Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zach a guy joining our team in Rome made this!  Check it out!

DrawingRomeTrinity from zachbaliva on Vimeo.

Prayer Walk

 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

Col 4:2-6

My Part is in Pink and yours is in Green 

Pray with me today as I pray and walk

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Goes Around

You may or may not know that my first introduction to Rome was my George Fox University Juniors Abroad Trip back in May 2000.    Fox has this fantastic program where all Juniors are allowed to pick a month long trip to go on with about 30 other students and 2 professors.  I camped out over night on the lawn with all of my classmates and friends to make sure we got the trip we wanted before they filled up.  I am pretty sure we were about the 5th tent in line, and I did indeed end up on the trip I had hoped for.  My Juniors Abroad would be starting in Rome and then head up to Florence and Venice then on to Austria, Germany, France and end in England. 

It was this trip that would instill in me a passion for Rome that I had not had prior.  Of all the fabulous places I got to see Rome stuck with me in a way the others did not.  Not because of the monuments or the sights, but because of the people and the instant feeling of home.  It is odd to go to a place so different from any other place you have been and feel right at home.

Now 10 years later I am here living in Rome, 1 of the professors and a few of the students who went on this trip with me are now part of my support team!  And the day before Christmas I received a Facebook message from a GFU professor who will be leading this same trip in May for the first time, asking me if I would be willing to help out as a guide when they arrive.

When I landed in Rome 10 years ago, knowing next to nothing about this city or country I never would have imagined that someday I would be living here, working as a missionary and leading a group of Juniors from my Alma Mater around Rome introducing them to the city that I love and showing them the need for the Truth and Light here.

Pretty cool how God works all things together for Good!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Little Blessings!

Sometimes it is the little things that just bless my socks off!  A few days ago I was skyping with my sister in CA and saying how difficult it is to find good soap/facial cleanser here in Rome.  Seems like they are all just milky liquids with no real power.  Then yesterday a girl who has been attending our home group on Friday nights stopped by to drop off her suitcase for me to keep while she heads to Sicily for Christmas.  She has finished her semester her and needed to be out of her room.  But here's the thing, when she cam she also came with 3 big bags of stuff she and her roommates could not fit in their suitcases to take home.  Two big bags of goodies for me to enjoy.  What fun!  I opened them up and you know what?  One whole bag was toiletries, many of which were from the states, and there was one large tube of Neutrogena foaming facial cleanser!  I know it is a simple little thing, but it made my day!

The other bags had clothes and kitchen spices also fun and much appreciated!  In fact I am wearing a totally new outfit today and loving it!

Also, my Christmas Package from my family arrived yesterday, in time for Christmas!

Yesterday was a good day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Much Needed!

Right after my last post I received word from a supervisor that my balance has dropped significantly below the minimum required to remain on the field.  I will be receiving a $1100 pay cut next month because of this.  The reason my balance is so low is that many regular supporters have not been giving as regularly.  I ask that those of you who committed to give  monthly, quarterly, or yearly would please renew your pledge!

Thanks again for your contributions to our ministry here in Rome!

Click here to Help

End of the Year Giving

Things to Remember Regarding Your Year-End Gifts

Many supporters like to give special year-end gifts toward my ministry. More and more people do this kind of "last minute" giving online so Click Here to Give Your End of Year Gifts!
Please remember that envelopes must be postmarked by December 31, 2010 to be recorded for this fiscal year.
Once the fiscal year is closed, gifts will be recorded for 2011.
As a reminder, if you would rather send in a check you can make it out to the EFCA ReachGlobal and put my account #1671 on the front and mail it to:
Attn. Donor Services
701 E 78th st.
Minneapolis MN 55420.

If you are a first time giver or would like more info on giving you can always click here for a donor card to print and mail in with your first gift!

Of course many thanks for your continued support and gifts today and throughout the year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

E 'nevicato

Today the streets of Rome had a totally different look for few hours after my final Italian class snow fell in Rome.  The white flakes began their arrival as I left the school building to have lunch with my classmates.  At first there was a flake here and there but by the time we sat down at the table the air was filled with flurries.  Funny thing snow, seems to have a calming effect no matter where it falls.  It is like it brings with it the gift of silence and wonder.  (maybe not everywhere) 

If you know me at all you know I am not a fan of the white stuff.  But today it was a welcome change.  It has been freezing cold here for a few days and before that we had weeks of rain.  The snow meant a tad bit warmer day and snow that does not stick is always better in my mind.  Rome it seems was made for snow, with the lights strung across the streets and windows filled with chocolates and Christmas confections the snow only added to the feel of season. 

