We are the O’Mara family! Ed and Robin and our 3 children: Teagan, Liadan, and Kilian.
We were married in 1998. Ed worked as an electrical engineer for 8 years. Feeling a call to ministry, we were sent by Grace Community Church (Souderton, PA) to be trained at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. We returned, and Ed joined the pastoral team, serving there for 6 years. In 2013, we relocated when Ed was called to lead our current church, CrossPointe Church (Arnold, MD).
We love spending time together (especially playing and watching soccer, playing games, and going for walks with our Yellow Lab, Duncan).
What Are We Doing?
Italy is a beautiful country with friendly people, a rich history, incredible food, and a strong religious heritage. But Italy is a spiritually dark country. For centuries the Roman Catholic church has had a strong influence over Italy. Unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church turned from the essential and central teaching of Scripture - the saving message of Jesus. In the time of the Reformation, Italy was unaffected by the resurgence of gospel-preaching. Into the modern era, the spiritual climate reflects a lack of concern with God’s Word or the work of Jesus. Italy has been forgotten as a mission field; there are over 60 million people living in Italy and less than 1.5% know the truth of the gospel of Jesus. Less than 5% of the cities and villages in Italy have a gospel-preaching church. This means that many Christians seeking authentic community must travel a great distance to find a good church. Additionally, secularism and interest in the occult continues to rise, and the culture is growingly hostile toward the gospel.
We believe God is calling us to extend the Great Commission, in partnership with our local church (CrossPointe) and family of churches (Sovereign Grace) for the glory of His name and the good of those in Italy who do not yet know Jesus.
Our plan is to relocate to Italy to plant and establish an interconnected network of gospel-preaching churches that are self-sustaining and led by well-equipped Italians who reproduce, govern, and nourish themselves. This will start with our family planting a church in central Italy.
This is an endeavor of gospel-partnership! We respect and thank God for missionaries who launch into the field with the support of missions agencies and individual donors. Our situation is different. Our conviction is that interconnected local churches should extend the global and local mission of Jesus Christ. We are extremely humbled and grateful to do so as part of a family of churches. In light of this, you should know that this plan has been reviewed and informed by counsel and input from our partners. There is accountability, care, and coaching built into each aspect of our approach. That said, we are still in need of support from YOU! If you are interested in supporting either by prayer or financially, you can find out how to do so in the “Contact and Support Us” section.
CrossPointe Church: This our primary partner and sending church. They are providing some financial assistance and oversight as well as a great deal of relational care. If you decide to give financially, CrossPointe will oversee the administration.
Sovereign Grace Mid-Atlantic Region: Our family of churches is arranged into smaller geographic regions for care, relationship, mission, and governance. CrossPointe Church is part of the Mid-Atlantic Region, which is comprised of churches in Maryland and Northern Virginia. This group will provide care, some financial assistance, and counsel and coaching.
Sovereign Grace Global Missions: Our family of churches pursues global gospel expansion through prayerful and strategic initiative led by the Emerging Nations team. This group has expertise in navigating expansion into new territories. They will provide care, some financial assistance, coaching, and support for governance.
Around 50% of our financial need over the next 5 years is provided through the partnerships above. The remainder will come through individual donors, our personal savings, and Ed’s part-time work teaching English as a Second Language.
Again, our plan is to relocate to Italy to plant and establish an interconnected network of gospel-preaching churches that are self-sustaining and led by well-equipped Italians who reproduce, govern, and nourish themselves. This will be accomplished over four phases:
Transition from the US to Italy (current - July 2022)
Language Acquisition and Cultural Adjustment (July 2022-mid/late 2023)
Church Planting (mid/late 2023-2025)
A Gospel Network (2025 and on)
Transition from the US to Italy (July 2022): Completed
We relocated to Italy on 13 July 2022. Until 24 April 2022 Ed continued to lead CrossPointe Church. God graciously provided a new Lead Pastor for CrossPointe. He joined the staff in March 2022 and served alongside Ed for about 2 months, then was installed as the Lead Pastor and Ed transitioned to a support role for the remaining months until we relocated.
During this phase, we focused on making a healthy transition as a family. This included spiritual and emotional care for leaving the US as well as envisioning and preparing our family for moving to Italy. It also included much logistical planning. We needed to sell most of our personal belongings, find a new home for our dog, and make plans for new housing in Italy. And of course the most important aspect of this phase was spending time with family, church family, and friends to say goodbye. It was a sweet but full season! (Check out the prayer requests section to see how God is answered and continues to answer our prayers!)
