By Hannah Rueber
Seated behind the Italian translator station, you’ll find the smiling face Alessandro (or Ciqui, as he prefers to be called). Attending his ninth TeenStreet (TS) conference, he looked back to the early days of his life in missions.
“My parents were working with OM Italy, so they probably heard about TS from the home office representative. My siblings came first, and then I first came to TeenStreet in 2008.”
For the first few years, he attended the conference as a teen. Then it was time to find a staff position because he “just kept coming back year after year.”
“My siblings had done some translating for TS, so I wanted to do it, too. When the home office rep asked me to do it, I said yes.”
Ciqui has happily worked behind the curtain for several years, translating the main sessions from English into Italian.
In the middle of his TS years, only one summer was missed. In 2015, Ciqui was aboard OM’s ship, the Logos Hope.
“After I finished high school,” he explained, “my parents offered me a sabbatical. I’d been on the ship when I was younger—like 4 years old—and I’d always had this feeling of going back to the ship. So when I was offered this time off, I said, ‘Let’s go to the ship!’ My parents agreed, and I worked in the galley on the Logos Hope for six months.”
“If you like the TS environment, you’ll love the ship,” Ciqui said. “For me, living with 400 people from all different nations is the dream. There’s so much culture, and so much diversity. [Now that I’m back] I realised that just being there every day is an adventure. You may not be out evangelising every day, but it’s still an adventure with the Lord and the people you’re with.”
That adventure continues at TS each summer. This year, Ciqui said he was very excited to attend TS again. “The world is much bigger than we think. There’s so many people. The moment you realise some of them are here, it touches you.”
“Just being in missions, being in contact with those people… It’s giving and receiving,” as Ciqui described. “You’re giving help, but you’re receiving so many experiences, joy, and wisdom. Just think: You’ve met these people because God put you in contact with them.”