The faces I have come know by name are welcomed characters in my dreams. Each night when I sleep I revisit the places and people of my small village town outside of Rome. The bonds of friendship play out in my waking moments too. I have forever been marked with compassion and longing to be with these people in heaven someday. It marks my everyday life. How I spend my money. How I pray. How I talk. How I work. It revolves around how to get back to these people and how I plan to fight the spiritual battle for their souls.
It has been suggested by some that I shouldn't want to go back. Despite my personal hardships, my passion is to share Jesus Christ with these friends. I have not posted our progression of friendships for sometime. I have now been given liberty to write these precious moments. It is a sweet gift for me to share the part of my life that God has chosen to use to reach others for him in a way that is widely misunderstood by many. This is for those who want a glimpse and want to understand. If but one soul can be saved from an eternity in hell separated forever from our loving God, I will gladly walk this path of obedience God has asked me to.
Yay it is summer! Although I have neglected my blog, I haven't forgotten about it. And I have had plenty of blog worthy stories to share, just short on time and pithy writing skills. In the last school year we were privileged to host many friends and family in our home and share our new world with them. I love hosting.
The children finished school more than successfully on Friday the 12th. We couldn't be more proud. I am happy to say official classes for Jon and I are done for the year as well. We still intend on working hard thru the summer though.
We have had several events for our new friends in the community. They were a huge success and I am excited to say that the Easter egg hunt with the resurrection story was printed up in the local annual school paper. A picture and a very good article as well. We are pleased and many of the other parents and children wanted to meet me and find out if we were doing it again next year and if they could join in! YAY!!
The last blog mentioned that Kent was working with a team at the Rome University. This did not prove to be a venue we wanted to continue. In all honesty I believe that God was protecting Kent. We were able to find some help within 10 minutes of our home (thru my dear friend here.) He is a doctor specifically for this disorder and because of Kent's previously diagnosed condition from the States... One meeting and he signed papers and we were able to present them to the school for an assistant for Kent to help him for next year! We are very pleased about this. We are also looking into what it would take to get a special needs dog for Kent just for his aspergers. (that is a topic for another post) but something to pray for all the same!!
Ethan has been tested in his faith this year. I am glad to tell you that my happy Ethan is surfacing some days more than others. I sometimes wonder if culture shock hit him later than the rest of us, or now that we are adjusting he could have his time of reality. God has been good and faithful in his love toward Ethan and I TRUST Him so much.
Natalie performed in her class play. It was superb! She played "happy" one of the seven dwarfs! Her Italian is PERFECT. Everyone here marvels at the way she has such an amazing Roman accent! She has received all 10s (A's) and her manuscript writing is outstanding. I will have to post an example soon.
Thank you to all of you who pray for us. We are encouraged when we remember those at home who love us.
The following are amazing acts that our God has shown to our family and our ministry here in Rome. I am so excited to tell you about them that I can't type fast enough. Thank you for praying for Kent. Looking back I have so much insight as to what God was doing to better him as a person and us a as a family. But if I would have found out about his condition several years ago we would not be on the path we are on, which would be a HUGE mistake. Instead we continued to trust and follow God and thru that we were led to Rome. We had wanted to start in Milan but as doors closed and others opened for us to be here we walked thru them. If I had to describe last year to you, it would be best summed up as the hardest year of my life. Too many details to go into now, but I see how GOD IS SOVEREIGN. We came back from the summer in America, this year ready for whatever the Lord had for us but not expecting such amazing blessing to be poured out. I guess all along His blessing was being poured out we just didn't understand it. Kent has been accepted into a study at the Rome University. There is a team of doctors who are currently working with him, and accurately defining his diagnosis. Along with that they have taken it upon them selves to call the school and talk to the teachers and headmaster to determine the best way to teach and help Kent. After he is officially diagnosed the school will apply for a special teacher to assist Kent in class and help him to stay on task. This will help him so much, especially with the language barrier. (which by the way is costing us nothing because we were miraculously granted our residence cards for 10 YEARS!! allowing us to apply for the health care here as well.)
Speaking of language, God has also supplied a tutor for the boys to help them with their homework one night a week and to be able to continue to study in Italian. We are hoping to schedule 2 nights but are waiting for God's timing and supply. We are overwhelmed with the compassion the community has shown to help us. If you didn't know the boys are enrolled in Italian public school. They are still learning Italian.
As Jon and I went to sign up for language studies this year, we ran into our teacher from the year before. There was a huge line but she ushered us right in and said let's get you signed up. When we went to pay she said there was no charge....Huh!? One of those things we didn't question but walked out smiling as God continued his work.
Okay so here is even some more BIG news. After picking the children up a few weeks ago from school. Kent's teacher inquired about our church in Rome. She thought maybe we would be able host the class Christmas program this year and if Jon wouldn't mind, to read the Christmas story! I stood there stunned! AMAZING, we would have Kent's whole class and family to our church this Christmas. God continues to open doors and we are just his vessel.
Although I miss home more than you can imagine, I am starting to see that God wants to do great things in Italy and because I have an intimate relationship with Him there is no where else I would rather be. I can't tell you how much we covet your prayers, how thankful we are for your support and ask that you continue to lift us up, because if you look at two posts earlier...everyone of our prayers were answered!!! We will continue to lift you all up as well.