It seemed only appropriate to spend the afternoon with one of the girls from class Christmas shopping, and then return home, to wrap Christmas gifts for my family while listening to Christmas music sung by Andrea Bocelli, set up my new Nativity Scene that I purchased today and of course I hung my stocking with care.

Now I am headed off to Home Group where we will watch The Nativity in Italian and enjoy yummy food.

Buon Natale!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Have a Peek

These videos are from a Missions Conference that Brian, Sarah, a couple who are hoping to join our team and I got the chance to attend 2 weeks ago.  Some fantastic worship!

And here are a few pictures from the past two weeks:

As we wait for the Train on the way to the Missions Conference Elaine, Sarah, Brian and Scott

Continuing on our way to the Missions Conference

New Friends and Daniel over for dinner!

Elaine helping me out in the Kitchen as I attempt my first Green Bean Casserole

The Tiber River after a few days of rain!

Some fellow classmates during our much needed 15 min break

Elaine (prospective teammate!) and I on our visit to Ostia Antica

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 9 Discovering YOUR ongoing role in global missions no matter where you live or what you do

Sorry folks, I fell behind in my blogging so I am picking up on Day 9 of the 30 days of prayer.  I really liked this entry that Naomi and Zach put together, because so often while I was raising support and even now when I encounter people there is often confusion as to what a missionary is, and why I am here in Rome of all places.  If you have been following along on La Fontana the past few days without me then you have already encountered the statistics proving the need for missionaries in Europe and in Rome.  But day 9 looks at what else is needed, supporters.  Those who do not feel called to GO but who have the ability to send; through their prayers, finances and creativity.  

Like I have said before I am truly blessed with supporters in all three of these categories and I know that I could not be here without their backing!  

Taken From La Fontana Zach and Naomi's blog.

Verse of the day: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Reading of the day: Acts 4:18-35 (we cannot keep silent about what we have seen and heard)
Thoughts for the prayer of the day: The disconnect with missions and the Church is often due to a miscommunication of the agenda. Missionaries do not get “sent” to go do their work alone. They are “commissioned” by a local church, a phrase that carries a very specific meaning. The definition of a commissioning involves someone being sent as an ambassador to do work by proxy. The missionaries who go, therefore, are going on behalf of an entire group of people who are instrumental to and united in the work being done.
Not all can physically “go.” Not all are called to physically go. So what is their role in this whole thing?
Goers – Missionaries who go on behalf of the Body of Christ
Senders – Those who support the missionaries through finances, logistics, prayers, helping, educating, caring, and otherwise encouraging.
Prayers – Those with the specific gift of intercessory prayer and the ability to persist over time and continually address specific needs while staying in contact with the missionaries. Missionaries cannot get to the field without senders; they cannot succeed there without prayer partners.
Equippers– Those who have the ability, energy, means, and creativity to connect missionaries with those who will become senders or prayer partners or other supporters. Modern missions is often a lonely road. Individuals tell missionaries to get support from churches, and the churches redirect those missionaries back to individuals in a seemingly never-ending cycle. Missions, especially in Europe, is hard to communicate and expensive to fund. Most people associate Europe with fancy vacations and the historic Church, but that is a stereotype we must overcome. Missionaries need a team of people who can network for them, connect them to new financial supporters, share their enthusiasm for the work, and report back on what is being done once the missionary is in the field.
We believe we all have some of these gifts, which naturally overlap and might change with time and circumstance. All of us as Christians must constantly confirm our place in this partnership. Please pray and allow God to continually reveal how He wants to use you to do His global work.

