Sunday, January 28, 2007

Victory at Last!

I have my visa in hand!

A lovely mug shot of yours truly is nicely glued into my passport next to a bunch of legal words in Italian.
Looks official to me.

Back to Italy.
My second home.

Back to cappuccini twice a day.
Back to multiple hand gestures to convey one word.
Back to my wonderful friends.

I can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Never in a Million Years

Once again my path leads me down good ol' highway six.

Since we are still waiting for our visas, Crusade has decided to keep us busy.
Good thing, too.
I was about ready to start babbling about that cleaning house business.
I already did the bathroom.
The damage is done.

So, my team and I are returning to work at our alma maters.
Since I am the token non-crusade girl, I get to work at Grace Bible.
My official title will be: Floater.
Odd jobs--here I come.

Ahh, back to Aggieland.
I can just smell the musty books in Evans and the Rec locker room.
And I can almost taste the Layne's special sauce and the taco salad at the 12th man.

Its funny how the Lord works.
Even after all the crazy stuff we have been through together, He still suprises me.
Sign up for Italy, get sent to College Station.
Never in a million years did I expect this.

I have had my time of tears.
I have spent some time in sarcasm.
And now I know I just have to trust.

I would never pause a year in Italy to check in on my college town.
But then again,
I would never think that feeding a ton of people with bread and fish would work,
and I sure wouldn't have thought that wandering in a desert for 40 years was a good plan.

But He's radical.
Radical to the point of seeming ridiculous.
College Station, really?!

Nope. I'm not in control.
My life is not my own.
Point well made, Lord.

So here I am:


to see what He has in store next.

But for now, it's three and half hours and one well-worn highway.

If this is His plan, then I want to be right there in it.
I better shine up that gold ring.

Aggieland or bust, baby.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In my spare time...

Visas stink. I have no good news to share.
But my blog was crying for an update.
That picture of a passport was sad looking.

So, since I have nothing to do, I've been trying to be productive.
I wrote this article about Italy for Crusade.
We'll see what happens with it.

And if nothing happens, then at least its seen the glory of the blog.
And that passport can finally hit the archive pile.

There. That's better.

Intro to Italy: through the eyes of a STINTer

One college graduation,
One summer to raise support,
One lonely plane ride to Frankfurt,
One year away from home, and
One seemingly impossible mission: to reach Italy for Christ.

This is my story. At this point in the drama, I am only half way through. Three months overseas has already had a deep affect on me. Italians have shown me true friendship. Italy has broken my heart. STINT has thrown me into the arms of Jesus.

My heart for the lost has been expanded and stretched because of my time in Italy. Sometimes the extreme growth proves to be painful. To love a people so much, and to long for them to know Christ, but day in and day out to have them reject you and your God, is emotionally brutal. Most days even the gelato can’t mask the hurt.

Italians are some of my most loyal friends. Calculating time and distance from the first time I met them on summer project two years ago, and adding in the language barrier, they have kept in touch with me better than almost all my American friends.

Italians understand relationships. That’s why “religion” does not interest them. They know that the real meat in life comes from sharing it with others. Laughing and talking over a huge dinner that lasts for hours. Those are the moments when you are honest. Italians would make the best evangelists. Spending time with people, really loving them for who they are, and building trust comes naturally to them. Vera amicizia (true friendship) is what they have given me. Despite the language barrier and my ignorance of their rich history. They have accepted me. I have experienced Christ in a fresh way through my non-believing friends. It is this passion for relationships, this grasp on heart to heart communication that can bring me to tears. How sweet their faith would be if they would allow the most loyal Friend to bring Truth into their lives!

So I press on. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Oh, yes. A million times yes.

I would never go back to my pre-expanded heart. The pain over these souls is raw and real. But, these are my friends, and they deserve to have the Truth uncovered, they deserve this year, they deserve my aching heart.

As a matter of fact, so does the Lord. He never promised this adventure would be easy. Italy is His, and His heart breaks over these sheep without a Shepherd, then I want mine to as well.

One lost nation,
One group of STINTers,
One huge God who is capable of the impossible.