Sent February 18, 2012:
Engage Conference: Portland, OR. January 2012
First I must thank all of you who prayed for me while I was at Engage, Christian Associates’ (CA) candidate’s conference held at the end of January in Portland, OR. I had a wonderful time, met some really great people and learned a lot! While I was invited to join CA’s full-time staff, I am choosing to join CA as an “affiliate” for now. As an affiliate, I am officially connected with the CA movement though I will be receiving my support through Hessel Church and submitting to the leadership of all three entities involved (CA, Hessel and Aurora).
The present objective is to obtain a long-term visa and raise the support needed to fill the volunteer position offered to me through Aurora Mission (http://auroramission.org/
) at their Italian Theological Academy (ITA) (http://auroraita.org/
) in Sicily. My primary job will be assisting the support staff at ITA while focusing on learning the language and culture. I may also have opportunities to help with ministries at the local churches where the ITA staff are pastoring. Once settled I will be meeting up with Bethany Labue, (currently CA’s only staff member in Italy) and begin exploring how I can be a support to her in the church-planting initiative she is leading.
I leave for my 10-day trip to Israel March 17th but will not be ready to leave for Italy by then. I don’t know how long it will take but here is what I need to do before I can leave for Italy:
- Acquire a long-term visa
- Raise prayer and financial support
- Pack/sell/store my belongings + all the logistical details that come with moving abroad!
Three prayer requests come to mind:
1st: diligence in keeping on top of all that needs to be done and using my time wisely;
2nd: for opportunities to connect and share with churches, sunday school classes, informal gatherings (please contact me if you have any ideas in this regard or are interested in hosting a casual gathering in your home)
3rd: my visa (both the process and approval of), Italian visas are hard to obtain and I know I will need patience and encouragement as I embark on the joys of dealing with Italian bureaucracy!
I am so excited about this journey ahead and blessed beyond words to have each of you along for the ride!
Quoting Howie’s favorite valediction, (Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz),
*Please write me back if you have a more current e-mail address, would prefer to receive updates by snail mail, or if you would prefer not to receive monthly updates. Also, please forward this to anyone who might be interested in receiving my updates and have them write to me directly to subscribe.
**If you are interested in giving financially, checks can be made out and sent to Hessel Church, just be sure to include my name on the memo line (5060 Hessel Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472).
*** Within the next 6-12 months, I also need to raise about a $1000 in my CA account to cover training costs. Donations to my CA account can be made online. From CA’s homepage (http://christianassociates.org/), click on the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner. Under ”Missionaries and Projects” please click on “Missionaries” and then click on “Cummings, Hillary – 40383”