You know something that is so good? God’s faithfulness to us is absolutely nothing like my faithfulness to blog. Isn’t that encouraging? J But on a serious note …
I began a journal about 3-4 weeks before I left for Venice, and continued it throughout my time there. This week, I started reading through it, and I have been so encouraged by God’s faithfulness. This morning as I was reading, I just began crying and praising God for the amazing things He did. After I’d been there for 2 weeks, I was discouraged and tired of not knowing the language and the culture; I was frustrated with language class; My dad lost his job; I couldn’t find an apartment; I was beginning to feel lonely and miss people at home. Well, the Lord faithfully provided above and beyond what I could ask or think. For one, I made a couple friends in my language class (who spoke English). I had people praying for me and encouraging me. The Lord totally provided an amazing apartment near my price range. And for my third week in Italy, I got to attend the Focus Conference. This morning I was reading about my experiences during that week. Oh man, that week was for sure a highlight of my time in Italy – for so many reasons. I know I already blogged about the Focus Conference, but I just have to revisit it. The conference was a blessing for these reasons (and I’m sure many more):
1.) I got to see friends from The Master’s College and Seminary and Grace Community! That was so awesome. They were a huge encouragement to me, and a little taste of “home.”
2.) I got to hear preaching from John MacArthur, Steve Lawson (um yeah, he’s my favorite preacher … next to Rick Holland J), and Lance Quinn. The messages were so good for my heart, and I could understand all of it … because it was in English. The preaching was all about the Word, and the Lord really renewed in my heart a love for and a desire to be in the Word.
3.) I got to meet all of the speakers, including Lance Quinn’s wife. This was such a blessing. I actually still have communication with them from time to time, and have greatly benefitted from their counsel and godly wisdom.
4.) I was stretched out of my comfort zone. Although Frank and Kathy were there, I was in a separate hotel and didn’t see them that much. This forced me to practice Italian and get to know people, which was so great! I met so many great people and was encouraged by so many believers from all over Italy. It was so cool to see how God is working throughout that country. And I just plain had fun with people – drinking coffee, talking at meals, taking walks, eating gelato with the elders and deacons from my church – fun times.
5.) Just being there was exciting, because I had heard about this conference and prayed for it the previous year.
So those are a few reasons why this week at the conference was such a blessing to my little heart. God was faithful to provide what I needed at just the time I needed it. And He did that throughout my time there. I am excited to continue reading my journal, being reminded of experiences and things the Lord taught me.
Now, let’s see if I can be more faithful in blogging. We shall see. J