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!