"A minister of the gospel is appointed by God to teach and help those who are engaged in ordinary occupations of life to find sufficient time and use it correctly for the preservation of his spiritual life. Of course, the minister cannot do this unless he has a living experience of a life of prayer. His highest calling is not preaching, or speaking, or church visitation, but it is to cultivate the life of God in himself daily, and to be a witness of what the Lord teaches him and accomplishes in him."
-Andrew Murray, Living a Prayerful Life
We arrived in Italy the 21st of July. Since then we have been running, running, running. Learning to live in a new city and country with a new language, culture, government has been stressful on so many fronts. Getting a house set up, figuring out how to live in Rome legally, pastoring a new church plant, getting kids enrolled in Italian public school, finding medical attention for the deliver of a new baby, welcoming our teammates and helping them transition. The tidal wave of transition has been overwhelming. Like a mosquito on the back of an elephant, I quickly reached my capacity though my monstrous list remained unfazed. But rather than seek rest, I've maintained busyness. As if being busy will magically satisfy my longing to make this new place my home.
Truth be told, this adult missionary kids has felt really homesick lately, but I can't go home. The most settled, peaceful place I can think of is on the streets of the tiny jungle town where my early prayer life first took shape. Walking home late at night in the pouring rain, I would encounter the Lord as I prayed the Word that I was discovering for the first time. That's what I want for this new location of ministry. I want to find my home in the Lord anew, here in Rome. I want my kids to encounter the hand of God here as we seek him daily. He is the same God I first met on those rainy streets. One of my prayers upon our arrival in Rome was that God would help us sow the seeds needed to see fruit later. Those seeds are formed when I encounter the Lord in daily prayer and meditation on the Word. No busyness can replace the rewards that come from time in prayer and in the Word.
Our desire is to see transient people find their lasting purpose in Jesus. This can only happen if these who are far from their earthly origins find their eternal home through a real encounter with Jesus. You can pray for our refugees who are awaiting permission to make Italy their new home. Since we've been here, we have rejoiced with three who have been granted permission to stay!
Several new families have arrived in Italy this semester and have chosen to make Rome International their home. Pray that they will will be established well and find much needed community through the body of Christ.
As our new team members have arrived, please pray for their transition. We want to see them established for long-term ministry here in Rome.
The attacks of the enemy are real and felt regularly. Would you pray for protection and our continued faithfulness to share the message of hope with all those we encounter.