Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty crummy, after a night of very little sleep due to a very stuffed up head. But I had been invited on Sunday to the home of one of the ladies in my church and I really wanted to go. She had wanted to get together back in Sept, but at that point I spoke little Italian and she spoke even less English. Now that my Italian and my confidence has improved I was looking forward to getting to know her and her family better. Getting to her house was no simple thing, she lives outside of the city, which meant I went to catch the train (which I am not loving at the moment due to my run it with one 2 weeks ago) The train was late, because it is Rome. Then I switched to the metro, when I got the the main metro station which is always a zoo (because it is constantly under construction) it was even more so as they actually rerouted people out of the metro altogether and then back underground, just to switch from one line to the other. But all this considered I was still doing pretty good. I rode the metro about 7 more stops and then got off and boarded yet another line for another 4. In all it took me about 1 1/2 to get to her metro stop, where I called her and she came and picked me up.
She was very impressed that I was able to navigate myself all the way to her zone, and told me so again and again in Italian also adding that she hoped that she and her family could a second family for me here in Rome! I was honored and blessed and glad that I had made the trip. And I loved her even more when she suggested we stop for a cappuccino before heading to her home, a woman after my own heart. We chatted over coffee and I was able to answer all her questions in Italian; where are you from, why Rome, tell me about your family, do you like the city, what is it that you do, how long are you staying...And I was able to ask her questions as well. I found out that she is Brazilian, she is married to an Italian, he is from Calabria, they have one son, he is studying to be an engineer, they have lived in Rome for 20 years, she used to work as a secretary in Brazil, and in Rome has worked a number of jobs, her husband works in a restaurant near our church...I tell you all this knowing it sounds simple, but you have to keep in mind we had this conversation 4 hours of conversation in Italian! After coffee she took me to her home, a beautiful 2 story apartment. She got busy making lunch and I chatted a bit with her shy husband and son. Then we all had lunch together. Two types of pasta, a quiche, samples of sausage, cheese and olives from Calabria and gelato. She had also made me a cake, but I had to take my piece to go as I could not eat one more bite.
Before leaving she lent me some Christian books in Italian so I have something to read, and she invited me to come back anytime, especially during the summer when I want to go to the beach, she has an extra guest room, and they are not far from the beach. Like I said a woman after my own heart!
From this appointment I did my best to hustle back to the other side of Rome where I was to meet up with Anne a fellow missionary who has been here a year with GEM (Greater Europe Mission) but is heading back to the stated with her husband next week. This was my second meet up with Anne this week because she is hooking me up with a sweet job. I am taking over her role and babysitter/English teacher for two different kids in two different families. I met the first family and child on Tuesday, they live on my street just two buildings down, which is amazing! I am excited for the chance to get to know some neighbors and to use some skills I have. And now we were meeting up at the school of the second child where we would pick him up and walk to his apartment together. I am happy to say I am in love with this 4 year old little man. He is adorable, and there is possibly nothing more hilarious then watching a little kid playing with cars stop to chew out in Italian one imaginary driver whose parking job was hindering the flow of traffic out of the parking garage. Complete with sincerity, hand gestures and facial expressions I see Italian's use everyday but watching a 4 year old recreate the situation on the floor of his bedroom and understand how ridiculous and funny it is was pretty amazing. Another reason I am so glad I did not let this cold keep me from my day.
I got back to my apartment around 6:30pm and sat down to craft my newsletter letting my supporters know that I am in a bad financial state and really need their support and prayers. Over the next few hours I received emails of encouragements, promises to pray and even a new supporter! Then I watched the latest episode of American Idol online and was just about to fall asleep when my phone rang at 11pm. Not a normal time for my phone to ring, I answered seeing it was Joe another fellow missionary from GEM who we work with. He let me know that their whole station wagon was full of kitchen stuff for me from Anne and Andy, and wanted to know if they (he and his wife) could come unload it. Of course it was fine, I got dressed again, and they showed up with bags and bags of kitchen supplies and food! What an amazing blessing! I had woken up expecting a day that would be tiring and overwhelming, and went to bed last night overwhelmed by all the ways God had blessed me!