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OPERATION ITALY

 

My name is Abel Aureli, and my wife's name is Anna. We were both born and raised in Italy. I was born to Christian Pentecostal parents, while Anna was born a Catholic.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age of 18. Yet, it would be another 18 years before I finally surrendered my life to God. Anna was saved at the age of 12 and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before she was baptized in water. She took the Lord more seriously — perhaps because of her Catholic roots — so the change in her life was more immediate and evident. I, on the other hand, was more interested in trying out what I never experienced in my youth.

I met Anna through her uncle who opened his home for church meetings every Sunday. I was the P.A. technician (sort of). Anna began to attend church there and she showed much interest in the Word of God.

After a few months, Anna's uncle moved to a town about 35 miles away. Since her father wasn’t saved, we couldn't have church in their house anymore. My heart went out to Anna because I cared for her and I knew if she was left alone, she could have gone back to the Catholic church. Actually, being a Communist, her father had forbidden her to go to church at all, but he allowed her to attend church in her uncle’s house while we were there.

Because I had strong feelings for Anna and believed she felt the same about me, the only thing to do was to propose to marry her, but I had to speak to her parents as well. They accepted on one condition: that we would wait five years before we got married. Of course, we did not wait five years, but that's another story...

Anna got baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit within a couple months after we got married. Although I was baptized in water at the age of 18, I was 36 before I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

During our 37 years of marriage, God has blessed us with six beautiful children. We have one daughter and five sons. Our four oldest sons live in the United States.

During many of those same years, we emigrated first to Germany, then to Australia, and finally to the United States — all in search of peace, joy, and satisfaction.

God Became Lord of My Life
One day after work, I stood in my driveway, looked toward Heaven, and said, "Dear God, if You really are the God of the Bible, and if this is all You can do to make a man happy, then I don't want this life! Take my life because I really don't want it! But... if there's anything better — something which I am not familiar with — please let me know what it is, because I need it badly!"

I stood there for a few seconds. Then God began to speak to my heart. "My dear child," He said, "if you really want to be happy, if you want peace which stays in your heart, and if you want to have the assurance of your salvation, then you need to surrender all of your life to Me! I don't need your life, but if you will hand it to Me, I will cleanse it, I will mold it, and I will hand it back to you."

I didn't know how to surrender my life to God. No one ever taught me. I grew up in a Bible-believing church, but without the elementary teachings needed to make a personal commitment to God. So... I imagined a large tray with my body roasted on it. I lifted that tray before the throne of God and said, "Dear God, I don't know if this is okay, but this is my life. And not only my life, but I also give You my wife, children, house, job, car, and anything else which is under my name. From now on, You are the 'Boss', and I will not make another move unless I know that I'm moving according to Your will."

l felt as if a ton of weight slipped off my shoulders! I felt so light that it seemed as if I could fly, and for the first time in my life, l really did have the assurance of my salvation! I knew that if I had died in that moment, I would have gone to be with the Lord.

Three weeks later, God baptized me with the Holy Spirit and the next day He called me to the ministry of Evangelism and Church-planting back in Italy.
 

     

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