What an adventure.
The last six months have been about stretching, living life outside of our comfort zones, being in close community with others, completely dependent on and deepening in relationship with a Father who loves us, who will not leave us where he found us, and sends us out, not in fear, but in expectation what he says is true: I am who I am, and I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Being a part of Crossroads DTS in Kona has shown me in so many ways how faithless I can be and how faithful God is, always true to his word, where I don't actually believe his word is true in my heart and that he is IN this WITH me, will never let me go; his love is steadfast, from everlasting to everlasting, and will fight for me and not allow sin to separate me from him, ever. Why? Because he loves me and gave me the grace to see my perfect savior and all sufficient sacrifice, Jesus, who intercedes on my behalf. He is alive and well, working in me, conforming me into his image, by one degree to the next, one day at a time.
He is so kind and generous to give us this time to grow, to see his heart for all people, globally. To allow us to see the beauty of his creation in Kona, smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, making any continent easily reachable, to Haifa, Israel, where we got to serve and simply love the people by being salt and light, and simply being present. In Berlin, we got to lift the arms of those working here, bringing life and joy into sterile refugee camps where there is such despair and every person in survival mode, discounting their story of tremendous pain as common, not allowing themselves to feel. All of that is tempered by their over-the-top generosity and eagerness that someone would seek them out, find them valuable, tell them they are beautiful and their story matters.
We learned to extend grace and see beauty, loving others as Christ loved us. We saw the ugly parts of our hearts swell when entitlement to comfort or control bubbled up and the cry of Jesus to say to our hearts that, "Joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and self control are fruits of the spirit. Walk with me, in my way."
For now my daughter and I have taken a day to rest, complete with late checkout in Berlin before we head off to Florence for the summer. We have not kept you updated as all of outreach was unpredictable and so was the internet.
We go to Florence tonight and will begin to rest and process, while looking forward to prepare to move to Italy as soon as we are funded. The LORD has been so faithful. All the years I look back with the yearning in my heart for Italy, and that he would go to such lengths not to let me go too quickly, so I might be complete, lacking in nothing, growing in steadfastness and character, to be ready and equipped, in deepening relationship with and dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is so sweet that we are finally there. We are on our way and you are part of it.
I look forward to sharing more of our stories this summer, and for your prayers as we enter in to full support. We ask you to pray how you can partner with us. Sixty people or less per month is all we need to be fully funded. God is writing a beautiful story in Italy, and there is so much he is doing in Florence. I am excited to see what he continues to lay on my heart as I press in this summer, seeing how YWAM fits, encouraged by our outreach, hearing the stories of God's provision for houses and buildings and people and visas, all to accomplish the plans he has for us, as we seek to love the lost, broken and hurting in a city bursting at its seems with seekers from all over the world, to enjoy and consume beauty. Join us as we find ways to engage the city with the Maker of all things beautiful through art, gospel centered living and discipleship.
If you would like to be a part of helping Amelie learn Italian this summer, you may give to her tuition (834 euros) through our PayPal, here. She will begin six weeks of learning Italian four hours per day on Monday! She is incredibly nervous, but as my mother reminded her last night in our first uninterrupted and clear video chat in two months (!), the LORD is with her, for her, and can do far more in and through her than she can do depending on herself. So sweet to see my girl receive those words of truth from her Grandmother!
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us. Please share our site and ask how you can help us share our heart for Italy. We will soon be scheduling video chats, so please visit our Partner page and fill out the form to let us know you would like to chat with us! We would love to hear from you and how we can come alongside you in prayer! May we encourage each other to push back darkness wherever we are!
Thank you for your prayers and support, enabling us to get this far.
Onward is the only way, all for the Glory of God, to know him and make him known.