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Hello from an Italian wannabe

Hello to all of you,

my name is Chiara Rodighiero, I'm a 36 years old receptionist from northern Italy.

I've always been involved into volunteering and I've casually heard of Mercy Ships. I immediately thought It was the right organization for me; within MS I could have the chance to fulfill my will of serving, helping people, travelling and working.

I immediately applied for receptionist and I was so happy to get in touch with Heater Pearson, (but I could be suitable for hostess and administrative roles as well as I have experience as cabin stewardess, banker, commercial and administration), but I decided to put my application "on hold" after a preliminary informal chat with my employer about my purpose. Despite some workmates obtained some gape periods in the past, my new boss evidently does not share the same position literaly laughed in my face, considering my request absolutely absurde, a kinda not deserved and not business-oriented holiday.

In Italy Law say all the employees can ask for an annual unpaid leave, but only civil servants are entitled to it, while employers apart from the State can deny it "for organizational reasons".

Now I'm seriously reconsidering not only my application, but my entire working life too. If I'm successful, I will formally ask for my gap year, but I'll have no choice but resigning in case of denial (very likely). It's a tough decision, but I can't help giving a try.

Could any one give me some advice or can share his/her experience of leaving a job for volunteering?

Happy sailing and serving



  • KellyGrizzardKellyGrizzard Posts: 119
    Chiara,  Having felt led for many years that full time volunteering is what I needed to do I left my job as a Physical Therapist and with my wife and now 3 daughters have been serving with Mercy Ships since 2008.  

    Chiara,  if the Lord is in this transistion a way will be made financially.

    Seek guidance from trusted friends and family and look for confirmation in God's word.  Finally make sure what you feel in your heart lines up with the first two.

    By the way sometimes finally seeing what God is calling you to do results in the "Great Delay".  Don't get frustrated as God prepares your heart, finances and emotional support as you continue to draw close to Him.

    I hope this helps.

  • Hello Kelly, I'.m really happy to get your answer!

    Well, the financial matter is not so central, since I am kinda good money saver (I could take a long gap period on my own). But you centered my worries; even if I'm always looking for new challenges, I'm afraid of these changes at the same time. One thing is taking a gap year and having an "escape route" just in case, one another is starting a new life on the edge of the unknown.

    Anyway, first things first. I'm still applying and some time will necessarily pass-by. 

    I think the Lord is by my side, as my mother (who is water-phobic) is worried only about AFM is a ship!

    Thanks so much, Kelly for supporting me, It helps me, yes it does

    Happy sailing and serving


  • KellyGrizzardKellyGrizzard Posts: 119
    Your so welcome.  Let you Mom know the ship is in port 10 months out of the year. You are really on the water if you sail and that would be no more than 2 weeks sail at the longest.

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