This is the story of a 'Wounded Healer' in Southern Europe. Valentin was born without fully formed or functioning lower arms. However, what would be a permanent setback for some, became for Valentin a way to demonstrate the power of Jesus' love in his life.
Every day, Valentin walks through his town to live out his victory over adversity and to show how to persevere through limitations. Valentin has a Gospel-transformed life. He serves his community by shepherding everyone he meets, stopping for coffee and a chat, and standing in the shade or sun depending on the day. He befriends anyone, and then introduces that new friend to Jesus. Using a simple strategy, Valentin asks his friends to join him to read the Bible and to consider doing what it says. Over time, and with the support of our local Fellowship International missionary, Valentin has formed a Discovery Bible Study group in his village.
That little group has grown and become a family to those who have joined it. Valentin, as a happily married father of two grown adult children, openly shares his faith in his community. The small group he leads has a simple practice that they follow: they read from the Bible, phrase it in their own words, and then discuss together what they are learning from it. The group has grown to include several addicts celebrating their recovery in Jesus, others who were headed to the divorce court but are now celebrating healthy and loving marriages, and several couples who are now, for the first time in their lives, learning to parent their children.
Southern Europe has long been considered a graveyard for missionaries because it has grown resistant to the Gospel seed. However, this story demonstrates the power of the Gospel to reach every social sector of society and to form obedient disciples in those willing to listen to God's Word and to do what it says.