Greetings from scorching hot Padova! From what we've been reading, this is the norm in many places all over the world right now. I arrived back to Italy last week and as soon as we stepped outside of Venice airport, we were greeted with a blast of humidity. Quite a difference from the beautiful weather in San Diego!!! Despite the weather, it is good to be back in Italy.
It was pure joy to see everyone while we were away. Meeting our two grandsons was awesome and seeing our little princess was wonderful. Marla graduated college and is now working 3 jobs part time-she's a trooper-we are very proud of her!! Rosalyn and Christina are doing well and it's fun to watch them be Mommys now. We're thankful for all of them! It was good seeing and hanging out with our family after such a long time-everyone is growing up, graduating, having babies-it's fun to see! It was a special treat to be able to there for Mother's Day and Father's Day too.
We were truly blessed on our trip-being able to go to VA to spend time with Doug and Rose and tour DC. We had the opportunity to meet the church body there and meet some really neat people. We thank them for a fantastic trip!
Also, we spent some time in Modesto which was a very special time for both of us. It is always a joy to see friends and see the faces of those who faithfully pray for us and of course to meet new people too. We were able to spend some time visiting at CC Santa Barbara too. Not enough time, but we cherish the time we did have there. Of course being at CC Vista is always a treat...home sweet home and a place of refuge and refreshment.
It was nice to come back to some good news here-the couple many of you have been praying for, Greg and Alice, have found a flat to move into in Padova. They are to sign the contract next Sunday. This is a HUGE answer to prayer!! We have been praying alongside of them for them to be in Padova. It is going to be wonderful having them here to minister with, pray with and fellowship with. I have really had a difficult three years not having any women around that I can hang out with here on a regular basis. It was really a drought in my life that was getting unbearable. Praising God that He has answered this prayer! They both have the hearts of evangelists and desire to reach out to the university students.
While we were in the states Jim was able to meet with an attorney and get all the paperwork completed for his Italian Citizenship. Everything went well at the Consulate Office and we are waiting for his Italian Birth Certificate which will allow him to get his Italian Passport. I will have to do my paperwork from here but at least it can be done!
We are praying to rent a building closer to town soon. Where we are located is not very convenient to the city center. The bus schedule isn't very good on Sundays and it isn't near the train station. We spend a lot of time Sunday mornings before and after church shuttling people to and from the station to church. It would be much better to have a place close to the city where people can get to the church easier. Right now we use the Community Building and don't have to pay for it. They are probably going to start charging soon so it would be better to move somewhere else since we would have to pay anyway. Please pray that God would provide the funds for this. We aren't looking for something huge, but something with visibility and convenience. Some places we looked at are about 1200.00 per month.
Jim's been asked to play a couple of concerts this summer. Lino, the guy who manages the park here in Padova, has asked him several times to play-he will even give him a band to play with. Jim's been meeting with him weekly since coming back and it's neat to see a friendship develop between them. He is also going to Hungary and Serbia in August to play a couple of concerts.
As some of you know, I had to extend my stay in the states a couple of weeks. My back pain was getting to the point where I was having a lot of trouble standing up after a period of time. Thanks to a friend, I was able to go see a great Orthopedic Doctor. After viewing my X-rays, he gave me the news about my back. In 2007, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, being told my bones were like an 82 yr old-so I knew already that my back was bad. The X-rays showed that my bottom disc is gone so bone is rubbing on bone causing major pain. The nerve roots are also being squished which will eventually cause the pain to shoot down my legs. The upper part of my back is also showing signs of degenerative discs and bone starting to show through. I also have severe arthritis in upper and lower back. So......now you know how to pray for me. I have to take it easy, surgery is pretty likely unless God chooses to heal everything or just make the pain bearable. Obviously I am not going to just sit around-things need to be done, so I am going to look into different exercises that might help and also seeing about the possibility of joining one of the places around town that has a heated pool so I can swim.
Well, that about sums up the last couple of months. Please keep us and Padova in your prayers. We always appreciate it and love hearing from you when you have time to write.
Jim and Margie
Things to be praying for:
Greg and Alice's move
Alice and Bethany's pregnancies....Bethany is due in August, Alice in September
Greg's work to give him a contract -he needs this for insurance purposes, etc
Funding for a new church building
Air conditioning in our car broke-I know it's materialistic, but we still ask :)
Vision and direction for reaching the people in Padova
My meeting with the ladies in Vicenza-being able to reach out to the US Military wives at the base there
Continued filling of the Holy Spirit
God's wisdom, guidance and strength with our church body
Saved lives in Padova