Pinball (An Update)

pinball3Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland!

I  am beginning to think I may have an inkling of what it is like to be a pinball. The following summary of the last month will explain what I mean:

Since I don’t yet have a long-term visa for Italy and therefore had to leave Sicily within 90 days of my arrival, on July 4th I headed to The-Middle-of-No-Where, Ireland where I spent several weeks at a Christian-owned B&B. The days passed quickly and were largely spent in prayer, meeting some wonderful people from around the world and learning from the Lord lessons on: grace, faith, prayer and the need for angelic escorts while riding rusty, old bikes (Click here for “the bike story.” It is quintessential of how the Lord used my day-to-day experiences in Ireland to challenge and grow me).

In the last week of July I headed to Dublin where I would catch a plane to Budapest, Hungary for the Christian Associates (CA) European CONNECT conference. This was my first time attending a CA event. I was able to “CONNECT” with many of the CA staff and affiliates scattered across Europe including many on the Europe leadership team. Attending the conference felt like receiving a new prescription from the eye doctor; I now have a more clear picture of the greater whole I have the privilege of being a part of in addition to a sharper focus of our goals, values and practices.

(If you would like to know more about Christian Associates, please check out their website: http://christianassociates.org/ For stories, updates and how you can be praying for CA, sign up for the Connections Newsletter by entering your e-mail address in the box at the bottom of the homepage)

The conference ended this last Sunday when I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland where I will be staying for the next leg of this journey. The soonest I can reenter Italy is the second week of October when I will return to Catania and continue serving as an intern to Bethany Labue. I will be able to stay in Italy for another three months and then will need to return to California at the end of December or early January to work out visas issues.

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A-B-C’s for July & August:

A – Answered Prayers

  • Safety and traveling mercies
  • Provision of places to stay (thank you especially to the Nyquist’s who hosted me while in Dublin and the Van Tiem’s hosting me here in Edinburgh!)
  • Met lots of wonderful people over the last month, including Janine (pictured below)

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B – Blessings

  • Attending the conference: met lots of wonderful folks, visited with the Labue family, heard some great speakers…
  • Joining the other conference attendees in volunteering with Serve The City, Budapest (see http://servethecity.net/ for more info on STC) – Pictured below are: me, Nada and Elizabeth
  • Getting a small taste of two beautiful cities: Dublin and Budapest

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C – Challenges/Concerns

  • Language skills: The Van Tiem’s happen to know two Italian ladies here in Edinburgh. One of my primary goals for this time in Scotland is to make big strides with my Italian. Please join me in praying God will give me the grace to do so!
  • Please keep praying for Italy and particularly for the Labue’s, Alba, Stephanie & Fabio, Phil & Vanessa, Margherita, Sonya, Grazia, Maria… and the rest of our small but growing faith community.
  • Pray I will be a blessing to the Van Tiem’s and the Michael’s family and their ministries here in Edinburgh. It is my hope we will be a mutual encouragement to one another and my time here in Scotland will better equip me for what the Lord has in store for me back in Catania.
  • My daily bread: needed provisions in all their various forms…

*If you are led to give financial support, checks can be made out and sent to Hessel Church, just be sure to include a separate note with my name on it (5060 Hessel Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472). Financial support can also be given online through PayPal on the Hessel website (http://www.horizon.hessel.org/give/)

**Donations to my Christian Associates (CA) account can also be made online. From CA’s homepage (http://christianassociates.org/), click the “Donate Now” button in the upper right-hand corner. On the next page select, “Support a Missionary,” and then ”Missionaries,” from the drop-down menu on the following page. Then choose “Cummings, Hillary – 40383” from the drop-down menu that will appear immediately below.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the summer!
Cheers!
Hillary
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