Here I am, I think for the second time ever to write on our blog. Wow!
We had a blessed time in Greece. We were in Sparti (Sparta) and it was an honor to fight the good fight where so many bad fights have been fought. We had an intense six days of fellowship with Greek, Romanian, English, American, South Africans and other brothers from around the world. Together every morning we fellowshiped in the word and then there was crazyness as everyone started loading bibles in the cars, some others started studying maps, some added oil to the car, some picked up lunches and water and in a matter of minutes everyone was gone from the camp site. 140 of us total, reaching around 800 villages with 60.000 Greek new Testaments by the end of the week. It was a shockwave of blessing I believe for the whole country.
Us Italians had a great time serving the Lord and our Greek bronthers. We had many great encounters and opportunities to share the gospel and God’s love. One incident was very interesting- we just got finished with one village and we were heading back to the car. An orthodox priest was waiting there by the car, I said to myself ‘oh, oh trouble’. For those of you who do not know the Orthodox church is very opposed to evangelicals and proselitism. The priest asked me what we were doing (at least that is what i think, it was all greek to me as well) and I answered in italian ‘Non capisco sono italiano’! (translation: I do not understand I am Italian) To make a very cool long story short, the Priest who at first seemed very grumpy and upset that we stormed his village with the N.T. ended up buying us a drink at the local snack-bar. The conversation was limited but what we were able to point out was that we have no patriarcs, no pope our head is Jesus Christ. Amen!
The Italian team was deeply touched by the need for Crist in Greece and I was deeply blessd by seeing God at work in their hearts and challanging the six of them with the call and need for missions!
Thank you all for your prayers God is at work all over and it is just a blast to be part of it.
It is always such a joy to have company!
The kids had an amazing time this year with their cousins. They got along great and had a blast playing together as much as possible. It was great to visit with them!
Couples Nite Barbeque!
We were so blessed to have a barbeque with all of the couples who have passed through our premarital and newlyweds courses. It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement- we were able to play games, eat, read the word, and challenge them in their spiritual life as a couple (and now as a family unit for many of them who have since had babies!). It was fun to see how the group has grown and to welcome so many little ones to our home as well. We continue to pray that God will use these preparation courses to help these couples protect their marriages and work hard to keep them pure and healthy and in the center of God’s will.
The Mission i6:8 retreat experience has become legendary at this point…
This weekend was no different. We had a great group of 15 young people join us at il Rifugio, Ruvo this weekend for a weekend of preparation for the upcoming mission trips to Greece (Jul 20-Jul 29) and to Moldavia (Aug 4- 17). It was a special retreat for me because I had the opportunity to help out this year thanks to my parents who were able to stay the weekend with the kids and keep them for us while we were away at the retreat.
It was a lot and fun, filled with a lot challenges, and learning time too. God was really challenging the teams this year on team work, unity, and self sufficiency. There were a lot of encouragements to live as the body of Christ, and to work together as such.
This year we have one leader from a church in Andria, one leader and 9 team members from the church in Modugno, one team member from Milan, and another from Turin! We are excited to see the work that God began in the hearts of thos who attended the retreat this weekend and confident that he will bring that work to completion (Phil 1:6) through the upcoming trips and His will for each person who will be joining us.
There is nothing like having your parents around for a visit to make you feel spolied! It was such a blessing to have my parents around for a month. They arrived with a group from the US to serve the church and then stayed a couple extra weeks at the end to spend some time with us here!
They are always such a blessing and an encouragement! They were a huge help with the kids too, which freed me up to be able to minister with greater ease and to be able to help lead the Mission i6:8 retreat for the first time ever! We are thankful to them for all they do and grateful that God provides the way for them to come and see us once a year! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!