Today marks one month that we’ve lived in Italy! Boy, did it fly by! We’ve spent most of this first month acclimating to our new culture, setting up our apartment, getting paperwork in order, meeting new friends and neighbors, learning the language and helping out at the church.
This is our new neighborhood…
This is our neighborhood market…
This is our apartment…
This is some of our church family…
Thank you so much for praying for us! We’ve been very blessed to have many details that could have taken a while, come together rather quickly. “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.”~Ephesians 1:3
Our top 5 Prayer Requests…
- CC Roma’s Men’s Retreat – pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and lasting fruit as men fellowship and study God’s Word together this weekend
- Our Resurrection Sunday Celebration – pray for our preparation of a Biblical dinner illustrating God’s redemptive plan through the beautiful, prophetic picture that God projected in the Passover meal. (I will be helping put together this experience for the children while the adults will enjoy a similar celebration)
- Calvary Chapel Italia Conferenza – April 29 – May 2 – Please pray that many will be able to attend this conference and grow deeper in our walk with the Lord as we learn from God’s Word with Pastor Joshua Black from Canyon Hills, CA.
- Health and healing for Mike – He has a bad head cold
- Language aquisition (Praise the Lord for free classes at the public library!)
“Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” ~Micah 7:18-19
“Qual Dio è come te, che perdoni l’iniquità e passi sopra la trasgressione del residuo della tua eredità? Egli non serba l’ira sua in perpetuo, perché si compiace d’usar misericordia. Egli tornerà ad aver pietà di noi, si metterà sotto i piedi le nostre iniquità, e getterà nel fondo del mare tutti i nostri peccati.”
I love the phrase, “He will vanquish our iniquities”! Now that’s Good News! It speaks of my All-powerful Savior dealing the enemy of our soul a mighty blow. In the conversation about “religion” this is the heart of the matter. This sets Christianity apart from every other religion. Followers of false religions try to appease their god by doing “good” works or earn his favor by committing insane actions prescribed by their religion. The Almighty God of the Bible does all the work Himself.
The term “Christian” is misappropriated so often that I think many are confused about what it really means. A “Christian” is someone whose heart was touched by a glimpse of amazing, authentic, LOVE… a love so compelling, they had to move closer to get a better look, but as they tried, the pure light and truth of God’s character revealed the stain and stench of their own sin and they realized it created an impenetrable barrier, dividing them from His perfect presence. They couldn’t move into His arms unless it was dealt with. Confronted with His honesty, they realized that there was nothing they could do to remove it on their own… confronted with His holiness, they knew their good works were only filthy rags. Then someone told them about the cross and the LOVE that sacrificed everything to vanquish their sin and tear down that wall. Jesus willingly paid the penalty for our rebellion against God so we can enter into His light and be embraced as God’s children.
A Christian is not one who is perfect… A Christian is simply someone who has embraced the pure Love of Jesus Christ! His perfect love changes everything and they know that it’s a done deal! That’s the Gospel!
It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that we are living in Rome! Yesterday we celebrated being here two weeks by getting Internet and phones. I hadn’t realized how much I appreciate technology until we spent some time without it. It’s easy to take it for granted when you’re used to having it so easily. This week our electricity and gas were also connected. (Praise the Lord for hot showers!)
We’ve been busy painting and cleaning our apartment, re-connecting with friends at CC Roma and enjoying making some new connections with the people in our new neighborhood.
Some of these connections include, Tina, who runs a small Alimentari (grocery store) across the street, Dalia, the barista at the end of our block, the hardware store clerks, pizza guys and some of the neighbors in our building, Lina, Gabrielle, and Anna. Each of them has been so kind and patient with us as we try to learn their language. We’re praying the Lord will bless each of these precious people and we’re looking forward to turning these connections into friendships!
Please pray for each of them and all the new connections that God is arranging.
Please also pray for…
- Daily improvement as we learn the Italian language
- CC Rome’s free classes that start this Saturday (I’ll be co-teaching an English class)
- Creative direction and wisdom as we consider Children’s Ministry ideas
- The Bible Study/ Fellowship in Acilia
- Upcoming Men’s Retreat
- Constant in-flowing and out-pouring of the Holy Spirit through our ministry team and each member of the body at CC Rome
- God’s abounding love and grace in all our relationships, here and back home
- Open doors to share the life giving Good News!
Romans 10:1-4 “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation! I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”