A time to rejoice
I sat down to write this blog entry and the first thing that came to mind was, “there is a time for everything” I read a bit of Ecclesiastes and felt that it really summed up what I’ve been feeling and experiencing lately. Our Adoption process has been extremely slow and trying. I personally have struggled with why God has allowed certain things to go the way they’ve gone. However, throughout the ups and downs of the waiting period He has helped us to endure. Ecclesiastes spoke to me, because I feel like I’ve been trying to figure out God’s mind, His plan and purposes, but I’m coming to the realization that it’s truly like striving after something I cannot grasp. The fact that we are just dust is becoming so much clearer to me. In this life we will not escape suffering, but we must gear up for it. I know that it’s inevitable that we will face trials and tribulations and our life is like a breath that comes and goes, but even though I know this I often seek understanding that my finite brain cannot comprehend. So what shall we do? Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says, “I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor— it is the gift of God.” Well, there is a time for everything, to give birth, to die, to plant, to uproot, to kill, to heal, to tear down, to build up, to weep, to laugh, to mourn, to dance and so on.....in the midst of everything God tells us to rejoice. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4; “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials...” James 1:2. To rejoice is not really a suggestion, it’s a command. I can’t say it always comes easy, but I can say that it does take conscious effort. I have been able to turn from oppression and darkness to rejoicing in the light, because God has led me back every time to the truth of who He is. I’ve literally been lying in bed at night listing the characteristics of my Heavenly Father in my mind over and over and He has brought me to peace and rejoicing. So, all this to say, I think God is teaching me through all this that life on earth is short and fragile, but it is a gift. He’s got a time, a date, for everything and I am to rejoice.
Adrien has been so good in all this waiting. He really wants a sibling! He’s so ready to share his room and have someone to play with. We continue to pray together that God will make it happen when the time is right. We’ve recently been told that Nicaragua is only allowing children with special needs to be adopted. We were encouraged to write a list of the disabilities we feel able to accept. We have had much trouble with our agency here in Italy. To say the least, the communication is bad and they always seem to have difficulty following through with what they say they are going to do. We are still waiting for the translation of our list to be finished and sent to Nicaragua and it’s been over a month. Nicaragua says that they are searching for a child that is around the age of 5 or 6 for us. The call that they’ve found a child could arrive any day. Please pray with us that God would connect the right people with the right child. We trust he knows who that child is and He has a date planned for when we will be united.
McKenzie has been spending some intentional time in the studio painting. We are taking some time to pray and think through how God wants us to use this gift for ministry. One idea is that we would like to raise some money by selling paintings and prints in order to increase our PI project fund. We would like to then use the funds for future events, workshops, and other art ministry efforts. We are planning to be in the states this summer and will be carrying artwork with us, so if anyone is interested in helping us with this endeavor please connect with us. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we think through all this and start planning. We are asking God for one clear step at a time.
Gruppo Carso Ministry
Our community group has grown and we have some new leaders desiring to start a new group in their home. This is really exciting and scary. We have been praying for this to happen for a long time and we are now seeing the reality of it forming before us. We plan to start these two new groups in the fall. One will continue in our home and will be reaching those who are closer to our area. The other will be meeting in a family’s home that live just over the border of Italy in Slovenia. They will be reaching those who are closer to their area. We are a little sad to not be together in a group anymore, but excited for what God is going to do through these steps. Our hope one day would be to form another church gathering outside of Trieste city center. This would be a new church plant that could eventually reach those living outside of Trieste. Please pray with us for these next steps and for all the people involved in the multiplication of these groups and those we will be reaching out to in our own areas.
Andrea has been assistent coaching Adrien’s soccer team. It has been a complicated year with the adminstration of the soccer club and its teams. We are unsure of continuing in this soccer club next year, which is a bit disappointing. We had some high hopes for the developing relationships, but we are asking God to guide us into the best situation for Adrien and for future relationships. One pretty cool thing is that the coach, Paolo, who we’ve asked for prayer for in the past, is proving to be an excellent coach. He and Andrea have been working really well together and he is also wanting to continue our soccer journey together. Please pray with us that God would guide us all to the right soccer club together.
Summer Camp Ministry
Please pray for the summer camps coming up. Our church, TrE, will be leading a summer camp in a town about 15 minutes from our house with a few different teams from the USA. We will also be helping with the same camp here in Sistiana that we helped with last summer. Pray for the teams coming, the families hosting, the children and for TrE and all the preparations we will be doing.
Our team leadership
Please pray for Andrea and I to have wisdom in leading our PI team. Pray that we would have grace for our teammates and understanding of their individual needs. Pray that we would love and serve them well.
Pray for Andrea’s leadership as an elder in TrE. That God would speak through him as he preaches and leads worship, leads discussions etc. That he would be able to prioritize his time well with ministry and family needs and that he would have closeness with God throughout it all.
Please pray for all our teammates. The Carmichaels, Edwardes and Vanellis. Pray for peace and strength, for unity and grace and for wisdom and clear steps for the future and for joy. Please pray specifically for the Carmichaels and Sarah who are doing driving school together. They have upcoming tests, so please pray that they would be able to learn everything they need to in order to pass the exam.
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