Monday, June 23, 2008


What a whirlwind of a week! The week was packed with VBS, campus ministry, sight seeing and a lot of Italian food. Those of us who are not enjoying an extended vacation in Italy made it back to Fort Worth late Saturday night with thankfully much less travel issues than last weekend.

One of the first things I noticed when we were back in the states was the wonderful sight of a water fountain. The pleasure we find in the small things when we have been paying 1-3 euros for water all week!

While I am still processing the whole journey, I think the overarching thing that I will take from this mission is the sovereignty of God. Despite Satan's efforts to frustrate us with flight delays, hotel mix-ups, and trains going on strike, we always ended up being where we needed to be when we needed to be there. We also entered this experience expecting to spend the bulk of our time aiding Agape Italia and their college campus ministry (of which we still did), but God also sovereignly placed us in Italy to help make Florence's first VBS a reality. I pray that this outreach would really have an impact on the community surrounding Logos Church.

Isaiah 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."


Monday, June 16, 2008

We made it

)and weàre typing on an Italian keyboard, which has keys in different places, so excyse the many typos=.

Our arrival was a little hairy, mostly because we sat on the tarmac at JFK for four hours before taking off. But evryone was a trooper — a patience that even surprised ourselves, definitely Godàs hand at work.

The bulk of our work so far has been helping Logos Church, a small evangelical church that has its Sunday services in the theater of a Communist community center, with its Vacation Bible school. As far as they know, itàs the first VBS ever in Florence. It's a significant ministry to the people in the neighborhood, many of whom havenàt encountered Christians before, and an encouragement to the people in the church itself. (Not to mention a ton of fun for the kids.) We've built a "ship" on stage for the Treasure Island-themed skits, planned and executed games, led the kids in crafts and danced silly dances. We've discovered that making a fool out of yourself translates into any language. =)

Weùll be back at the VBS every morning this week. We also started outreach at the campuses in Bologna and Florence today, we'll touch on that more next time.

For now, please pray:
- For rest ... between the jet lag and just the intensity of the jamìpacked days, a lot of us are hitting the wall.
- For hotel rooms. Our hotel had our reservations off by one day, so we donàt yet have a place to stay this Thursday night.
- Praise that we all made it here safely — including all our luggage! — and with good attitudes.

thanks for all your support. We definitely can feel that y'all have our back. Until next time,
Dan and Chrissie for the team

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Update from Flight Control

Dan (or someone else from the team) may be able to give more information, but I wanted to make sure to post an update for those of you who are praying for the team as they're in Italy.

I heard from Betsy yesterday and again today, and the team arrived safely and has enjoyed a few great Italian meals thus far. They connected with the team on the ground in Florence and attended church this morning (Sunday) at the church they'll partner with for the Vacation Bible School this week. They seemed to be in good spirits and excited about the week ahead.

The team had a rough couple of days of travel the first day. They were stuck on the runway at JFK in New York for around 4 hours, which meant they missed their connecting flight in Brussels. Trying to get a team of 17 on the same flight to Florence from Brussels proved to be a test, but one they were able to pass with flying colors.

When the team arrived in Florence, they learned there was a communication challenge with the hotel - just for future information, the words "Staying through the night of the 19th, leaving the 20th" don't communicate the same thing to an Italian as they do to an English-speaking American. So, the team is working on alternate plans for where to stay Thursday night. Fortunately, the Agape Italia group is used to making hotel arrangements on the fly for other teams, and have stepped in to help the leadership team.

A couple of things to be praying for in the next couple of days:

First, be sure to thank God for safe travel, and for a great team of mature young adults who were able to be flexible and maintain an even keel despite some adversity. Pray that the challenges would unite them as a team and allow them to work even more purposefully throughout the next week. Pray that God would give them a great start to the vacation Bible school tomorrow, and that some of their conversations will be fruitful as they work on the campus.

These are a great group of people to work with. Thanks for your prayer and financial support for the team as they've journeyed down this road. You've picked some great people to partner with.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Off we go

(Boy, those three weeks went fast)

In just a matter of hours, we'll be on our way to the airport. Thanks again for your prayers, encouragement and financial support — whether you pray, give, or go, we're all vital parts of this team.

Before we leave, here are some prayer requests. Please pray:
- For smooth travel. We leave Fort Worth on Friday morning, and most of the group returns June 21.
- For protection from sickness -- several of us are fighting off bugs -- fatigue, and crime. We're not going to be in harm's way, but we'll still be in big cities.
- For our team, that we'd have unity and humble, servant-like attitudes.
- For our leaders, Erick, Sarod, Laura and Betsy, that they'd have wisdom.
- For the Italians we'll meet. We will primarily be working with college students in Florence, with a few of us going to Bologna each weekday. We'll also help a Florentine church with what's believed to be the first Vacation Bible School ever in the city.
- For our work, that relationships will be cultivated so the local ministries, Agape Italia and Logos Evangelical Church, can better serve the community.
- For all of us, courage, perseverance, tact and compassion. Italy is a very spiritually dark place. Though its churches and cathedrals testify to its rich Christian history, to many Italians that's all Christianity is -- something from the past that's unnecessary now. Please pray that we'll show grace to everyone we meet.

Again, this ministry wouldn't be possible without you — thanks for joining us. Arrivederci!