In 1998 Paul and his oldest daughter, Erin, joined Frank Apisa and others for the first outreaches at the University of Torino with the help of other believers at the university. This confirmed God’s calling in many ways. Frank and Pam Apisa moved to Torino in 1999, and the Meiburger family followed in 2000. Initially we met in homes and did evangelism on the campus, including English Clubs, which helped us meet many new friends. Eventually we were able to share the Bible and how to have a personal relationship with Jesus to our new friends.
After over two years of prayer, we were able to rent a ministry and student center (“Il Rifugio” Italian for “The Refuge”) near the university. As the ministry grew, the Il Rifugio community began to reach out to the city in many ways, including concerts with the Il Rifugio Band, Coffee House nights, and ministry to the poor and homeless.
Our current focus is to build European leaders who will take over full responsibility for the spiritual direction and future growth of the community, including starting new communities. Small groups are a primary focus for the future. The mission for Il Rifugio is to give birth to new communities that will reflect the LUCE (“Light) of Jesus in Torino, Italy and the world. The word “Luce” has an acronym in Italian, as follows, Lodare (Worship) God with all our lives; Unirsi (Unite) in fellowship; Crescere (Grow) in the use of our gifts and talents; and Espandere (Expand) the love of God to others.