Ciao & Benvenuto!
I am La Signora Sheila, American born, Italian at heart. Happily married, mom and nonna! Hubby and I have been married 44 years and missionaries in Italy since 1989.
What is a straniera?
STRA • NIE • RA
Pronunciation: stra • njera
foreigner, alien, stranger
Yep, straniera is the Italian word for foreigner, which is what I am here in Italy. And this blog is where I share my life, my love for Italy (AKA the dolce vita Italiana), and things God is impressing on my heart. So you’ll find a bit of everything here. I really do hope that you will be inspired, encouraged, uplifted by it!
But just who is this straniera?
Born and raised in freezing cold (but beautiful) Michigan, I am forever in love with the mostly mild Mediterranean climate of my adoptive land and it’s wonderful slow life!
We married exactly one month (to the day) after meeting for the first time, and our life together has been a truly adventurous blessing!
We set out for Italy with basically nothing. Just two kids and eight suitcases. No support base, no income or money in the bank, no property or assets, and very little cash.
We’ve moved over 50 times, north to south and east to west, mostly in Italy. Even living in a tent, a tarantula-infested camper (shudder), and an old chicken coop, so cozy the chickens kept returning! We’ve gone without, been abundantly blessed, and learned countless lessons along the way. And most of all discovered that God has been, and continues to be, faithful every step of the way!
Where we live
We really live in two towns.
Our main town nestles in the foothills between the Adriatic Sea and mountains of Abruzzo (left image). A beautiful region, it is in many ways also poor and forgotten. Economically depressed, politically neglected, and often even omitted from weather reports on national TV! And most sad of all, mostly unreached with the liberating power of the Gospel. Abruzzo needs your prayers.
Our summer village and Hubby’s birthplace (on the right) is hidden away in the remote and lonely mountains of Salerno’s Cilento area. An extremely depressed area, with little work, few people, fewer amenities, and still fewer Bible-believing churches. Where the people, for the most part, feel abandoned, hopeless, and beyond forgotten. We go there to show that they are neither forgotten nor abandoned, and we covet your prayers for them.
Thank you for stopping by!
I hope that here you’ll find inspiration, encouragement, and peace – and will return often to enrich my journey. All journeys are better shared!