Summer Updates


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 …

Due to not having the internet at home, it is a bit difficult at times to keep up with e-mails and blogging. Therefore, this is a long post updating y’all on a few different areas:

Vacation: 

I just returned from Southern California, where I enjoyed a marvelous vacation with my parents. We were blessed to stay for a week at a timeshare that my mom was given from her class last year! What a huge blessing! We stayed at Capistrano Beach – right across the street from the beach. We went to Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and more places that I’m sure I forgot.

The best part of the trip for me was seeing friends from college. A couple girls from my wing came over and hung out for the afternoon one day – it was so great to see them! Our hotel was about 15 minutes from my dear friend Mary’s house – which was basically amazing! We got to hang out several times and enjoy hours of talking, laughing, movies, food, coffee (of course!), and more talking and laughing! We ended our vacation by spending the night in Santa Clarita (where I attended The Master’s College). I was able to have dinner with a couple friends – so great! Then on Sunday, I got to attend Grace Community Church, which was my church at college for a year and a half. I have been looking forward to that for the last couple months. I got to hear my college pastor – Rick Holland – preach an amazing message out of James 4:1-10. Also, Dr. Mayhue preached for John MacArthur (who was on vacation – sad times!), and he preached a great message from Rev. 19. I was so blessed by the preaching, worship, and fellowship with God’s people there! I was able to see so many friends.

It was a very refreshing time for me, and I praise God for the opportunities He gave me!

Italy:

I applied for my visa about a week and a half ago. I haven’t heard anything yet – I am assuming it will take a while. I will update you as soon as I hear anything!

I am going to start on my next newsletter – so you can be looking out for that.

Evangelism:

I have had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a few people this summer … please pray for their salvation!

Prayer Requests:

          That I would trust the Lord as I am getting overwhelmed with the fact that I am really going to Venice, Italy for a year … and there is a lot to do before September 19th when I leave!

          That the Lord would continue to provide financial and prayer support.

          That my visa would be granted in a timely manner.

Praises:

          I have been so blessed to see the generosity of people in giving financially! It’s wonderful to watch people faithfully serve the Lord with what He has given them!

          I am rejoicing in my salvation. I am so thankful that the Lord chose me – He opened my blind eyes and brought me to Himself! I always have a reason to be thankful. In C.J. Mahaney’s words, “I’m better than I deserve.”

It’s official – I’m going to Italy … I bought my plane tickets last week!  I’m leaving September 19th … Lord willing!  I found tickets at a good price … Praise the Lord!

As you might know, I was going to be applying for a Student Visa, but we (the missionaries and I) have decided to go the route of a religious visa instead.  So, Lord willing, I will be applying for that by the end of this week (that’s the goal at least!).  Please keep my visa in prayer!

Support is slowly coming in … please pray that the Lord will continue to provide!  I have seen Him provide in some amazing ways thus far – what a blessing to be a part of this and see His sovereignty at work!

Last week, I had the opportunity to share about the Lord with a little 6 year old girl at work. What an unexpected blessing! I was talking to this girl and saying that her hair was very pretty and curly. The following is how the conversation went …

Hannah: “You’re hair is so pretty and curly.”

C: “I know, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

H: “Oh really, and why is it supposed to be like that?”

C: “Because that’s the way God made it.”

H: “How do you know God made it that way?”

C: “Because God does everything!” (the sovereignty of God from the mouth of a six year old!)

The conversation went on and I asked her how she knew about God and if she learned about Him at church. She said she didn’t go to church but she read her Bible – her picture Bible. She said that she loves to read her Bible and learn about God. I asked her if she knew who Jesus was, and she said she knew a little about Him – that He was “mounted on a cross.” I asked if she knew why He died on the cross, to which she replied: “I’m not sure.  I suppose it’s because He had nails in Him.”  I laughed very hard inside and re-worded my question, and she did not have an answer. I briefly explained the Gospel to her … and then it was time to go.  Sadly, I have not seen her again.  I found out later that had been C’s last day at camp.  When I heard that, I praised God for the opportunity to plant a little seed before the opportunity was gone.

Being able to share a little of the Gospel with her was the biggest encouragement to me! I sometimes feel like my job is a little pointless … but then I’m reminded of why God has me there. I’m to be a light in the darkness. I want to proclaim Jesus Christ wherever I am! And it was a reminder to me of how the most mundane conversation – curly hair – can lead into the majesty of God as Creator and how He sent His Son to be our Redeemer! Praise God!

God is so good … I have been reminded of that a lot lately! 

Youth Retreat was awesome!  I was so blessed by those days away from normal life … listening to good preaching … ministering to teens … fellowshipping with other believers.  It was a great time!

My visa situation is … I don’t even know what.  I guess on hold for the moment.  I’ve checked into the options concerning a student visa that I am aware of, and I’ve come to a dead end.  So, unless the Lord provides money for me to go to an expensive language school, I think I’m going to need to find another option … I think that means another type of visa.  So, I will keep ya’ll updated concerning the progress there.  Please keep that situation in prayer!  And please pray for me to continue to trust the Lord!

Happy 4th of July!  I’m hanging low today … I’m exhausted from retreat.

As some of you know … this blog was started quite a few weeks ago, and there have been no posts.  Well today, that ends … here’s a brief update.  These are some subjects people have asked me about:

Summer …

I am working at a health club as assistant director in the Kid’s Camp program.  So I’m either sitting at a computer doing paper work, playing with kids, calling a sick kid’s parent, or whatever other random thing comes up in my day.  It’s basically Vacation Bible School without Christ.

Church …

I’m enjoying getting involved at my home church – Grace Bible Church, in Fair Oaks, CA.  I’m helping out in the Youth Group until I head out to Italy (in September).  We’re going on a Youth Retreat in a couple hours.  I’m excited to see what the Lord does this weekend.

Italy …

Preparations are in full swing.  Right now, I am trying to raise support and get a student visa.  I would appreciate your prayers for these matters!  Praise the Lord … I found some plane tickets for a good price!  I haven’t purchased them yet … I’m waiting for visa plans to come together a little more first.  But if all goes according to plan … I’ll be leaving for Venice on September 19th.

Stay tuned for further details to come …