September 2007


I am sorry to keep you waiting for so long, but I am still figuring out when to use the internet and so forth. I have now been in Italyfor a week – I can’t believe it! I have been very tired from jetlag and trying to get integrated into a new culture. My mind is spinning with Italian words and cultural tidbits.

I have many things I want to blog, but once again, the time is short. So for now, a quick note to let you all know I’m alive and well and things are going great! I began my language class on Monday (I think I am the person who knows the least in the class – that was a bit discouraging). I’ve been involved in some type of Bible Study just about every day – ranging from an Italian Ladies’ Bible Study to Filipino Teens to Italian Teens to Italian and Filipino church services. I’m excited to get involved in the ministry here! I am enjoying the people. I love Frank and Kathy King – they are just as wonderful as people said!

I have to tell my story of the week …

Frank and I went to the police station to take care of some legal paper work for my staying here. Well, they told us we had to go to the “questura” which is like the main police department/headquarters. So we went there and they told us to come back the next day. The guy said they opened at 8:30, but we should get there about 7 or 7:30 to get in line. That was on Tuesday. So the next day, Wednesday, Frank and I left the house at 6:45 to take the 30-40 minute drive to the questura. Well, it began raining during the night, and it was pouring buckets. We were almost there and Frank realized he forgot something we need that he could pick up at a store. So he drops me off at the questura to get in line, and he goes to a shop to buy this tax stamp that we need. When I got out of the car, I was in about 5-6 inches of water. There was a line already started – this is at 7:30. Thankfully there was a covering to stand under, although it didn’t do much good! The rain blew in from the side, so my left side was drenched , and I was also standing in 1-2 inches of water. We tried to go inside, but we got kicked out. At 8 they took pity on us and let us come wait inside – for which I was so grateful! I was so cold! I was just praying for Frank to get back, because I didn’t want them to start taking people and then have me not know what I’m doing. Frank got back at 8:30 and he was drenched. He had parked the car about 2 blocks away on the main street, because he was afraid there was a little deep water on the side street the questura was located on. Well, he had to walk to the building through knee deep water in pouring rain! So, we’re sitting in the questura absolutely drenched and freezing cold. We also had to go to the bathroom, and they were broken down. We were also told that the employees were having trouble getting into work because of the weather, so we didn’t know if we could get help or not. So, after over 3 hours of waiting, shivering, laughing at our predicaments and the people who came in drenched, asking different employees for help … we finally gave up. We found out that the one person who could sign our papers was not coming in – his car was under 1 meter of water. We were told to come back Friday. So, it was time to face the elements and leave. We stepped out the door and I could not believe my eyes. It was a lake out there! We had warning, because we kept seeing people coming inside whose pants were wet all the way up their legs, almost to their hips! We wanted to go to the bathroom before we left, so Frank asked if there were any others, and Frank was directed to a couple bathrooms outside. Well, those wouldn’t be much good with all this water so high – try to use your imagination on that one! 🙂 So, we head out into the “lake”. Just to give you the full picture … there was a man out in the water a little ways in front of us who didn’t want to get his pants wet … so he took them off! He was wading through the water in his t-shirt and underwear! Even now I picture that and can’t help but laugh. Welcome to Italy! Frank and I “swam” back to the car, not knowing whether we were going to be able to get home. We were walking by cars and houses that were flooded. I’ve never seen anything like this other than on TV! It was really quite amazing! I was shivering on the way to the car, because the water was soooooo cold! And I had to stop thinking about the overturned trashcans I saw and the thought of sewage around me! Nasty! Well anyways … we were able to drive home, thankfully!! It felt and sounded like we were in a boat until we got out of the flooded part of the city. God was so good to protect us and get us home. We were also low on gas, so we had to stop and fill up. We have laughed a lot about this and Frank has told about everyone he’s come in contact with. 🙂 Good memories. The flood was on the front page of the paper here today! 🙂 They should have put our picture on it!

Thanks for your prayers! I will update you with more important things later. 🙂

I apologize for keeping you waiting for more information for so long. Between computer problems, preparing to leave, and wanting to give you as much information as possible, I have been delayed in posting.

I am leaving for Venice in a little over 48 hours! Nothing has happened with my visa; I do not even know the exact reason for being denied. So, the plan now is for me to go as a “tourist,” which allows me to stay in Italy for 90 days. Tomorrow Frank King is going to work on getting me enrolled in an Italian language class. Once I am over there, we will look into my options for applying for a visa – most likely a student visa. Right now, I do not know how long I will be able to stay. We are not sure if I will have to come home in order to apply for the student visa, and then return to Italy. (Side note – not knowing if I’m coming home in 3 months or 1 year makes packing and planning very interesting!)

Thank you so much for your prayers through this. I still appreciate your prayers more than you can know! The following are some prayer requests that I would ask you to lift before the Lord:

1.)    I still do not have housing. Frank and Kathy are working on this. I spoke with Frank a little while ago, and he was coming up with nothing. They looked at bulletin boards at universities to see what kind of rooms are for rent. So far the places he has called are no longer available. Please pray that the Lord will guide them and that He will calm my heart and help me to trust Him through this.

2.)    I would really appreciate your prayers for my travels on Wednesday (the 19th). I am nervous about travelling so far on my own. I have never had to go through an international airport by myself before. When I went to Israel I had 30 other students on the long flight with me to help pass the time and make things easier. Pray that I can be a witness to whomever the Lord brings my way on the flights.

3.)    Wisdom in packing – only so much can fit in two 50 pound suitcases. J

4.)    Grace and comfort for saying good-byes. I am having a hard time leaving my family.

I have so much more I would like to post about, but it will have to wait.

First of all … thank you so much for all your prayers regarding my visa. There have been so many people praying and asking me how things are going and if I’ve heard anything. I appreciate that beyond words!

 I found out today that my request for a visa was denied … not exactly what I was hoping for. So, the big question is … what does this mean? At this time, I can’t tell you exactly what it means, because I do not know. It does not mean that I’m not going to Italy … I am still going ahead as if I am leaving on schedule on September 19th. I need to get in touch with the missionaries and my mission agency to see what my next steps are. After that, I can give you a further update.

Ways you can pray:

1.  That I can get in touch with Frank and Kathy King (the missionaries in Venice). They went out of town yesterday and are not returning until Monday, so please pray that I will be able to contact them.

2.  Pray for wisdom … wisdom for the Kings, for the mission agency, me, and my church. I do not know how things are going to unfold over the next few days, but I’m sure decisions will need to be made, for which wisdom will be required.

3.  Pray that I will continue to trust the Lord through this process and that He will receive the glory He deserves!

God’s timing in this is amazing … I want to devote a blog entry to this, so I’m not going to say much right now. But, He is good all the time, His ways are perfect, and He is completely sovereign!

Stay tuned for further information …