The Mission i6:8 team left for Estonia Monday morning from Bari. There were 10 members already present and two others were joining them in Rome. They arrived late last night (around 11pm) to their destination in Estonia.
This morning Gianluca was able to find a wifi connection, in the middle of the forest, to give me an update. The trip went smoothly, they connected with the missionary last night, are already at work this morning and everyone is doing well.
Mission i6:8 will be hosting its preparation and training retreat this weekend for the upcoming trip to Estonia this August! We are excited to see how God begins to unite the team that will be serving in Estonia and how he begins even now to prepare their hearts and to teach them, stretch them and bless them in amazing ways!
The retreat will be held at the conference cetner il Rifugio in Ruvo.
We were blessed to welcome 2 little ones into the church family this month- both born to couples who participated in our premarital and newlyweds classes…what fun!
Sunday the 7th of June was the last day to sign up for Estonia trip. There are 15 people going. We are excited about the level of interest. Please be praying as many of the people who are interested in going are struggling to come up with the funds necessary to go. Pray also for the preparation of hearts, and for the organization of everything (this is our first time in Estonia so say an extra prayer that things will go smoothly).
We started our summer round of premarital courses. We will be doing an excellerated version in english for one couple, and another “normal” version for a second couple. We are excited that there is a third couple attending the course this summer who are considering beginning to work with us in the couples ministry. We could really use the support and are excited to see how God demonstrates his will to us and to them.
My (Carli’s) parents arrive Wednesday- the kids are thrilled (and so is mom!). It will be nice to have some help and support for a month.
It has been a super busy spring. With Gianluca at work all day and almost every evening filled with meetings and appointments the moments of rest have been few and far between!
Sunday Gianluca had the opportunity to preach at a small church in Barletta. Although it is a small reality, Barletta is a very large city and we are excited to see how God uses this church to reach the people in that city who need the Lord.
Monday we celebrated our 7 year anniversary. It was nice to actually have a day off and spend some time together!
Thursday we started our latest round of premarital courses. We only have one couple who is getting married this year which will make for a new and interesting dynamic in teaching the course. Gianluca has also began the work with the team who will be overseeing the center. It is a team 6 people who are members from the Modugno church. Each member has an area of the center for which they are responsible. Gianluca is trying to coordinate this team and also to be the bridge between the center’s team and the pastoral team( in terms of communication). He has been to the center a few times already and I am sure we will spend a lot of time there this summer as well!
Gianluca is preparing for a “day retreat” with his Mission i6:8 leadership team next Monday the 25th. That evening there will be a meeting in church for anyone who is interested in participating in the trip to Estonia this August. We are prayerful that a lot of young people will show up and choose to get involved. Keep praying for this latest venture undertaken by i6:8. We are excited to see what God will do.
Our blog always has a prayer page which lists our requests and needs, but we decided to write a post in order to emphasize a few important prayer requests. We would plead with you to join us in prayer and fasting for these few important points:
1- We rejoice in the Lord and praise him for how well Carli’s pregnancy has gone up until this point. However, we now ask your fervant prayers for hers and the baby’s protection during these last 2 months. We had our last doctor’s visit here in Italy on Friday and the doctor said that Carli is needs to rest and take medicine to stop contractions (dialation) for 10 days (and then minimize the dosage and be up a bit more and see how things go). 10 days brings us to 4 days before our departure! Please pray that God will intervene and calm the contractions and help baby girl to stay put until her due date.
2- Please pray for God’s grace and protection in our travels. The doctor gave Carli permission to fly, but it has become even more of an adventure with her current state of being. Please pray that our travels will go smoothly. Pray for the kids to rest, and behave. Pray for connections and for all the details. Pray for Carli and the baby specifically- for grace and physical strength.
3- Please also pray with us for these last 2 weeks. We are sooooo busy! There is so much to do since we are leaving for 3 months. Gianluca in particular is very busy and with Carli having to rest he is also having to pick up the slack a lot around the house- lifting things, helping with the kids, groceries, etc. Pray for grace,
the ability to use every minute wisely and for physical strength.
4- Pray for all of our health!!!!!!!!! Pray for Carli and the baby in particular, but also for the rest of our
family. The kids have been battling cough/colds for over a month now (with fever coming and going) and Gianluca has been battling a sore throat/cold too. We would humbly ask that you intervene for our
family’s health. We are asking the Lord for good health for our travels and our time in America.
5- Please pray and fast for the national youth event that is held annually on November 1st. We had
scheduled to be here on the 1st and leave the morning after because Mission i6:8 is very involved in the event this year. Unfortunately they cancelled our flight on the 2nd and now we will be leaving on the 1st (which means Gianluca will be unable to attend). This requires a lot more orgnanization and delegation on his part. Please pray for the event itself which is always very evangelistic and which challenges young Christian youth to continue growing in their walk with the Lord. Please also pray for Mission i6:8‘s involvement this year. Pray that God will challenge many Italian youth to get involved in the world of missions and to dedicate their lives to serving God full time.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer. We appreciate your prayers always! They are a true blessing and encouragement. It is good to know that we are not alone.
We are in expectation for a busy month ahead. We will have the blessing to host Nathan and Kareen Moser and their son for 6 weeks beginning May 7th (they will be here due to Nathan’s studies for his MA at a seminary in Boston). We will also be welcoming our dear Lloyd and Maryanne- our first visit from CCF of Edmonds. We will also look forward to connecting with some folks from Northwest Community Church of Bothell. Gianluca will be running the Mission i6:8 preparation and training retreat this May 16-18th. This retreat is to help prepare the team members for the upcoming short term trips this June. Please keep it in your prayers! We will also be running a one-day retreat for our premarital class all day Saturday May 24th.
We are also expecting our third baby! We are thrilled about this new addition to our family. The baby’s arrival date is December 16th. Please be praying for Mommy and baby’s health and protection during the pregnancy (Carli has never had easy pregnancies, often spending time on bedrest). Elaigia is so excited and already planning all the things he will do with the baby- feed the baby its bottle, hold the baby, sing the baby songs, etc. Children our a blessing from the Lord and we are thankful for the family God has given us!