Greetings from Sonoma County!
I hope the new year is off to a good start for you!
It is hard to believe I arrived home 3 weeks ago today! So far the transition has been surprisingly smooth. After staying a week with family, I am now living nearby with close friends.
The tentative plan is for me to be here for four months while I apply for my long-term visa and raise the monthly support I need to head back to Sicily. Lord willing and the Italian Consulate obliging, I will return to Sicily in May. Over the next few months my status with Christian Associates (CA) will be changing from that of “intern” to “full-time staff.” Financial gifts and monthly support can continue to be given through Hessel Church or given directly through my staff page on CA’s website.
Please contact me if you are interested in hearing more about my time in Sicily and the work I’ll be doing when I return or would like for me to share with your home group, Sunday School class, missions event or other gathering. I have been greatly encouraged by how I have seen the Lord at work these past 9 months and am confident you will be too!
My latest A-B-C’s
(A) – Answered Prayers
For several reasons, I was expecting a harder time transitioning back to life here in the States. I am still occasionally hit with a bit of reverse culture shock but for the most part, the adjustment has been smooth. I know many of you have been praying for my transition and I am ever so grateful for each one!
The week after I left Sicily, Hud and Nancy McWilliams (recently retired CA staff) came to Catania to speak to and counsel with local faith-communities and church leaders (one of my assignments this past Fall was to help Bethany prepare for Hud and Nancy’s visit). The reports I have heard of the McWilliam’s time in Catania have all been very positive. While I am sorry I wasn’t able to be there to hear Hud speak, it sounds like he and Nancy were a blessing to many.
(B) – Blessings
While I miss my friends in Sicily, it is good to be back in California and it has been wonderful to see and catch up with my family and friends. I have also been thoroughly enjoying simple pleasures such as: Mexican food, cheddar cheese, carpeted floors, brewed coffee, peanut butter m&m’s and free water at restaurants!
(C) – Challenges
Please keep praying for the visa process and for the additional $3,000/per month I need to raise before I can return to Sicily. Pray for my friends and co-workers back in Sicily and the community of Belpasso where I will be living and working when I return.
If you live in Sonoma County and I haven’t seen you yet, please e-mail me so we can plan a time to meet for coffee and catch up!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!
He has made me glad,