Sunday, April 8, 2007

Resting in Slovenia

March was a joy and a blur! We began with a visit from Jamie, Nikki's sister, then we dedicated Sammy, celebrated Siena's 2nd birthday with friends, signed up students for 1 week of English Club outreach, we hosted the outreaches and campus preaching (Anthony translated from English into Italian...exhausting), followed up and then rested in Slovenia on Beautiful Lake Bled (see photo).

We gathered their with over 100 missionaries from western and eastern Europe for some teaching, debriefing, rest, hiking and enjoying great food (most days you could eat fresh fish from the lake!) Siena loves kids so after she recovered from her third illness since Sammy was born on Feb 2nd, she played with them (see photo at pool).

Nikki and I took a hike through the beautiful Vintgar Gorge--reminds us of the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee (see photo of us and last photo). We even enjoyed some of the Slovenian and Italian food--Bled Cream cake and Italian coffee--Italy borders this former Yugoslavian county.

Pray for us as we reengage ministry. Pray for the missionaries pictured towards the end of the photos (Asp Family, Eric & sons, they are moving back to US to help European missionaries, and Todd & son Gabrian, he and his wife have two kids and a 500 sq. ft. apt). Nikki and I are also training for a run for Mother's day 2007. A huge hug to you all, enjoy the photos!

Intentional Mentoring Community

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4.11-13 (NLT)

Recently, God launched an intentional community that for us has been 3 years in the making and for God has been and eternity past in the making! Frank, Paul and I began praying 18 months ago for who, how and when this community would launch. And on March 2nd, 2007, 12 young people, who signed on for a 3 year commitment, entered this equipping process. 5 are Italians, 3 are Romanians, 3 are Americans (though 2 have spent the majority of their adult life in Italy) and 1 Ecuadorian. In bringing them into maturity in Christ, we intend to raise them up as future leaders at Il Rifugio21, the current church in Torino, and in the next church plant(s) which we desire to begin in the third year of the community.

Here are some photos of that initial gathering. Please pray for the students and the five equippers/mentors: Frank, Pam, Paul, Janice and myself. Pray that we would embody Ephesians 4.11-13 and 3.20. We want to believe God for grand dreams in our lives!