What are you doing … that is an excellent question. I thought I would give y’all a quick overview of what my week looks like and some of the things I am doing.
In the morning, I attend the Italian Church service. We start out with a singing, testimony, prayer time, which I really enjoy. It’s amazing to see the hearts of the people and hear about what God is doing in their lives. People will share verses in which God taught them something during the week, stories of evangelism, difficulties, prayer requests, etc. The elders rotate preaching, so that is something different that is taking me time to get used to.
After church, there is almost always something going on, whether it’s people staying at the King’s for dinner, a church dinner or celebration, whatever!
In the late afternoon, we (Frank and Kathy and myself) leave for the Filipino Church service, which is in Venice. Like the Italian Church, they have a time of singing, testimonies, and prayer before the teaching. It’s a blessing to see their hearts of compassion for people.
I have Italian class on Monday evenings in Venice. I’m usually on my way by early-mid afternoon, depending on what else I need to do in Venice at the time. There is a lab to study in at the school, in which I have to spend at least 10 hours during the semester. In the lab they have computers, a library, magazines, audio and video things. Last week I watched one of my favorite movies in Italian – it was quite funny! J But it was really helpful to hear two hours worth of Italian. The word “key” was used quite a bit in the movie, and I wished I had known that word a couple days sooner (more on that at another time).
My Tuesdays just got rearranged. We found out about this free language class that’s offered to immigrants, so Frank called to see if I could still get in on it. They have graciously allowed me to sit in on the rest of the class, so now I’m doing that on Tuesdays. 30 minutes after that one ends, I sometimes have to go to my other language class (we’ll call that one Class 1 and this new one Class 2) on Tuesdays, due to some schedule changes. After my class(es), I got to a Filipino Bible Study.
This is my “free day.” I am calling it that just because there’s no class or anything scheduled early on in the day. I have an Italian Bible Study to attend at night (it doesn’t start until 8:30. Italy is a late night culture). Last week, we began practices for the Christmas concerts, which is used as a means of outreach. So now we are starting practice at 7:45, and then we will have the Bible study at 9:15.
I have both Class 1 and Class 2 on Thursdays now. I have 4 and ½ hours of language classes with a 30 minute break between the two classes.
Friday nights is the Filipino Youth Meeting. This is mainly evangelistic, as most of the kids coming do not know the Lord. The group averages about 10-12 people. We play games and hang out for awhile, and then Frank teaches. I have started meeting with one of the Filipino girls (who does know the Lord) before the youth meeting, and I am very excited for this opportunity to disciple her!
Saturday night is the Italian Youth Meeting. As I mentioned before, Italy is a late night culture, so this doesn’t start until 8:30 p.m. And it usually doesn’t get over until 11 or 11:30 (which makes Sunday morning a bit difficult).
As you can see, most of these activities are in the evenings and nights. During the day, there are various things going on. I have been able to be of assistance to the Kings in some practical ways, which has helped them to be able to focus on other things that they need to do. I have been able to help with dishes and cleaning around the house, cleaning the church, and cleaning the car (trying to eliminate the smell after our lovely questura/flood experience … and I think we have success!! Praise the Lord!).
I am trying to build relationships with people. As I previously said, I have begun to disciple one girl. There is also a girl in the Italian youth group that I’m getting together with on occasion. She is helping me practice Italian, and I am helping her practice English. Although neither of us fluently speaks the other’s language, I thoroughly enjoy this time with her and hope to develop a good relationship with her. I have made several unsaved contacts (mainly through my language classes), and I am praying and seeking for opportunities to share the Gospel with these people.