*Extra resource: awesome John Piper YouTube clip on this subject 

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides and directs us where You would have us to be.  God, please help us to listen to that voice and to use the talents and resources you have blessed us with to further Your Kingdom here on Earth and to bring You the glory You long for and deserve.  
I thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ here in Rome, and their desire to be used by You to share the Good News.  I ask that you continue to strengthen and build the Your body here in Rome.  
I ask that You would continue to raise up those who will come and join us in Europe and that at the same time You would call out to those who are meant to be equippers, senders and partners in prayer!  You know the need far better than we, help us to trust you to get use us all as You see fit.
God, You know that my heart is here in Rome, but also in Haiti and in California, I ask that You continue to work in and through the lives of your people in each of these areas.  Raise up strong and faithful followers of You, who are willing to do what it takes to make sure the World knows of Your great and wonderful love.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 4 - A Spiritually Needy Land

Taken from La Fontana Zach and Naomi's Blog
Verses of the day: “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!” – Romans 10:14&15
“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…” – Colossians 4:3
Reading of the day: Isaiah 55:1-8
Thoughts for the prayer of the day: According to the CIA World Fact Book 2010,” Persistent problems [in Italy] include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.”
However, there is a much greater need.  Less than 1% of all Italians have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  This means that over 99% of the people of Italy are on a road that leads to eternal torment and separation from God mostly because they have no opportunity to hear the Gospel message.
There is hope for Italy’s deep spiritual need.  The Lord is reaching out His hands, crying “Come, all you who are thirsty…Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” His plan is to use His servant missionaries to carry the message.  Please pray and ask the Lord of the harvest for missionaries to be sent to this spiritually dry and weary land (Luke 10:2).

If you have not looked at Isaiah 55 as it is presented in The Message I think it sums up beautifully this passage:

  1-5 "Hey there! All who are thirsty,
   come to the water!
Are you penniless?
   Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
   Buy without money—everything's free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
   your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
   fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
   listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I'm making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
   the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.
I set him up as a witness to the nations,
   made him a prince and leader of the nations,
And now I'm doing it to you:
   You'll summon nations you've never heard of,
and nations who've never heard of you
   will come running to you
Because of me, your God,
   because The Holy of Israel has honored you."
 6-7Seek God while he's here to be found,
   pray to him while he's close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
   and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
   come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.
 8-11"I don't think the way you think.
   The way you work isn't the way I work."
         God's Decree.

I especially am drawn right now to the highlighted portion.  As I think about all the people from all the nations that God is bringing across our path here in Roma.  Just like the passage says, "you'll summon nations you've never heard of and nations who've never heard of you will come running to you..."  While I cannot say they have come "running"  I am constantly amazed at the mix of nations that have been coming into my circle of friends, indeed from nations I know not.  I am excited to see what God has planned, to discover what He is thinking and how He will work here in Roma. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 3 - The Supremacy of Christ in Missions

Taken from La Fontana (Zach and Naomi's blog)
 Verses of the day: “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” – Colossians 1:19 & 20.
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2
Reading of the day: Colossians 1:3-23
Thoughts for the prayer of the day: Salvation is through faith in the redeeming work of Christ alone.  Not through works, nor any other created thing (see Ephesians 2:8-9).  Please pray that the atoning work of Christ will be lifted up in Italy and Europe and that His name would be glorified.

~ Whenever I read this passage I am reminded that this is the prayer I have prayed over my students at Felton Bible and also my summer staff at Mount Hermon.  This time I am caught by the line in verses 5 and 6,

The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in Heaven and about  which you have already heard in the true word of the gospel that has come to you .  In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world-just as is has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace.
 God, I long for you to be pleased to have Your Holy Spirit dwell in me.  Help me to continue to grow into the likeness Jesus.  Produce in and through me good fruit that is honoring to your name.  I doubt that I have fully understood Your grace in it's fullness, but I long too.  I desire to pass that same grace on to those I encounter.  God, help me to give and receive Your grace.  You are God over all creation, You alone.  I have done nothing to deserve a relationship with You and yet here I am talking with You.  Thank You.

 "And grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make God love me less.  It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God's family...By instinct I feel I must do something in order to be accepted.  Grace sounds a startling contradiction, of liberation, and every day I must pray anew for the ability to hear it's message." -Yancey What's So Amazing About Grace

Day 2 - A New Dark Continent

Taken from La Fontana (Zach and Naomi's blog)
Verse of the day: “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” – Hosea 13:6
Reading of the day: Luke 12:13-21
Thoughts for the prayer of the day: “Secularism is indeed strong in Europe, with more than two-thirds of survey respondents in countries such as Britain and France telling Gallup pollsters that religion is not important to them.” – TIME’s top 10 list of 2009 has secularism in Europe as its #1 Religion story of the year.
”In order to survive, Europe needs a critical acceptance of its Christian culture. Europe seems, in the very moment of its greatest success, to have become empty from the inside. Crippled, as it were,” – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
”It is a very slow, creeping decay. When the sun is shining, as it has on Europe for so long since the war, people feel they don’t need God,” Winfried Roehmel, Archdiocese of Munich
Please pray for the tide to change in Europe and for hearts to be softened to the Lord’s calling.  “So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” – Hebrews 3:7-8

Lord, this is just what I was trying to convey last night at home group.  That what/whom we consider to be poor because of what they do not have, may in fact be truly rich because of you.  After my time in Haiti it was evident to me that the Haitian people though they may have lost all of their possessions and even their loved ones did not consider themselves poor if they had a relationship with You.  For, You provided them with unexplainable joy and peace in the midst of their horrible circumstances and they lived lives that proved that they were indeed far richer than I have ever been.

