By now you probably know that I am back in America, which to me is sad but also comforting. I miss Italy so much, and yet I’m thankful to be home.
So many good things happened while I was abroad. I was reunited with old friends like Andrea, Gianluca, Lika, and the Valiquette family. I also was introduced to new friends like the Davidson family, Emanuele, Mariamo and many more. It was very encouraging to see how much God has done in the lives of the people I met there last year as well as the work that has gone on at Nuova Vita. The church has grown almost 10 times the size it was the last time I was there! Praise The Lord! Another cool thing that happened, I was healed of my horrible dairy allergy and was able to enjoy pizza, gelato and most importantly Mythos greek gyros. 🙂
While in Italy, I had the privilege of painting a mural for the brand new Nuova Vita children’s space. It was so much fun for me to use the talents God has given me to further His church. The children of Salerno are going to be using this space for so many different things. From English lessons, to music, VBS, Sunday school and hopefully so much more. When they look around them they’ll be surrounded hopefully something they enjoy looking at! My prayer for the children’s room is that it will be used well and that they will quickly out grow it. I want the children of Salerno to want to be in that space. For them to want to be around the people that love God and love them. I want them to hear about the gospel but also experience in first hand.
As always, while in Italy we did many “Italian things”. Having espresso in the morning and getting gelato at night became our daily routine. It may seem small but thats probably because you haven’t tried Italian espresso and gelato. Friends, you are missing out.
We also had a few home cooked Italian meals thanks to the Davidson family. I’m so glad we got the chance to get to know them. Over the week we had several opportunities to serve each of the missionary families there by hanging out with their kids and also helping clean their homes. We developed fantastic friendships with the kids and also their parents. We love all of them so very much! The Davidson family have just joined the Salerno/ Nuova Vita team! Keep them in your prayers as well as the Valiquette family. Both have a pretty big job to do in Salerno.
I also would like to say thank you to the many people that made this trip possible. Whether you were involved financially, or through prayer, YOU made this happen. Without the support of our families and friends the Italy team would not have been able to serve the way we did. Missions isn’t possible without a vital support team. So thank you for all your support.
My trip to Salerno began and ended on completely different notes. As I stepped off the train into the city for the first time in over a year I was blown away with excitement! I had no idea how much I actually cared for Salerno. And as I began the long walk back to the train station with all my luggage at 6am, my heart was breaking. I have fallen in love with Salerno, Italy, I consider it a second home. That city is very special, though it might not look like much to everyone else. Over all the city seemed the same but if you looked closely, you could see the change. God is moving in Salerno and it’s becoming more and more evident. I cannot wait to return to Italy. Until then, arrivederci splendida Salerno!
I’ll leave you with some pictures and a nice Italian quote.
“Siate allegri come il sole, indomabili come il mare.”
(Be as happy as sunlight and untamable as the sea)