Language Acquisition, Adjustment, and Church Plant Planning (July 2022-mid/late 2023): Current Phase
In July 2022 we relocated to Catania, Italy which is in the region of Sicily. In Catania, our main job will be to focus on language acquisition and cultural adjustment for a year to year and a half.
There are several reasons we selected Catania as our landing place for preparation. First, we have a wonderful relationship with a local church in Catania called Grazia e Verità which is led by our close friend, Giuseppe Fortuna. We know our family will be well-cared for and supported in all aspects of our transition among this church. Second, the University of Catania has an excellent language training program for non-Italian speakers. Being able to preach the gospel in fluent Italian is necessary to build healthy churches so this is a major consideration. Both Ed and Robin will take classes to reach fluency. Our children will learn Italian through the local school system. Third, Catania is a major city yet it is affordable. We will be able to steward our funds well and still reach other areas easily as we begin to plan the location of our future church plant.
During the second half of this phase, we will begin to narrow down the location of the first church plant. This will include prayer, research, and making connection with believers interested in a church plant.
Church Planting (mid/late 2023-2025)
As we said above, we will narrow and prayerfully select a church plant location. We anticipate that we will land somewhere between Florence and Rome (Regions of Southern Tuscany, Umbria, or Northern Lazio) in a mid-sized city that does not have a gospel-preaching church at present. While this is tentative, there are several cities of initial interest that we are looking at, such as: Livorno, Grosseto, and Civitavecchia.
Our focus will be to establish a gospel-preaching church and we will be looking for an area where there is the ability to make connections with Christians who can be trained for pastoral ministry as well as partnering with other churches to extend the Great Commission throughout Italy.
During this phase, Ed will work part-time teaching English as a Second Language because Italian churches are typically small and not able to support a full-time pastor. The more funding we are able to receive from individual donors as well as tithers, the more he will be able to focus on ministry.
A Gospel Network (2025 and on)
As the Lord allows, we will seek to continue to strengthen and build local churches (church plants, adoptions, etc.) and disciple gospel-ministers such that we are able to form a interconnected network. In this phase our goal is to help pioneer churches, invest in the next generation of Italian pastors, and transition leadership to these pastors. We will focus on developing solid biblical convictions and strong gospel-centered communities throughout this growing network. We will seek to develop interconnected churches, meaning they have authentic gospel fellowship and are committed to building with shared values and governance for long-term sustainability. As such, Ed’s role may expand from local church pastoring into a broader focus on building this interconnected group.
Connect & Support
If you are interested in continuing to learn more and support us in some way, THANK YOU! We count this as a huge blessing! There are several ways you can be involved:
Prayer Support: We would be most grateful if you would pray for us regularly. This is one of the most appreciated and significant means of your partnership! Here are our current prayer needs:
Pray that all the logistics of our transition would be smooth for our family. (Answered: We are here and can see the Lord’s perfect provision!)
Pray that the transition will be smooth for CrossPointe as we welcome the new pastor and our family moves to Italy. (Answered! The Lord is doing great things and the transition is going remarkably well! Thanks for your prayers.)
Pray that our children will adapt well and be able to stay on pace in school. Pray also for friendships for them.
Pray that we are able to find a rental home for a good price in a good location. (Answered! God provided a great house in Trecastagni. We have some final details to work through and need to install a kitchen (this is normal for Europe) but we are thankful for God’s kindness to us!)
Pray that we will be a blessing to the church in Catania.
Pray that the Lord will provide a home for our dog, Duncan here in the US. (Answered! God provided a great home among Ed’s extended family (so Duncan doesn’t even need to change his last name!)
Pray that the Lord will begin preparing hearts in Italy for a future church plant location and that we would be led by His Spirit in selecting a location.
Connect with Us: We also encourage you to sign up for our communication channels to hear updates from us. You can do so in all or any of the following ways
Financial Support: If you would like to support us financially, either with a one-time gift or through ongoing support, you can do so in the following ways:
By check. Mail to CrossPointe Church, 365 Jones Station Road, Arnold, MD 21012. Note “Italy Missions - O’Mara” in the memo line. 100% of your gift is tax deductible.
By PayPal. Click this link to give through CrossPointe by PayPal (or debit or credit cards). Be sure to Please note that the gift is for “Italy Missions - O’Mara” in the special note page before submitting your payment. PayPal administration fee will be deducted from your gift and your tax deductible portion will be recorded based on what CrossPointe receives.
CrossPointe will administrate these funds which includes issuing your giving statements for tax purposes at the conclusion of each calendar year.
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