Ciao! It is about time i updated. I have had an amazing week and hope i can remember everything ive done. I have just spent a week in Vicenza with the church family.
August is the vacation month for the Italian people. There is a lot of down time and you have to be self motivated to find yourself something to do. With the recent events of Kristen leaving, and honestly just adjusting to the pace of the culture and trying to find my purpose here, i was having a harder time than usual just keeping my spirits up. I really love Italy which i am so thankful for, but anywhere you go, when someone you love leaves, or you are in the midst of finding your place and where you can be most effective for Christ, there will naturally be a time when your not doing so well or feel out of place. The week before i went to Vicenza i think was that time for me. Last Thursday, Brandon and Anna decided to do some traveling, and Evan made the choice to stay in Prato. I knew i was in need of some encouragement so i sent an email to Angela and Titus Robison. They are the misisonaries in Vicenza. Pam, my aim assisstant, knew them and spent time with them recently, so i was able to contact them.
I had asked if there was anything in Vicenza i could do for the week to help the church. They said being August, they were not very busy, but would love to have me come anyways just to visit. For them to take me, being a stranger, in to their home really showed an example of what the church family is about and can do for each other. i was nervous because i had never met them or anyone in Vicenza before, but last Thursday morning i hopped on the train and took off.
When i arrived in Vicenza i was greeted by the Robison family. The have two sweet little girls. Right away we headed to the near by military base for lunch. The Robisons, myself, and the Hughes family went to the food court to eat. I had Taco Bell for the first time in months! Going months without something you enjoy, you realize not to take it for granted. Even if it is something as small as a taco. The Hughes have two boys about to start school this next week. They moved to Italy from Germany. Even just from a short lunch, they are all so full of life it was impossible to not be filled with joy by their presence. The church is a family, and i was getting to meet my relatives.That night i went with Titus to a Bible study at the church. It was in Italian, so i had to piece it together and Titus gave me a run down of it afterward.
Friday a boy from the church was flying into Milan, so we drove to pick him up. While we waited for him to arrive Tammy and Lewis opened up their home to us for the afternoon. Tammy is so sweet. Her and i talked some about what it means to be a child of God and what mission work is. We have to be realistic about our work and what we do. I have to do the best i can in Italy with the time that is given to me. At the end of the day if i gave all i had that day, i can be ok with that. It reminded me that all I came here to do was to love and to show others Christ...that can be done in so many ways.
For a few nights i spent the night with a girl named Ann. The whole week i was surrounded by so many Christians that gave me so much encouragement and passed along their wisdom. Ann really impressed me by her attitude. Her husband is getting deployed soon for a year. And she handles is with such grace and wisdom. Its like just another part of life of everyday life for her. That takes so much faith in God to be like...alright, i know your going to take care of me so im not going to worry. Its so true, we can worry and worry and worry...but it wont change anything. Trusting in God is a much better use of our time. Ann is so down to earth and just a fun person to be with. Ann if youre reading this you're awesome!
Sunday the church service was in three languages. Twi, Italian, and English. There was one song we sang with the lyrics, "Jesus is good, jesus is good, jesus is good, so good to me" It started in Italian, english came in, then finished in Twi. Seeing three totally different cultures all worshiping the same amazing Father was beautiful. It really made me see clearer how big God really is. He is everywhere and in the hearts of people all throughout the world. He is a God that gave His Son for all! Sunday night we had an english Bible study at the Hughes house. We had nachos, and fellowshiped together. This was a simple night but probably one of my favorite memories of the week.
Monday, 4 missionary families got together from different cities. It is awesome to see this group and how much they have sacrificed to be here. We had lunch and went to the park. They have completely given everything that is comfortable to them to be here and do be doing Gods work. Being welcomed into so many homes this past week really makes me see that the church is truley like a family and it is such a beautiful thing. Angie, Titus' wife, shared a lot of her wisdom with me through the week. This country and culture is all so different from what she is used to. Talking with her about depending on God through rough times and appreciating what God gives us gave me some new perspectives and motivation to go out and do what i can with my time here no matter how uncomfortable it may be to me.
So much more happened this week but this is already a really long blog. Needless to say this week was so good and traveling around meeting my church family was encaouraging and just what i needed. Seeing the churches around the country come together is great because other people will see the love between us all and start wanting to be part of it! The next week i am spending in Florence for a church of christ convention. i hope during my time i here i can continue to grow the relationships i have made with the people in Vicenza. They were so good to me and I thank God so much for letting our lives collide even if for a few days. Ill update again just as soon as i can! Love you guys and dont forget to thank God for everything He blesses you with. God is good!