Lord, we need You to change the hearts and perhaps the circumstances of those who are living here in Europe or in other 1st World lands that have lost a sense of needing You to meet their needs, to be their joy and their hope.  Perhaps what is needed is a loss of security that we can take care of our own needs and desires with the swipe of a credit card or the right job or connections.  This is a scary thing to ask, because life here is comfortable, but it is necessary to ask because life here is void of Your presence, Your hope, Your joy, and the eternal security that we can only have in relationship with You.  So, I guess what I am asking is that if need be you would make us poor so that we can become rich.


Day 1 - Unity with the Father through Christ in Missions

Taken from La Fontana (Zach and Naomi's blog)
Verse of the day: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”– John 14:12
Reading of the day: John 14:5-14
Thoughts for the prayer of the day:  It is God’s heart that the Name of Jesus be glorified throughout all the Earth.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Him.  Please pray that God would ignite in our own hearts and the hearts of those in our worshiping communities a passion for the Good News to be shared with ALL the nations of the world (see also the Great Commission in Matthew 18:16-20).
Dear Abba,

I need You.  I need You to ignite within me a passion for sharing the Good News.  I need You to help me believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that it really truly is Good news that I am here to share.  I am so quick to believe the whispered lies of Satan,  "this news is not so great, that it will offend people, that it will alienate."  Abba, I need You to help me to continue to view  it as not only Good news, but the Best news.  Plant deep within me a desire that ALL should come to know You.  God be my passion.  May my own desire and love for You speak volumes of Your love and affection for ALL mankind. 
God, I also pray that you give this same passion to those here in Rome and around the world who love You.  Give us all an insane drive and desire to see the world know that You are the Good news.  After all of my reading this week it is clearer now than ever before that this Good news needs to be a message of Grace.  Abundant Grace that makes no sense except to prove Your abundant love and forgiveness.
Abba, help us, Your children to show your grace to All people.  Help us to stop focusing on the sins and to see clearly your creation's whom you dearly love and desire to be a part of your Kingdom.  God, give us the ability to live out Your love and affection so that You receive the proper recognition and glory.


Praying in Unity...

In my last post I encouraged you to join me and my team as we spend the next 30 days in prayer.  As I mentioned Zach and Naomi have put together a fantastic prayer guide on their blog.  And even if you missed the first few days I encourage you to start today.

As I was working through the guide it occurred to me that I might share my thoughts as I go through the days of prayer.  Maybe you too can post your thoughts and prayers here as well that we might be an encouragement to one another.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I am truly blessed to be a part of a community here in Rome, as well as around the world.  A community of friends, family, and coworkers who love and support me.  Many of you have committed to pray with me and for me and my team here in Rome, and of course for the people here.  My new teammates Zach and Naomi who are still in the support raising phase of their ministry have gone to a lot of work to put together a 30 day prayer guide to help you, and us be more intentional in our prayers regarding Rome, Italy and Missions and our roles in each of those areas.  I have not seen the prayer guide yet, but they will post it on their blog beginning tomorrow.

I invite you to join with me and my team in this 30 days of prayer.  Click here to get started.  While you are on Zach and Naomi's blog you can get to know them better as they are part of our Rome city team hoping to be here by April.

And even today you can begin praying for Brian and Sarah and the other City Team Leaders as they are attending the Europe City Team Leaders Meeting in Lyon, France this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

home sick

I am home sick today.  Not homesick, but home sick.  Yesterday I went to school, it was tough, but I made it through, I came home was feeling fine.  And then within an period of no more than 15 min I was sick.  Headache, sore muscles, sore throat, ear ache, fever...I felt like I got hit by a bus.  (actually no, if I got hit by a bus here in Italy I would feel nothing.  They are crazy and fast...I would be dead)

So at 7:45 pm I figured I should drag my sorry self to the pharmacy down the street before they closed at 8pm.  I was wrong, they were closed.  So, I went to the supermarket, no drugs.  Sad.  I shuffled home and crawled back in bed.  Sleep came in shifts, between neighbors clicking heals on marble floors and dragging furniture about their apartment, and pain as my wisdom teeth decided to push their way into the party. 

