The Right Place at the Right Time

(A Snapshot From Scotland & A Mini Ripe Banana Story)

September4
I love it when life unfolds in such a way as to convince me that in that moment in time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I don’t know all the reasons why God has me spending the summer outside of Italy but I do know this was His plan from the start. I have my moments wondering if somewhere along this journey, I made a wrong decision or could have done something more or different. Then moments like what happened this last Friday come along and brush my doubts away all over again. Friday afternoon I had gone to a coffee shop about a 40+ minute walk from the Michael’s to do some reading. After about an hour and half, I left the cafe at no particular time and set off for home. I had already pictured in my mind which way I would walk home but I stopped several times along the way to take some pictures. Dusk had almost finished its daily ritual of taking over for the day and many of the historic buildings in the “Old Town” part of Edinburgh were beginning to light up inside and out. I put my camera away and was waiting for the light to change at a crosswalk when, at the last second and for no particular reason, I changed my mind about which way I would walk home. Just a minute or two later, I found myself walking immediately behind two couples who were speaking Italian. I couldn’t tell by their accent which part of Italy they were from but I did gather they were not sure they were heading in the right direction. They paused for just a moment and as I passed, I asked them where they were from. A short while and a few blocks later we parted ways. I found myself walking home on a road I hadn’t chosen to take in utter amazement at just how true it is that despite the plans we make for ourselves, it is ultimately God who directs our every step. Had I lingered even 15 seconds more at the cafe or any of the places I had stopped to take pictures, taken the route I had initially planned on taking or a thousand other factors had not been just as they were… I would never have had the conversation I did with the foursome from Sardinia. In these moments I recognize that for the time being I am exactly where I am supposed to be; for this assurance, I am truly grateful.

This Month’s ABC’s
A – Answered Prayers
  • I have a golden ticket! Well, it may not entitle me to a tour of Willy Wonk’s Factory but I doubt I’d be more excited if it did! It is my plane ticket back to Sicily! I will be heading back to Catania on October 11th!!
  • I recently heard some encouraging reports from friends in Italy. Friends of ours are really coming to cherish and love reading God’s Word while others who don’t know much about who Jesus is and what He is really all about have expressed an interest in learning more about the Bible and finding out for themselves what God has to say about life, love and everything else. Please continue to pray for God to reveal Himself to the people of Sicily and that we who follow Jesus will continue to learn how to love and serve our neighbors like Jesus.

IMG_5513

(Above: at a “Craftivism” workshop: supporting social justice via sock monkeys!)

B – Blessings & Bananas!
  • Staying with the Michael’s family has been one blessing after another! One of the latest examples happens to also be a ripe banana story: I REALLY wanted to bring my guitar with me from California but for several reasons I didn’t. Just as in Italy while I was living with Alba and Federico, the Michael’s (the family I am currently staying with here in Edinburgh), also have a college student who is away at school. Both college students left their guitars behind and probably have no idea what a blessing it has been to me they did! Jordan’s guitar is one of many recent, unexpected, unsolicited and unmerited bunches of ripe bananas (If you don’t know what a “ripe banana story” is, click here). Do you have a ripe banana story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it and am always on the lookout for “second-hand banana stories” to share here on the blog!
  • Cinzia is a new friend I’ve made here in Edinburgh. She is from Italy and moved here to Scotland earlier this year. I have been meeting with her about once a week and have been so blessed by both her friendship and the great help she has been to me with my Italian!
C – Concerns/Challenges (a.k.a. Prayer Requests)
  • Learning Italian– my goal after being away from Italy for three months is to return and at the very least, pick up where I left off–  or even better, return to Sicily with a slightly better handle on Italian than when I left!
  • Please keep praying for Italy: pray for wisdom and integrity for the leaders, judges and politicians at every level of society; for a stable, unified and justice government; a thriving economy; for the Pope and other leaders within the Catholic church; for unity and growth among those who follow Christ.

*Please write me back if you have any updates, questions, prayer requests or a more current e-mail address– or just to say hi!

**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/).

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

With all my love and thanks,

Cheers,

Hillary
 
The mission of Christian Associates is to establish churches who follow Jesus in transforming their world… We strive to see every person with unsurpassable worth, worthy enough for Jesus to die for them and for us to reach out to them in love… Together we want to manifest God’s kingdom, love and grace… We want to engage all of culture with the life-transforming good news of Jesus (Check out: http://christianassociates.org/who/mission/ to see more about CA’s mission, values and practices).
Please feel free to contact me too if you are interested in learning more about CA!
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