We have had the priveledge to watch two of the couples who went through the premarital course with us get married during this last month. Auguri to them, to the couple who will be married next week and to one more who has a month to go!
Gianluca also had the honor to preach at the wedding of one of the couples. Weddings here are always a great opportunity to evangelize and share the gospel. He has felt led to preach a message on “true love”, which is found only in God- because God is love. The message was beautiful and I am certain that God was able to penetrate the hearts of relatives who were there and who did not know Him.
I had the unfortunate situation of sitting behind one lady who talked throughout the entire wedding and another who was very critical of “their religion”. At a certain point I felt an overwhelming sense of what God must experience when his children respond in this way. He was there telling them through Gianluca’s message and the testimony of this amazing couple that he LOVES them, and they were blatantly ignoring him. Preoccupied with the latest gossip, with defining a “religion” they didn’t hear Him calling them. I felt how His heart must break when he says, “I am love. I love you. Only I can fill that void in your life.” and they turn away and keeping looking elsewhere. And I felt once again His patient and amazing love which calls us even when we do not listen, which patiently says I love you my child- I am true love.
The message of God’s heart and the reason why we are here serving him is this: I am love, and only in me will you find true love. If you are searching…you will find love in Him.
Just a quick little note to our brother-in-law Tim Foley to say:
Happy Birthday! Hope your day is great! We love you!
“It is when making yourself available to be used by God for His kingdom that one lives the most satisfying and involved experiences that could ever be imagined. To see and experience the work of God in first person is always motivation to marvel and recognize that which God, in his wisdom, is able to accomplish for his children. A small church, valued and esteemed precious by our Lord, that with various mission trips hosted by Mission i6:8 the Lord wanted to sustain and help to grow in their faith.
In the last six months that I spent in Gramsh, Jan-June 2008, God invited me to prepare a way, free of obstacles, for his people in that city to return with a sincere heart to the Lord, as it is written in Isaiah 57:14. To recreate the circumstances that would permit the presence of God to reestablish his church it was neccessary to raise up a protective wall of prayer do that we would be able to recognize the one in whom we have believed and whom we want to serve more and more. The prayers raised by many, the support that was given me, permits me to say that our God is immeasurably faithful in his promises. What He says, He will do.
Mine is a personal thank you to all those who with prayerful hearts were near to me in this missin. God has answered our prayers.
Thank you Lord!
Luigi Altamura, Servant of the Lord”
Luigi has been a member of Mission i6:8 since December 2004. He served on two short term trips to Albania, one three month stay in Albania, and just returned from a 6 month field commitment to Albania. We are proud of him and his courage and his willingness to serve. It is through his sacrifice that Mission i6:8 has been able to recognize how we can best continue to serve the church in Albania. We are prayerful that many other young people will follow his example and return to the field for longer term commitments. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Luigi!
It has been a HUGE, GIGANTIC, AMAZING blessing to have my parents here these last several weeks. We are so thankful for all the help they gave during their stay here. They made it so much easier to get to our meetings, dinners, appointments and even have a little time alone (Wow!). They were a huge help with the kids too and the kids had a lot of fun playing with their ama and papa whom they miss very much throughout the rest of the year.
So thank you Mom and Dad! Thank you for bringing the team, thank you for getting us away from work and on vacation for a week and thank you for all your help here at home! We love you guys tons and tons and miss you already!
The first two mission i6:8 short term trips of 2008 were held this last June to Albania and Northern Africa. We are excited to see how God is using the mission i6:8 ministry both to prepare and call young people into full time service and to bless the rest of the world where the gospel is most needed.
The team to Albania met up with Luigi, our mission i6:8 member who was fulfilling a 6 month stay on the field, to minister in Gramsh. They worked closely with the church there and were able to bless and challenge the body as well as be challenged personally and as a team. These trips are an excellent tool for teaching how to persevere in relationships and love one another in order to demonstrate our love for Christ and His love for others.
The team to Northern Africa was able to meet up with locals and help in the community. They worked in a local school to provide service to the community. They were also able to encourage the locals during there time there and be challenged toward the importance of serving.
We are so thrilled that God is not only using i6:8 to minister here in Italy to young people, and to send these very young people to minister to the rest of the world, but also that He is raising up a strong team of leaders to help carry the ministry forward. Every ministry needs a strong team in order to have success and to grow and we are so thankful that the Lord has provided a fe dedicated young people who have stepped up to the task of being a leader and to leading short term trips for the ministry! This means that i6:8 can accomplish even more for the kingdom! Praise the Lord!
Thank you to everyone who participated this year so far! We appreciate your willingness to serve the Lord.