This morning I awoke feeling no better, and about 9 rolled myself out of bed, bundled up and set out once again in search of meds.  I had in hand my list of Italian vocab to help me along,  intent on making sure I got some aid, but when I reached the pharmacy instead of attempting the new words I just held out my list of symptoms and explained, this is what my symptoms are.  The pharmacist kindly reached behind the counter, and produced a box of tablets.  Explaining I could take them 3 times a day.

After saying grazie I headed to the store, bought some lozenges and juice (with vitamins, hard to find here) and now here I am 2 hours later, lying in bed, feeling no better. But with time to blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It seems that everyday I am learning to operate in a new tempo.  While, we took a month to study speaking about the hear and now, it seems we are traveling at light speed when it comes to the rest of time.  There is Passato Prossimo, Imperfetto, Futuro, Composto Futuro and I know that we are just getting started. 

Maybe, this is why I have not been able to write much in English this past month.  Even now, I am having difficulties putting anything into words.

Last night I went to teach English and while I was sitting there going over English conjugation I realized once again how completely simple it is to conjugate a verb in English.  Normally only the He/She changes. ( I am not saying English is easy, our spelling does not correspond to our pronunciation and we have all sorts of nonsensical rules, but as far as conjugation goes)

To Go

Present Tense

I Go                  We Go
You Go             You All Go
He/She Goes      They Go

Where as in Italian



Io Vado            Noi Andiamo
Tu Vai              Voi  Andate
Lui/Lei Va         Loro Vanno

And that is only one tense.  Today we learned a tense that is used when speaking hypothetically or when speaking of two events.  But this tense does not even exist in English.  And what's interesting about this tense is that you have to actually use the Passato Prossimo form of the verb in combination with the verbs Avere(to Have) or Essere (to Be) in order to talk about an event in the future, that happens before another event in the future.

Now, in my training they taught us not to judge, rather to practice Wonder.  (Wow, I wonder why they choose to say it that way...)  So, in my wondering I have determined that there are benefits to having a whole tense dedicated to the idea of MAYBE/ACCORDING TO ME.  And while I am still thinking this way I am going to try to complete my homework.  Before I determine that this tense is useless and just want to hit my head against the wall. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Latest from Rome

This past Saturday I moved into my very own apartment in Rome!  I have been living life in the homes of so many other people in the past two years that I had begun to lose hope of ever having a place to call home.  I can honestly say it is a wonderful gift to have a home.  It is something that many people take for granted but, when you have gone without one for awhile you realize what a precious thing a home is.  Somewhere to return to, to welcome others into, to hide, to express yourself, to rest, to nest, to feel safe, to relax, to work, to play, to cook, to put your stuff, to just be.
My new home is beautiful, and is an answer to so many prayers.  It is big enough for me to welcome others in comfortably, but not so big that I will have to spend hours cleaning or searching for my keys.  It is furnished with very nice furniture and even a few paintings of Italy.  This is not something I thought I wanted, but what God knew I would need, as it has saved me a lot of money that I did not have.  And I ended up with nicer things than I could have afforded on my own.  It also saved me a lot of hassle, as not having a car makes buying large items even from ikea kinda a pain.  I had even dreamed of having chandeliers and there are three in my new home. (so like God)  My home is also very convenient,   because it is just across the street from the Train Station, and it is just a 3 min walk from my Team Leaders home.  I can now make it to school each day in 30 min when everything is working, before it would take me an hour.  Funny how a 3 min walk can save you 30 min.
Having a home has also already opened up the door for me to build better relationships with people here in Rome.  I have had friends over, of course.  But what was even better was that the people in my home group were quick to offer their services when it came to helping me move.  If you have ever had to move alone, be it across the street or across the globe you know how overwhelming and sad it can be to do it alone.  So when my new friend here offered to help before I even asked I was overjoyed and we had me moved in one car load, in less than 10 min!  AMAZING!  Another friend volunteered to accompany me to ikea, which meant a whole afternoon of following me about with a cart, and then helping me cart all of my goodies home via buses and metros.  Super sweet, and super helpful! 
Like I said above, now that I have a home I have a place to return to, which is fantastic, as I am leaving tomorrow morning for Moldova!  If you have been following my newsletters and prayer updates than you already know that I am going to Moldova (that is a country near Romania, in fact at one point it was part of Romania.  Just in case you like me had no idea where Moldova was, if you don’t know where Romania is well then you might consider playing traveler IQ on Facebook for a few hours)  I am heading to Moldova to attend the European Conference on Prostitution and Human Trafficking “Escape 2010”- an All-European conference, bringing together grass-roots Christian practitioners who are working together to combat human trafficking and prostitution.  I am expecting that this will be a difficult conference to be a part of due to the topic, and I would greatly appreciate your prayers.  I will return home after the conference.

