The past few months we have had the opportunity to spend some one on one time eating with some of the families that make up our church. Because they each come from different parts of Italy, we get a different experience culturally with every meal. One thing they all have in common is they are great cooks and they love to feed us lots. Just like with any church body that is made up of very different people/personalities it can take a while for you to get to know each other. We are hoping that the more we are around them, the more we can begin to open up to one another and dig deeper into authentic life giving relationships. Finding and creating those relationships has been a struggle for me (Carli) since the beginning and it continues to be one. Partly it is my timid and sometimes introverted personality and partly it is my lack of availability. Being a mom of young children, married to the pastor does not always leave lots of room for me to be present at the activities that the church does together. Justin on the other hand is full to the brim with opportunities to invest in the lives of our people and foster deeper relationships with them. It has been a huge answer to our prayers how they, especially lately, respond to him with respect and look to him as one of their leaders. So as we both look back over the last few months we are praying that we can continue to be intentional with our conversations however often they happen and that I (Carli) would continue to push myself a little at a time to let people in and seek out friendships with our people.
Some other prayer points:
-Please continue to pray for us as a family that we would have patience and endurance with our people. We long to love them as Christ loves them and we believe that begins with praying for them. -As our second child is coming any day now, please pray for us to have wisdom in setting healthy boundaries with our people, but not closing them out of this exciting time.
-On the subject of the baby coming, please pray for Carli and for the baby. The recovery for Carli when she had Luca was a very difficult time, so please keep her in your prayers.
-Lastly pray for the men of our church, Italy desperately needs humble leaders to serve it's church and we are hoping that this summer Justin and Stefano will be able to invest time in training up two of the men in our church that are showing interest in leading more.
Hopefully our next post will be full of pictures of a new little baby. Until then here are a couple of pictures from this month: