We were able to host several of the couples who have gone through the premarital course with us for a dinner. It was fun to see them all, some new parents now, and chat with them and see how things are going. We were able to encourage them and challenge them and just have agreat time visiting.
After a late start due to the sickies are two oldest kiddos headed off to school today for their first day of preschool. This is Elaigia’s last year of preschool, before he starts elementary school next year, and Aurora’s first year. Things went smoothly- praise the Lord! =)
Two Kinds of Missionaries:
Gianluca and the team who went to Astonia were invited to do a presentation in church on Sunday. Gianluca preached from Romans 10:13-15,
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'”
The challenge to the church is that there are only two kinds of missionaries, and that we are all called to be one or the other. A missionary who ‘goes’, “how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” or a missionary who ‘sends’, “how can they preach unless they are sent?” Gianluca asked the church if they knew that there were young people in the church who felt called to serve as missionaries, and then invited the people who feel this lifetime calling to missions to come forward so the church can see them and begin to pray for them. 8 people came forward!!! He then challenged the church to “send” them. God is really amazing and worked in a powerful way Sunday morning!
This Spring Gianluca began to form and lead a team of people from the church who are working together to run the center that the church owns- il Rifugio (the Refuge). We are so excited about how God is working in and through this awesome group of people. If you would like to be praying for them, they are: Antonio- Host, Luciana- Booking and Administration, Sabrina- Kitchen, Felicetta- Cleaning, and Paolo- maintenance. They have really gotten excited about their roles at the center and God has also been so faithful to make the team get along well and work well together. We are thankful to them for the service they provide.
Thursday night we had the opportunity to take them, and their spouses, out for dinner to thank them for their hard work. It was a great evening of fellowship.
Gianluca and I and the kids spent the last week at the center, il Rifugio, where the youth group Upsidedown, from the church in Modugno, held its first ever summer camp. The theme was “C’Ã¨ posto per te”. A play on words that means that there is a place for each of us. The camp went very well and was an encouragement and challenge to all the youth involved.
Gianluca was there to supervise the center’s staff and to run the snack bar. He was also there for Mission i6:8. He was invited to host an evening to share about i6:8 with the campers. The evening went very well. It started off with a game, then testimonies from the team members who just got back from Estonia and after a barbeque dinner with all the campers Gianluca finished off the evening with a brief challenge/message. God is so good and so faithful to all his promises. Gianluca gave two altar calls- one for people who felt a calling to go, and one for people who felt called to go on the next i6:8 trip. We were so encouraged to see several young people come forward that night. The next day they had the opportunity to talk and pray with Gianluca and several young people came to talk with him about their decision- Wow! Praise the Lord! We are so excited to see how God is bringing i6:8 to the next level (long-term service) and how he is calling young people to go and to serve Him. We are just excited to continue to be a part of this call on their lives!