When I return home I will jump right back into Italian classes, where I started my next level just yesterday.  I have passed both of my exams, and I am happy to say that I have some amazing instructors and things are starting to click!  Again I am so thankful for all my Italian speaking friends who have been so helpful and patient with me as I learn their beautiful but difficult language.  Their kindness has paid off as many of them are now taking English classes that I help to teach, and we get to reverse the roles a bit.  I really am enjoying teaching English, as I get to remember what it feels like to know something J  I am helping with the primary level and have a fantastic class made up of all ages and people from Italy and other countries as well, we meet every Tuesday night.  I am also going to begin helping one of the instructors at my language school with conversational English when I return from Moldova. 

Aside from all of that our home group is a blast!  I love attending each Friday, and am constantly impressed with the depth of our discussions.  You can pray that we will continue to grow as a group and that discipleship will continue to take place.  I have also started helping to hand out food on Monday nights at the main train station.  My very first week of doing so there was a pretty serious fight between some of those who came to get a meal; one man was badly injured when the other hit him over the head with a bottle, and then came at him with the broken bottle.  Please continue to pray for peace and safety as we continue to serve in this important ministry.  I was unable to attend this week, but I was told that they were able to pass out 200 meals.  There are just two women who make all of the food and package it all up, and there are a handful of volunteers to hand out the food.  Pray for wisdom and direction for this ministry as it is new, but growing quickly, also for more help and a few people who can speak in Italian and English well!

Thank you again for all your prayers and support, I cannot live out God’s calling on my life here in Rome apart from your role in this ministry!  Huge thanks to those of you who have been giving regularly and to those of you who just started or resumed your giving!   

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ho una CASA!!!

I have a HOME!  Today I met with the Land Lady, her son (who owns the place and is 20) and the Realtor and her son, I signed the contract and I paid my money and now I have a Home!!!  I actually have the keys a whole mess of them!  Thank you for all your prayers I will post pictures sometime this weekend I am sure!  Like I said before this Apartment is a gift from God and a huge answer to many many prayers!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In Italiano Adesso means Now.  What is happening Adesso?

So glad you asked.  Here in Rome there is a lot happening right Adesso!  In the past 10 days I have had the chance to share about God's provision in my class at language school.  One of my friends from my Language School came to home group, he is a priest from Poland.  I got to go to the beach, something I had never done in Italy!  And what made it better was the great time I had with my two friends from our home group.  I got the chance to go to the main train station in Rome last night and hand out food to those who were very hungry, in the process God made it clear that my experience from my time at the Dream Center and in Haiti will be an asset to this new ministry.  I will be meeting with the director of this much needed ministry next week sometime to discuss strategies.  Today I met with my Realtor and her assistant and though I went to talk about my apartment, we ended up spending most the time talking about what it is to be a Christian and about our Friday group their level of interest in what I believe was so amazing to me, and I would not be surprised if this was just the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and hopefully relationship.    Tonight I got to attend  and help teach free English classes at a local church.  I had a great time helping people experiment with English some for the first time.  Tomorrow I will get to see two friends from home.  On Friday I will sign the papers for my new apartment, and I can move in this weekend.  Brian and Sarah return to Rome Friday morning, and I am looking forward to their return.  A week from Thursday I will be heading to Moldova for the conference on helping to stop Human Trafficking. 

Adesso there is a lot happening!  Thanks for all your prayers and support!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Casa

I have been in Rome for 2 months and 10 days (but whose counting) and during that time I have stayed with a girl from my home group and then in the apartment of Brian and Sarah my team leaders while they have been on home assignment in the states for the past 2 months.  Before moving to Rome I shared a bunk bed and room with my little brother and prior to that my friends graciously allowed me to stay in their extra room while I raised my support.

