very clear — this doesn’t mean that we are totally done, but will be there over the next year or so as counselors, evangelists and for guidance in the ministry, but also helping in the bookstore during the week and sending out the orders. We also have many things to tie up before we can consider our total return to the USA. But, as we reflect on these past 32 almost 33 years and what the Lord alone has done by His power of the Holy Spirit, blows us away! It is only God that could have saved more that 100 Italians and more than 90 baptized in these years to establish His Church!  And of course we could not have been used by Him to accomplish this, if you all were not behind us all the way by your faithfulness to us and prayers for us!!!To Him be all the Glory given!!

2024 January This week we have returned back to the states for Christmas to be with family but also on January 17th Lori has to have neck surgery. Not sure if you remember but in the summer of ’22 she put her back out by rupturing two disks in her lower back. The neurosurgeon who has been treating her and following her progress discovered, through an MRI, that her lower back was healing but her two vertebrae C-4 C-5 in her neck were reversed and putting pressure on her spinal cord causing the possibility of paralysis. She has been experiencing tingling and weakness in her arms but just thought it “old age.” The only thing that we concluded is that this is from an old whiplash accident we were in when we were younger. So as we said her surgery is scheduled for January and after that she will have 3 months of recovery. During that time we will be preparing our presentation for our future furlough later this year. We also have some meetings scheduled for the spring. We will be returning to Italy in July and this fall will be returning to continue our furlough. We will appreciate your prayers for Lori as she goes through the surgery. Blessed Christmas and Prosperous New Year! We also wanted to before we close to wish you all a Blessed Christmas with your loved ones and also for a very Prosperous New Year 2024!  We always need to always remember the “reason for the season!” As we know it not important the date but the fact that our Savior was born and came into this world to save us all- Emmanuel – God with us!

Lord bless you all and again thank you for all of our support throughout this year and looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the new year.

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