Ciao tutti! I hope this find you all doing well and surviving the early heat wave I hear you are having. If I could, I’d send you all granita, it’s a delicious semi-frozen treat that originated here in Sicily. There’s nothing like it on a hot afternoon!
A – Answered Prayers
It has been an answer to prayer to have such a great place to stay with Naomi. Her parents had us over for lunch on Sunday and have been equally welcoming. I still have yet to meet a few of the regular attenders at the Monday night Bible study at Bethany and Steve’s house but I have really enjoyed all those I have met, both at the Monday night study and the Saturday evening chapel service Steve leads at the Navy Base.
I was sick in bed with a fever and head cold for most of last week and am very grateful to be doing much better now. I am not quite back to 100% and really appreciate those who have been praying for my recovery.
B – Blessings
Wednesday was a wonderful blessing! It was a holiday (Labor Day: check out this link
to read more about it) here and I was invited to join Bethany, her two young girls, Morgan (4) and Sicily (10 months), and her friends Massimo and Rosanna and their two boys (ages 2 and 5) for a picnic. We drove about an hour North and were on the Eastern foothills of Mt. Etna. The place
Labor Day Picnic
was beautiful, the weather gorgeous and the company, wonderful! Speaking of Mt. Etna, another amazing blessing was getting to see her in all her glory last Saturday night. After the chapel service at the Navy Base, most everyone drove to the nearby town of Motta for dinner at a pizzeria. I had a great time getting to know some of the folks in the community better but the other awesome highlight was that Etna was erupting a lot and the view at night from Motta was stunning!
C – Challenges
A few ways you can be praying for me are: 1) for the Lord to direct and provide a way for me to be able to extend my tourist visa past 90 days, 2) for my language skills to improve daily and to find an affordable language school nearby and 3) for more connections and a growing network of contacts here along with opportunities to serve in the community.
Please keep praying for Italy too! There is clearly a spirit of fear, discord and hopelessness pervading the culture including those who are part of the body of Christ. The suicide rate is climbing as many have no work and there is little hope of finding a job here. Many who do work are in constant fear of losing their job. They are also in bondage to the Mafia. Every business save a few, like IKEA who is new in town and are protected by the government, pays the Mafia protection money. Businesses that don’t pay are sabotaged and are no more. Being forced to make these payments eats away at what profit business owners do make each month making it hard to expand, remodel or invest in their business and the local economy. Pray for wisdom, integrity, unity and effectiveness for the newly formed government which is under the leadership of Enrico Letta, the new Prime Minister. Pray God’s Word would flood this nation, for every heart to hear and receive the Truth and for the Truth, as God promises it will, to set them free in every way.
Thank you SOOO much for praying!!!! Please keep it up and let me know how I can be praying for you too!