I have not had a real "home of my own" since May 2009...Which is why I am so excited to tell you that God has provided me with a fantastic new place to call home, and just in the nick of time!  Brian and Sarah return a week from today, and I really wanted to have a place to move into before their return.

So, just when I had reached the end of my rope, when I had lost all hope of finding an apt in this neighborhood, that fit the bill God showed up in big ways!  On Wed, I called home and asked my mom to pass along a prayer request to my faithful prayers that meet on Wed mornings.  I knew that if God was going to listen to anyone He would totally hear these saints prayers!  I asked them to pray for the following:

  1. An apt near Brian and Sarah's. (in Balduina)
  2. A place I could afford.
  3. If they really wanted to be specific a place by next week
  4. And even more specifically by the park and train station I had gone to pray in that day.
I woke up on Thursday morning to find an email in my inbox from an Apt Agency (which I get everyday) but when I clicked on this ad, it opened up this page.

Which told me, that this apt. was available for rent just a 4 min walk from Brian and Sarah's apt.  That it was the right size and price.  That it is across the street from the train station, that it is a 2 min walk from the park. And they want to rent to a foreigner.

Can you say THAT WAS GOD!

It gets even cooler...I emailed a friend across the street who has better Italian skills than I and asked him to call about the place for me.  He did, and so when my phone rang during my 15 min caffè break Thursday morning at school and a Realtor who spoke English wanted to talk to me about the Apt, I was so excited!  He called the Land Lady and we had an appointment set up for today before I was done with my cappuccino!

Today I went alone to look at the apt. because I figured that the Realtor who spoke English would be there.  He was not and in his place was a woman who spoke no English and the Land Lady who spoke limited English.  But by then I knew I was supposed to have this apt., so I just did my best in Italian.

They showed me the apt.  I was instantly sold on it.  It is furnished which is something originally I was against, but after being here I have discovered that my funds just don't go very far, and that I cannot afford to furnish an apt.  So it is really for the best.  It has an entryway, a nice size living room/dining room, a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and balcony, a large built in closet in the hallway.  The kitchen is new and big enough for me to start cooking some amazing dinners for all my new friends soon! The bathroom even has a washing machine, the living room even has a TV and a hide-a-bed. 

All of this is made even better because after I sign papers next week, I can move in!  I will have a home! 

Thank you for all your prayers!  God heard them...and he even heard the desires of my heart, as there is a chandelier in the bedroom, which is just one of those things I had wanted.  God is Good!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Little Things

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty down.  Some may have been quick to call it homesickness, but for me I just felt like I had lost myself.  I missed having the ability to communicate, I missed being able to hang with gals, I missed simple things like going to movies, and coffee with friends, but mostly being able to express who I am. 

In the afternoon I let go and told God how I was really feeling, I even let the tears flow.  I wrote my thoughts, my prayers I poured out my heart.  Then I went to our Friday night home group and you know what, God answered my prayers.  The girls were all back from vacation!  And in fact we had so many people and two tables that we ended up sitting ladies at one table and guys at the other.  It seems I am not the only one who was desiring to have some girl time.  Then during our Bible study time, I found enough words to stumble through a few thoughts, and I actually followed the whole study!  Another answer to prayer.  After we were done a few of the girls and I made plans to get coffee this week!  Yet another answer to prayer!

Then there was today.  Another whole day to fill alone.  I had really wanted to go to the beach, but it seemed that it was not in the cards, so I decided to take myself to the mall.  I had been there once, but in a car with others.  This time I took the metro and a bus, and made it with no problems.  If you have not been shopping in Italy you may not know that the sizing here is enough to make you feel like an elephant if you are even just an American size 12, you could have a hard time finding clothes.  But, I had found one store on my last visit where I had found a shirt, so I went hoping to have a bit of luck.  What I had was more than luck, it was yet another answer to prayer!  I found exactly what I had gone looking for.  I am still in shock.  Not only because I found the clothes but because they fit beautifully, and the store clerks were more than helpful!  And you know what else this means, I have lost weight since getting here another answer to prayer!

So thank you all for all your love and prayers.  I know that not all of this is what you expect to hear when you read a prayer update, but you should know that sometimes when you are away from everything you know it is in fact the little things that can give you the strength to keep on keeping on.