One thing that we have been aware of since the first time we mentioned moving to Italy is that Europe is not generally considered a mission field. Africa, Asia, Latin America all fit our understanding of a mission field-partially a legacy of colonialism, partially a result of confusing physical poverty for spiritual poverty, and partially because much of the southern hemisphere is, indeed, a mission field.
But we can’t ignore the incredible need in our own backyards. Italy, Canada, the UK and many other Western nations are spiritual vacuums.
Here is an article about the spiritual state of Eastern Germany. The challenges there are quite different from what we will encounter in Italy, and are not quite the same as where things are at in the UK. But it is a good example of why the church cannot ignore the growing need here in Europe.