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Homegoing of Dr. Franco Maggiotto
Announcing the Homegoing of Dr. Franco Maggiotto
See the last newsletter sent out for Franco Maggiotto below.
The following report by Rev. Geoffrey Donnan, was put out by email 12-21-2006 at the home-going of Dr. Franco Maggiotto along with the newsletter which is below.:
Greetings in the name of our Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, a faith He gives to us; and the One who not only begins His good work in us, but also finishes it.
It is with both great joy and immense sadness that I have to write to you and inform you that our beloved friend Dr. Franco Maggiotto, went home to be with the Lord at the hospital last night at about 11:40 p.m. Italy time.
I heard the news from Rev. Rudy Poettcker who had received an email from Giorgio Modolo, the father of Andrea Modolo who has been preaching in Franco’s stead during his illness. I quickly checked my email to find an urgent notice from another colleague close to Franco who wrote the following:
“I spoke with Franco yesterday mid-morning on the phone, and he was having a very difficult time speaking, and catching his breath, and I barely made out that he had had some kind of surgical procedure, and that is why he could not speak too well. I thought perhaps it was because he was a bit sedated or something. His mind was rather clear, from what I could tell, but his body was in great turmoil. I then called back in the afternoon to wish Aurora and the family a blessed Christmas, and she spoke with me for a moment, then passed the phone to Franco, and he tried to speak to me again, but the same thing: very labored breathing and I could not make out what he was saying.
Aurora stepped out of the room and told me at that point that he was in serious condition, that the doctors had had to go in and drain the fluid build-up in his lungs the day before (Tuesday), this being caused by the type of chemo he was taking. His blood pressure was also low, so they had to keep giving him fluids at the same time. The doctors decided to stop the chemo at that point because of his pulmonary situation, and obviously that meant his white count was going to rise again. She said at that time that they would have to wait and see in the next day or so to see how he responded.
I then received another call last night at about 10 PM from Alberto, telling me that Franco had lost consciousness in the early evening, and was probably not going to come out of his coma, and that the doctor said it could be a matter of an hour or a day, so that is when I got in the car and drove over to Turin. I got there around midnight and Franco had died about twenty minutes or so before, Alberto told me. The family was there, as well as Pino and Maresa from the church, and Aurora was doing remarkably well, considering everything.
Aurora asked me if I could help speak at the funeral, which I will do gladly, and there will be several others who will speak. Franco had asked to be buried in the Waldensian cemetery in Torre Pellice, and they are working out those details right now. I am waiting to hear if it will be Friday or Saturday.
We are certainly grieving the loss of this extraordinary life and servant of God, and it will take time to process the impact of his loss for Italy. The family will need time to grieve, and to be able to confront decisions they will have to make together for the future. And the same is true for the churches. There are many decisions for them to make, and new opportunities that will need time to unfold.”
Franco was a beloved preacher of the Gospel and the Lord alone knows the extensive outreach of those touched by his life. Your prayers are coveted for Aurora and their two children, Tabitha and Alberto. I am reminded how often he wrote and said, “I know God loves me. He gave me Aurora.” Most of you should recall how often he signed his letters, “Franco, who loves Aurora.” His love affair with his wife was as much of his life’s preaching as his words and was the ointment for many.
It is only fitting that the attached newsletter, which has already been placed in the mail and was slotted for being sent out today by email, go forth as a testimony to God’s grace in Franco’s life. His last written devotional to you, entitle “Patience in Waiting.” Franco’s waiting is now over.
Please keep in mind that it was not little Franco who was great, but the grace of God through the Gospel that used his feeble earthen vessel to do great things. So, as you process, ponder and grieve over this loss, remember that there is nothing in these events that in the least falls short of God’s goodness. While it may seem that this is a great loss, and humanly speaking it is; in reality, it is but part of God’s unfolding plan for victory that is working good for all of the called according to His purpose and even for the reformation of Italy. We see this by faith, not by sight, but see it we do.
What a joy it is to know that Franco is no longer in pain, no longer in fear, no longer anxious over God’s work on this earth and the problems of doing it within the confines of twenty-four hour days. He no longer needs to struggle with computer incompetence and worries about being spied upon. He now has entered into the glorious rest which he does not deserve, but which Christ purchased for Him by His life and death. He now has been brought into the glory of the Lord which is the fulfillment of every longing of his heart both for all men, but especially his beloved Italy. I can just imagine the thrill he has of understanding theology far better now than he ever did here. Rejoice with him and remember those whom he loved that are still here.
I know he would want me to say to you that he loved you with a deep love and affection in the Lord. Whenever he met a new church, he would remind them that we must expand our hearts a little more to receive in the new brothers and sisters that God has now brought together. He so enjoyed his times of fellowship in the U.S. and Canada and was ever humbled by your prayers and support. His fellowship here and in Italy with his beloved communita (church) was only eclipsed by what he now has with the Lord. I also know he would urge you to NOT FORGET ITALY and its need for reformation simply because he is no longer here. As with the Waldensians in the past, God used him to lay some foundations, but He will continue the work. He would urge your ongoing prayer and support of it.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will keep you posted as we meet in Italy with the churches and board of Fede Viva to collate Franco’s plans, tie them with the right people and put them into action. Please keep us all in prayer as the Lord guides us through this process.
RCM Director, Rev. Geoffrey W. Donnan