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Monday, 24 October 2011

on the train

Yesterday I took the train back to Rome from Bologna. I took the slow train because it is cheaper and I could use the down time. About 1 hour before arriving in Rome, a group of American's got on the train and took seats right behind me. 

I love listening to accents to figure out where people are from. This group sounded like West coast. When I stood up.. sure enough, one man had a Portland Timbers hat on!  It was so fun to hear how the team is doing. They described what the games are like. They said the feeling is more european with the waving flags and the way the fans act. They said that the games are always sold out. Soccer has always been my favorite sport. I so hope to be able to go to a game when I get to Portland the next time... of course that depends on which season I am in Portland.

The people in the group all live around NW 23rd. So it was fun to meet them briefly. They had a tour guide who was telling them about a restaurant to try which happens to be right next to a restaurant that many of the Agape staff enjoy... so I put in my two cents.  :-) 

It is just fun sometimes to hear news of culture and life from Portland. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The commonplaceness ness of life

We had a group of counsellors here in Rome from RTS in Orlando Florida. 
During one of the times that my team met with some of them, the leader was telling us about some of the things that challenge a team and some of the things that challenge missionaries. 

One thing he called "commonplacenessnesness" When the common things of life pile up. 

We have two apts here amongst our staff who had to replace their front door locks within the first weeks of ministry starting. One because a key was accidentally put in the wrong lock and the other because someone tried to break into the apt and damaged the lock and door.  These are not simple american locks.. they are a very intricate locking system that cost each apt hundreds of euros to replace.

Many of us are dealing with a range of colds and flues right now. So common but it takes on a new depth when you are finding ways to combat your illness in a different culture. 

To pay our bills, we must go to the post office with cash. It potentially takes a whole morning. 

Riots and strikes are pretty common in Rome. 

Grocery shopping generally requires walking to the meat store then to the market then to the small grocery. A couple of hours could go by before I return home with heavy bags. 

Personally, I am processing the loss of a dear friend's husband to cancer, the deteriorating health of my dear grandfather, not being able to hold my neice who was born in April, and the very poor health of my biological father. These weigh on me and cause me to lean into Jesus even more.

Ah the commonplacenessness... 
They are the things that wear us down in the midst of our call to mission here in Rome. 
But we persevere. 
We trust God.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

My beautiful niece Ava in the top that I got to send to her from Roma. I can't wait to hold her someday.