Up to Speed
It has been about two months since our trip to Siberia and we’ve had a whirlwind of things going on. God has provided in so many ways and we are so grateful for all your prayers and support. Check out how God has been at work!
As our plane landed in Siberia I could only think of how barren the land seemed. It was vast and the sky went on forever. It felt so different coming from the small land of Italy where just about every bit of the terrain is cultivated with something. We headed to the town where we would meet Rinat, Ruzanna and Sitora. We were filled with so many emotions and questions. What are they going to be like? Will they even like us? We didn’t really know what to expect. We walked into this orphanage and there were many adolescent children hanging around in the hallways. They all stared at us and I kept thinking, “I wonder what their thinking? How many times have they seen this before?” It smelled of onions and garlic and stew. When we were ushered into a tiny room and seated on a sofa we suddenly realized that the moment had finally arrived. Suddenly, three little children appeared in the doorway. They were all dressed up and had smiles across their faces. We weren’t allowed to take photos at that moment, but I’ll never forget those smiles. After a few minutes they were opening the gifts we’d brought and we were pleasantly surprised that no matter the language barrier, no matter the differences in culture we connected within the first hour of meeting. By the end of that visit there were squeals of joy and giggles. We played games and gave many hugs. We saw them an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon for about four days. We tried in as many ways possible to show our love and affection in every moment we spent together. Rinat wanted to be held by Andrea the whole time and the girls were fighting over who was going to sit on my lap. We saw that with every ounce of physical touch and loving affection they received they just couldn’t get enough. When it was time to say goodbye for an undetermined amount of time it was not easy to think about leaving them. You could feel that there was tension in the air that day and the kids knew what was coming. Rinat drilled the interpreter with questions for when we would return and at one point they were all agreeing that we should lock the door and stay in there together forever. When it was time to walk out of that orphanage we took heavy steps and prayed that we would be returning as soon as possible. Our hearts even ached for those teenagers still hanging around in the hallways. Upon returning to Italy we were welcomed with a smiling, 8 year old, big brother who had written a story at school about his future family and the three journeys we would take to bring his brother and sisters home. We were thankful to see Adrien watch videos and look at photos from our time with the kids with joy and excitement. He continues to watch them now and says, “their so cute. I can’t wait until we can go and get them.” We are so blessed to have had such a positive experience and so thankful for all of God’s provision. This seemingly barren land cultivated a love in us for a place and people, but most of all for three beautiful children who are eagerly awaiting our return.
Check out the link below if you would like to make a donation to our adoption fund
ENGLISH SUMMER CAMP
Summer camp this year was once again an awesome experience. Our church had three different groups come from the USA. One came from Colorado (Redemption Parker), one from Texas (Emmaus Church) and the other from North Carolina (Port City Community Church). We ran two different camps. The camp in closest to our church space in Trieste was completely run by our church TrE and it was also a great success. The children continue to love it and are eager to sing and do activities that are all focused on Biblical stories and lessons. This year it was all about Jesus to the rescue. Here in Sistiana we continued to help with an already existing camp lead by a local organisation. The teams were hosted by local families and as every year the response was amazing at how well things went and how the families really embraced their guests as family. With every year that we help with this camp we find our relationships growing deeper with the children and their families.
The following is a segment from something written by one of the host families:
It’s the first time I joined the BdT English camp as a host family.
When I talked about the hosting experience, people usually ask “what’s it for?”. You have to open your house (better if you clean up before) , offer some dinners or what you have in the refrigerator, do the touring guide, give time, in other words make a lot of efforts, but on the other hand, after all, no doubt: I will do it again.
Being a host mum, I gained many priceless things.
First of all, a new friend, a very special person, able to dedicate his time for our wild children, instead of spending time with his family or working.
I have also gained again the feeling of trusting in others, even if they’re unknown foreigners, and the beauty of giving.
My heart is full of joy and hope by knowing that there are a lot of great persons that volunteer around our mistreated planet.
We are so thankful to our teams who come and volunteer to care for these camps. They are such a blessing to the ministry that God is doing here and we are seeing responses like these that are opening hearts, homes and minds.
Visitors and Encouragement
In the beginning of July we had Pastor Mike Ashcraft, his wife Julie and daughter Michaela (far right of photo) visit from our sending church Port City Community. We also had the Nelson family (far left of photo) who stayed on with us for a couple weeks after a week of helping with camp. They are our ambassadors at PC3 and help to bring awareness of the work here to those in the church there in NC. It was a great blessing to have them all here and we, along with our teammates, enjoyed spending time together.
Last days together in Italy
Our Australian teammates, the Edwardes, have just returned to Italy from an extended medical leave in Australia. While away they spent much time evaluating and praying for health issues and future steps that would help their family and the ministry best. In the end they made a decision that it be best to live and work in an English speaking country. At the moment they are packing up their home and getting ready to visit Ireland with the plan to move and church plant with a PI team there. We are very sad to have them leave, but we believe that God has a plan and that He will lead them to where He sees fit. It will be really hard to say goodbye, but we are glad that if they stay in Europe we will see them more often than if they are in Australia!
All our documents are finished and in! Andrea worked so hard to get everything in order and done. God put the right people in places at the right times in order to get everything in super quick! Our agency says that they are hopeful that they will call us by the end of August for our second trip.
Getting our home in order
Having some down time this summer to plan and enjoy family
That the judge would be gracious to us and that they would not need any other documents.
That we could take our second trip by the beginning of fall and that it would all go smoothly.
That we would be able to raise the support we need for the adoption costs, a new car and other expenses.
That we would be able to send out the Edwardes well and that they’d be able to finish their time here in Italy well.
For future steps in ministry and with a new church space.
For future teammates.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! WE love you and are so grateful that God has connected us for his great purposes!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP IN PRAYER AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT!
CHOOSE ONE OPTION BELOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT US FINANCIALLY!