It has been a roller coaster of a semester! For various reasons, spiritually and practically, this was my hardest semester yet. But, still I found God present and able to bring me through it. Though at times I doubted and became hardened by the circumstances and my stupid sinfulness. But God has showed up once again, and again, softening my heart, clearing my conscience, and setting me back on the Way. I am thankful for your prayers and the practical everyday love and patience my family and friends here and abroad gave to me to help me navigate these past three months. I have learned allot about God through the “messy bits”, and for that I am thankful. God’s grace overcomes anything.
So a couple weeks ago we went on our Footsteps of Paul trip to Greece and it was so great! I, along with the staff and students, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learned far more than we ever expected from those 5 days.
Here is myself and a sweet newly engaged Grecian couple I met on the flight to Greece, Konstantinos and Diwitra. A flight never went by so fast. We were talking theology, having some serious coversations and great laughs too.
The day before we were scheduled to leave, I had decided I would make my final decision as to if I would return to Treviso Italy as a missionary and serve alongside Brian Cambra at CC Treviso. Brian had given me the “formal” welcome to come and serve alongside him that week, so I now had to make my decision. I knew ultimately something would have to be my basis for the decision. In the past when seeking God about a decision and direction, I have sought signs and confirmations through the body of Christ and through the gifts of the Spirit. This is a great way to receive direction from the Lord. But with every experience, no matter how valid and verified, when the going gets tough these can be doubted sometimes. So I was looking for a more sure Word.
I decided that making my decision based upon the sure Word of God, claiming a promise or two as my launchpad; I would have a solid foundation, and reason to trust God was with me in this decision. So in prayer about this decision, the Lord brought two scriptures to my mind, and I decided to stand on these.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Trusting in this promise, removes fear of messing up God’s plan for my life by making a wrong decision from good intentions. This is my confidence, that a decision like coming to Italy to serve for a couple of years, will not negatively affect God’s calling and purpose for my life. In fact, He promises to use this for my good and most importantly for His glory.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
I can be confident, that God is behind me in my decision. He will go with me wherever I go and will provide for all my financial needs and other needs too. So not only will He work it all out for my good, He will be by my side to help me all along the way. Never leaving me, never forsaking me. And He has been faithful to bless me with His comforting Presence in worship at CC Treviso many times, which really means allot to me. Such great reminders that it does not matter where I go, He is always there with me, able to reach out to me and help me in my need.
So with this, I decided to return to Italy, committing to serve for a period of two years alongside Brian Cambra and the other brothers and sisters serving here in Northern Italy. Exciting! The following week while in Greece, Brian and I had quite a few opportunities to fellowship and learn more about each other and the desires God has give us for serving Him in various areas of ministry. It was a really blessed time.
The Cambra family and Rachael, the missionaries at CC Treviso.
My greatest desire is to give to the Lord and the churches here, fruitful service. That is my simple goal. To bear fruit for God here in Italy. I am excited to learn from these co-laborers and grow in the Lord alongside them.
Tomorrow, Brian and another gentleman from the church are going with me to search for an apartment. We would appreciate your prayers for this search! This is what I am most excited about, living in and among the community around where CC Treviso just moved to. The town is called Biancade. It is very small and is in a pretty rural setting, which is beautiful! Surrounded by farmlands.
So this is all I have to update you all on for the time being! Thank you all for praying for me. Love you very much! Below are a few prayer requests I have for the last week here in Italy.
Please be in prayer for…
- My Italian Visa/Permesso process to go smoothly this summer.
- An apartment that is low priced, and suits my needs and desire to host guests.
- Strength and focus to keep my eyes on the Lord and my heart soft to His voice.
- The Cambra family will be traveling allot the next two months. So prayers for safe traveling.
Thank you all so much for your interest in my life and service, and most of all for your faithful prayers. Long to be reunited with many of you very soon! 🙂
By God’s grace,