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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Spring Momentum

January and February are interesting months for ministry in Rome. Most students "disappear". They are studying for exams and spending time with family. They re-appear in early March. As staff we spend January and February in language, in Bible classes and trying to connect with students whenever they do pop-up. :-) We don't see each other often.

My trip to the US for the memorial services of my grandfather and my weeks of being really sick with colds and flus have made me feel more disconnected than normal from ministry in Rome.

We all gathered together this past week to re-focus after the disconnectedness of the winter months. It was a powerful time as one of our staff members shared about taking a student who became a believer this past summer onto campus to share with his friends. Sam asked questions of Nicola's friends. In a debrief time, Nicola brought up that he, himself was probably for sharing with his own friends because he knows them better.

This is exactly what we are praying for in Italy! We are praying for Young European Movement Leaders. We want students to own the vision of reaching their campus, their country and the world!

So we are going into Spring... Join me in praying for Young Italian Movement Leaders.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Interesting Travel Days

Generally when I travel, something entertaining occurs... sometimes funny, sometimes frustrating. Here is today's adventure so far...

It began at 4pm yesterday when the shuttle service I generally use if my flight is before 7am from Rome emailed to say that they could not take me this morning. So I scrambled a bit and found another shuttle service that would take me at 4am this morning. The hesitancy is because of the snow that fell in Rome over the past week.

I got to bed last night around midnight... and fell asleep around 2am... got up at 3am... got the shuttle at 4am. After the plane was de-iced by one of the 3 de-icing machines at the airport, we took off.

We landed in Zuerich (which was covered with snow) and I waited for my next flight that would take me to Amsterdam. I had about 4 hours to wait... Almost enough time to to see friends in the area.. but not quite.

As I waited for the flight we were told the flight was delayed with more information coming in a 1/2 of an hour.

1/2 hour later, we were told that unfortunately, the the flight was cancelled due to a suspicious activity sighting in the Amsterdam airport.

So... I have another 4 hours to wait for the next flight. this is when I thank God that all the flying I have done in the past few years earned me frequest traveler status so I get to use an airport lounge.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Snow in Rome. Neve a Roma

One week ago it snowed in Rome. Just enough to shut down the city. And just yesterday it warmed up enough to melt it away finally. There are no snow blowers or rock salt/gravel trucks here. Instead, the mayor has put 2 36-hour restrictions on driving. No driving unless you have chains on your tires... the problem is that chains for your car tires are not a commonly sold item here. Ah Roma...

I asked for a shuttle to go to the airport Monday early morning.. but they cannot confirm until Sunday because we are not sure what the weather will hold.

Then tonight it started snowing again.  I have read that not since the record setting snowfall of February 11, 1986, has there been the 20 centimeters of snow accumulation that happened last week. We shall see what this snowfall that began this evening will result in. And we shall see if I can get to the airport.

As it is, I have been at home sick all week anyway...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sun in Spain, Snow in Rome

 Two days after I returned from Southern California, I went to Spain for a gathering of ICS and STINTers from a few of the areas we serve in. It was a time of being with long time friends and meeting new friends, worshiping in English and hearing from the Word. It did my heart good.
      There are very few things which bring peace to my soul as quickly as the ocean does. I am instantly captured by the greatness of God and the smallness of myself. As the sand, the stones and shells are tossed by the ever approaching waves, I see the beauty and refinement that is produced.
      Similarly, without the Holy Spirit's prompting, re-directing and reminding; I would be unrefined. When I see the beauty in nature I have to surrender yet again to the work of the Lord in my life.

     When I arrived back in Rome... it was snowing. The first real snow since the mid 80's. The whole city is slowed down. There is a 36-hour ban on driving in the city without chains on your car.
     As I arrived in Rome, I debated which mode of transportation to take back to my apartment. I decided on a taxi, joined the looooong line and waited. As I got to the front of the line, people were discussing a problem with the metro that was impeding the travel of cars. hmmm...
    I was rejoicing in the way the Lord cares for me as the woman behind me in line shared that she needed to take the taxi just 1km from my apartment. We shared the taxi and thus cut our costs in half!  God is good!