Is it really December already?
Since we’ve been back from the US time has just flown by. We are encouraged by how God has been leading our steps and we have felt His presence as we’ve been praying through decisions. As we near Christmas God has been reminding us of how we are to be a light in the darkness. Jesus, light of the world, came to give us the gift of His light so that we may shine it in this dark world until He returns. As you join us in prayer for Italy, for the people here to know Jesus and shine His light, you help us to shine even brighter. Where the flame is bigger the light is brighter. Thank you for continuing to shine with us!
New community group called “Gruppo Nomadi!”
We have officially multiplied our community group. “Gruppo Carso” is meeting just outside of Trieste since the majority of people live closer to that part of town and “Gruppo Nomadi” is actually meeting about 40 minutes outside of Trieste. Why so far? Well, we started meeting at our house in Sistiana, but most of the people who are part of our group live 20 minutes even further out. So, since Andrea’s mother’s house has a space that McKenzie was using as her studio we decided to relocate her studio and make a space there for us to meet. The space is two minutes from most of the people in our group! We initially had thought about renting another place to meet, but God really gave us wisdom in taking a smaller step for the moment. Our hope and prayer is that as we take intentional steps in making it easier for those we are in relationship with to come to Christ we will develop a strong core group of believers who will help to plant a sister church to TrE. A wonderful, but challenging thing is that in our group of around 16 people about six are believers. So we pray that those who have not recognised Jesus as Saviour yet, would surrender their hearts!
Seeking Wisdom in relationship building for Jesus sake.
Andrea has had a passion for soccer since he was little. This passion is something shared with many here in Italy and especially with Adrien. Get a soccer match going and boom you’ve got all ages interested. So, how can we tap more into this? Adrien has changed soccer clubs this year and has been playing on a team that is from a town outside of where our Gruppo Nomadi meets. Since the club was short coaches, God opened the door once again for Andrea and his friend Paolo to help coach. So far it has been a great season, we’ve met new families and we’ve enjoyed seeing Adrien really excel. We feel that there is more to discover in this area for ministry and we are asking God to reveal His plans.
Artwork and “Simply Given”
As mentioned above, McKenzie has recently moved her studio to our taverna (basement). It was a sacrifice to give up such a nice studio with natural lighting, but we both felt that this was the best solution for the time being. She has gotten some pretty good lighting set up and is able to paint more often during the week, so there are definitely some benefits to having the studio at home. She was a guest artist at a women’s conference this past September where one of the women there had shared her story of how God spoke to her through a painting McKenzie had posted on facebook. It was so encouraging to know that God is using her art to speak to others in ways she could’ve never imagined. She will be traveling to Thailand this January to be a visual arts group facilitator. It’s a conference organised by Pioneers and there will be people joining from all over the world who are desiring to use their artistic gifts to glorify God. We have been working on setting up a “not for profit” organization called “Simply Given”. It has been a challenge to fill out all the information in order to have the organisation approved and ready to go. This is foreign territory for our brains and we need a lot of prayer in order to figure out how to establish everything correctly. The organisation will be used to sell artwork and then donate the income to other organisations in Italy to develop resources for Christian ministries.
Our Neighbours and Friends
So many conversations about faith, suffering, hope, family, values, struggles, sin and wisdom. More times than not we are talking about Jesus, His gift of salvation, His truth, His love, our dependance on Him. Why do these words remain at the table? It seems that hearts are hard and ears are deafened. We love our friends, neighbours, and those God places in our paths. We want them so badly to know Jesus intimately and give Him their lives. The work in Italy is tough. The soil is hard and seeds have a hard time digging in and sprouting roots. There is a sense of darkness here and we need you to pray with us that the light of Jesus would shine so hot and bright that people would truly see Him.
He is bright, strong and determined. He is kind, gentle and sensitive. We love him so much and desire to raise him up in the ways of Jesus. He has challenged us as parents and sometimes we struggle in his discipline. Please pray for us as a couple, a family and as parents in training up Adrien in the way He should go.
Simple solutions from God for Gruppo Nomadi’s meeting place and McKenzie’s studio
Our amazing time in the States this summer and all the love and support we received
Adrien is loving school (math especially), soccer, church and piano lessons
All of our current relationships growing deeper and more intentional
Experiencing God’s presence as we face moments of darkness
McKenzie’s paintings speaking to hearts
In July we officially signed on with Russia to adopt a child or two.
For Jesus’ light to shine in the spiritual darkness
Gruppo Nomadi-a desire and need for the Word of God, hearts to be softened
Wisdom for future opportunities and ministry endeavors with sports and soccer
Getting Simply Given set up, January conference in Thailand
For our neighbours, friends and acquaintances to have their eyes opened to their need for Jesus
For our family-training up Adrien, unity and joy
For our adoption- that we would be matched with a child or more very soon!
Thank you so much for continuing to shine with us. May this Christmas season bless you and may the light of Christ shine on you and through you!
Thank you for standing in prayer with us! We are so grateful for you and to be on mission with you for God's Kingdom!
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