International Ministries

Summer and Spaghetti

June 27, 2011 Journal
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Italians know how to take it easy.  We still marvel at their closing the stores for 3 hours every afternoon.  “Don’t they know they could be making money?” one of our boys asked the year we moved here.  By American standards, few people in our area of Italy seem obsessed with productivity even in the busiest seasons.  But, now, it is summer in Italy, and taking it easy takes on a whole new dynamic. 

Buses will run, but only one-half as many.  Stores will open, but if an owner wants to close for a month and go away for vacation, the patrons will just have to find somewhere else to get what they need.  City streets will be empty on the weekends, and everyone with the means will head to the beaches or to the mountains to escape the scorching summer heat.  The accepted wisdom is, “It’s summer, so don’t expect anything to happen until September.” 

Like all parents and students, we as a family enjoy the summer.  Luke and Ben are finished their junior and freshman years in high school, respectively, and both continue to excel in demanding academic programs.  It is refreshing not to “run the gauntlet”, as I call it, braving the racetrack-like streets of Padua to get the boys back and forth to school.  There are fewer meetings to attend and the routine of teaching Bible studies is interrupted.  There is more time to read so that we have fresh ideas to share later. 

Ministry in the African churches goes on with services and studies continuing as usual.  If their members are able to save enough money, they travel back to Africa to visit family while the Italian factories are closed in August, but few can save that kind of money.

Here are some things happening this summer for which you can be praying:

-The ecumenical council in Verona is reviewing the Verona Baptist Church’s request for a meeting space.   

-Emma finishes her nurse aide practicum in July.  Pray for a good finish and permanent job placement for her. 

-Five American women will lead a seminar for All Christian Fellowship International women at the end of July.  Pray for them and for Franca, the new local women’s leader and the local preparation team.

We also ask you to consider participating in our ministry financially.  The work is in need of 65 more commitments of $1 per day to reach our monthly support goal by the end of the summer.  Please consider “Being the Match!” (Download a form under “Resources” on this webpage or pledge or give a one-time gift online.)  

And, all of you are invited to sit down with us this summer for the “Worldwide Spaghetti Dinner”!  We have our pasta ready (pasta in all shapes and sizes counts, according to our guidelines)!  Let us know when you’re planning to eat!  (Ideas for turning the Worldwide Spaghetti Dinner into a fundraiser for our ministry is also under “Resources.”)