Monday, October 14, 2013

Italy Part 2

Italy Part 2

JOB 31:15 "Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?"

We are now into the 4th month of our stay here in Italy. Our biggest news was that we are expecting baby no. 4, Lord willing in January 2014 - a Boy!! :). It was a rough ride the first months here of extreme nausia, exhaustion, battling the heat etc etc. I personally found it one of the toughest times... having to walk everywhere - many comforts stripped away and having to home school, clean house - on top of feeling like death (seriously) but God is faithful and helped me through.

It was stressful not finding a home that we felt we could live in! We finally narrowed it down to 2 choices - only to be told:" Sorry we will now not rent to you as we want to sell and the other  puzzles us, but we had to just surrender to and trust God who is 100% in control. He wanted us in a 2 bedroom apartment in the centre of town. We really love the location and admit that God knew the best as usual (Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways are higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts"). I can actually say that I never thought it possible for our family to live in an apartment.... but it is actually fine! We have many blessings of a lovely town square here with fountain (which the girls have loved since the beginning of our time in Montebelluna) the park is nearby and it is just very convenient actually. So we have this apartment for 3 months on a short term rental till we leave, Lord willing, on 2 December back to SA for a period.

Much of our first months were spent going to and fro from governmental/municipal offices to get our visa / residence cards. We were given 2 years permission to stay ,and it is quite a process in Italy, with a lot of red tape. Then you get mistakes made on the cards and you have to wait another month and so what can I say... patience gets tested and you just have to rely on the Lord and keep the faith through it all and trust that He who has called and brought you has a plan and will bring it to completion in His timing. As you wait for documents,other things which you thought you could get just can't happen as you need the awaiting documents to come through before you can apply for other things. So I can say the challenge of not having a vehicle from when we planned ie: month 3 has been interesting. You freak out - you loose it - then you get over it and accept it and then the rains come and you start all over again wanting the freedom of your wheels. But it is not God's will for you for now, so you submit to it and you realise you can survive and when you get some bicycles it becomes a Major blessing to you!

We had a blessed 3 weeks in Austria in August. We attended our church Conference, then had a week break in between. We were blessed to stay in Salzburg and meet special fellow missionary people there who let us stay with them for 2 nights. We had some needed family time in Tirol/Alps area and then went back for the Calvary Chapel Europe Missions Conference, held at Millstat. What a great blessing and time of fellowship and the Word. We were refreshed by having friends from SA there.Walter and Melanie were an encouragement to us. We also celebrated 16 years of marriage and my birthday while at the Castle in Austria - what a treat!

We arrived back for the last week of August to get settled and move into our rental apartment and can just testify how faithfully God provides. Just as we had some basics we needed to buy for the apartment, the Lord provided for us the funds that covered the exact amount I spent at Ikea! Amazing really when you see the miracles God does along the way.

The students of the Bible College here in Montebelluna arrived in early September for the Fall semester. We have an apartment right next door to one of the girls apartments which has 8 students in it. It is nice to know they are next door and to just see them around the town etc. Tuesday morning I get to sit in on the Daniel class, while Mike home schools during this time. I do home schooling on the other days. We try to take the girls on a field trip once a week or every second week so that they can experience places.  Mike is now doing Italian lessons two nights a week. He goes to a Church History class on a Thursday, as well as men's discipleship classes. Fridays he goes to a missions team prayer meeting in the morning and then sits in on a part of the Revelation class. Sundays is church. Mike enjoyed teaching a session at the students Men's Discipleship class on the man Job. He looks forward to teaching another on Barnabus and Phillip.

The girls are progressing in their home schooling and enjoying doing ballet twice a week now. I also enjoy being able to mix with Italians this way. Their teacher speaks English and often asks me questions saying "excuse me I am very curious but...." I love it and enjoy answering her questions. I had to go for a regulatory blood test they do here for pregnancy. Its a diabetes test which involved 2 hours of sitting in between having blood drawn 3 times. God works in amazing ways as I was given a Divine appointment during this time. He gave me a great opportunity to chat with a lady from Cameroon and hear her amazing life story and just share with her and invite her to church. I was also very excited once at the park as the girls made friends with 3 Italian girls and really got on so well and the mom wanted us to meet again. These are the things that excite me to make friends and be a light in the community here. Melissah enjoys catching lizards and butterflies in the park and Sienah is an interesting 2 year old going on 6.... Kiarah really misses home and her friends but also has many blessings here and loves reading and just playing imaginative games with her sisters.

Our church here in Italy, Calvary Chapel Montebelluna, had wonderful outreach opportunities through summer concerts in the squares. These were really amazing opportunities with lots of Italians hearing  worship, testimonies and The Word/Gospel. The church also had a picnic and it was great to see the baptism of believers at the river. What a joyful occasion to see the Lord blessing the work here after many years of ploughing and sowing.

Pray for us as we continue to seek to be a blessing for the next 7 weeks here. Pray for our health and a smooth  transition/ travel back to Cape Town (that I would be given the go ahead by my doctor to be able to fly back). It is not easy being tentmakers, having to come and go between two worlds.We will be back in SA longer than we had originally planned due to the unexpected arrival of baby. We commit ourselves to the Lord and His will and continue to seek  the Lord's guidance for us. Thank you for reading and thank you for your prayers and support. We pray the following Psalm for all of you.

Psalm 67:1-3 "God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us, That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among the nations. Let the peoples praise You O God; Let all the peoples praise You".


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