Originally from Oaklandon, Indiana, Jim graduated from Johnson Bible College in 1975 with a degree in preaching and youth ministry after a two year mission internship in Italy with his wife Caranita. Ordained by the elders of the Oaklandon Christian Church, in 1976 Jim resolved to return to Italy and commit his service to pastoring the Christian Church in Francavilla Fontana, a city in the region of Apulia, where most people attend mass just twice a year.
Persistent, loyal, empathic, and creative, Jim has consistently provided vision and innovation by finding ways to overcome obstacles to the spreading of the Gospel in Francavilla. Determined to share the love of Christ with the unchurched and the brokenhearted, Jim established first a Christian Radio Station (1980-1990), then a crisis hotline ministry (1990-1996), and finally ReCrea/Center for Professional Counseling and Spiritual Formation, still active today in the heart of Francavilla.
In 2014 Jim received the Distinguished Serivice Award from Johnson University for his outstanding dedication to the Great Commission.
Jim holds dear to the words of Jesus: "Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
Caranita serves Italy for Christ Mission as a professional family counselor and supervisor, licenced by the Italian Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (A.I.C.C.eF.).
With over 25 years of experience in listening to troubled adults, adolescents, couples and families on issues regarding anger, anxiety, beravement, depression, marital conflict, parenting, pre-marital counseling, sexual abuse, sexual identity, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse, Caranita is most passionate about restoring a sense of safety and hope in the lives of Italians affected by grief and shame. She speaks to healthcare professionals and school teachers on topics related to empathy and trauma and has written articles for Il Consulente, an Italian counseling journal.
Gifted in mercy and in knowledge and ignited by her yearning to delight in God, Caranita is most satisfied when she shares in small group Bible Studies her lifelong quest of mindmapping and praying through God’s names. She has obtained copyright on her mindmaps and is in the process of publishing her work.
Caranita’s education includes a Masters in Biblical Counseling (Bob Jones University, 2006), a Masters in Marital Counseling (Rome, Italy, 2001), a diploma in Family Counseling (Taranto, Italy, 1991), and a Bachelor of Science in Bible (Johnson Bible College, 1975). She is member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), a Board Certified Christian Counselor with the International Board of Christian Counselors (IBCC), and a member of the Italian Association of Christian Counselors (ACC). She is recipient of the Distinguished Serivce Award from Johnson University (2014) for her outstanding dedication to the Great Commission.
The source of her dedication is best described by the words of Jeremiah: "When your words came, I ate them, they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty” (Jer. 15:16).
Born in Manduria, Italy, Gianni was raised in the Christian Church of Latiano.
Driven by his love for Scripture, a giftedness in teaching, and a shortage of leaders, Gianni began preaching at the age of 14.
A natural leader, Gianni worked as an aftersales manager for General Motors while carrying out a soccer career and volunteering in church for many years. Eventually the spiritual distress Gianni observed in many non-practicing Catholic friends kindled the desire to devote himself entirely to spiritual formation. In order to carry out this life goal, Gianni moved to the US with his wife Stephany to train for ministry.
A graduate of Johnson University, Gianni earned his Masters of Arts in New Testament Preaching, his Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Preaching, and was ordained by the elders of the Woodlawn Christian Church in Knoxville, TN.
Friendly, outgoing, enthusiastic and exuberant, Gianni combines his commitment to Scripture with his love for people by teaching others to read and apply the Word of God, whether he is preaching in church, teaching at Recrea, speaking at national conferences, or coaching on the soccer field.
Gianni claims the promise that He who began a good work in him "will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil.1:6).
Born American and raised Italian, Stephany has mastered the art of integration. From the assimilation of two differing cultures, to the synthesis of diverse areas of study such as Bible, Counseling, Dance, Writing, and Art, Stephany is most passionate about restoring the connection between Christian spirituality, mental health, and creative processes in the midst of suffering.
A professional counselor licensed through the Italian Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (A.I.C.CeF.) Stephany holds an Italian diploma in family counseling and a Bachelor Degree in Bible and Counseling from Johnson University. She has gained experience working with adults and children for ten years both in Italian private and public mental health organizations as well as Hospital and University settings in America (Park West Medical Center and Johnson University Counseling Center in Knoxville, TN). Currently she is completing her graduate studies by specializing in the therapuetic use of drawing, movement analysis and play to assist children, elderly, mentally ill and trauma victims, who may be unable to put ideas into speech, express their emotional conflicts through art and movement.
Gifted in the areas of mercy and faith, Stephany directs the counseling services of ReCrea with a gentle, quiet, persistent and intuitive spirit.
The nexus between prayer and artistic expression allows Stephany to embody her life verse: “God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).