08.25.10

Where is Everybody?

Posted in Ancona, culture, family, friends, ministry, Newsletters at 1:42 am

August. I know that over the years we have told you about August. The most dreadful most wonderful month of the year. In church planting work, seeing and having fellowship with your little congregation is very important. Especially since we have adopted an attitude that living life together is something that helps us grow as Christians.

But when everyone is spread out all over, even in other countries, it makes getting together pretty hard! I’m starting to think that God wants this time to be a time of Sabbath and renewal. We have church members in two other regions (like states) and one other country. We have people who have to work Sundays during the summer months, and join us in the evening exhausted but happy. We have a hard time getting together with people because they are at their beach homes or on vacation. Sometimes, even I say “I’m bo-oored.”

Then, I think of it another way. I can use this time to concentrate, really concentrate, on the people before me. Tonight we are having two families over for dinner. They don’t really know each other, but one is from church and the other have expressed interest in coming to church. I’ve been wanting to introduce them for a while. The more relaxed schedule of August makes dinners like this much easier to plan. And no one has to rush off and get the kids in bed for school the next day. Conversation is relaxed. People seem to let their guards down a bit, giving us an opportunity to bring faith into the discussion.

Tomorrow, we are headed about an hour away to the water park with this same family. Since it is hard to take our whole family on a vacation, it is nice to be able to take a vacation day here and there to spend some concentrated time building relationships.

This weekend we are hosting a missionary couple from the Rome area, and I really hope it can be a time of growth and encouragement (and rest, too!). This couple is in the very beginning stages of church planting in the Rome area, and the topic of building the Kingdom here in Italy always comes up. The following week another missionary will be staying with us for a few days.

When all is said and done, I want to look back on my summer knowing that we made many memories. I want to really know that we have used all of the opportunities that God had given us to share and encourage. When school starts, I want to see that we’ve all grown up a bit, not just the kids.

Until next month…