God is Moving!
We celebrated our inauguration on September 11th & 12th. It was quite the event! Almost our entire chruch was present and it was such a blessing to be with one another and serve alongside each other. The month before the event we distributed 1,000 invites and placed over 50 posters around town advertising our inauguration. Although we didn't get the turnout we had anticipated, it was obvious that God brought those He wanted there.
We started the event with an open house on Saturday afternoon with games in the park for the kids, information tables in the sanctuary, and appetizers in our cafe. Later that evening we hosted a worship concert and the sanctuary was packed. God's presence was tangible! After the concert we served desserts and coffee and had the opportunity to talk and pray with those that came. It was clear that God spoke to many hearts and He continues to draw people unto Himself.
Sunday morning we opened with breakfast, followed by worship and the message, and then had a picnic lunch altogether. God continued the work He had begun on Saturday. People were brought to tears during the service, realizing the goodness, grace, and love that Jesus has for them. Since that weekend, many have been added to our church on a weekly basis. We have at least one new family and quite a few other individuals who have started to come regularly. God is moving and it's awesome to see people experience the unconditional love of God. We are so blessed by these new believers and are thrilled to have them a part of our family in Christ.
We want to continue the momentum from this event. It's obvious that God is moving and we want to keep moving with Him. Thus, our focus in the next few months will be on discipleship and evangelism training. We want to make sure that we are prepared and equipped to share the gospel with those around us and able to clearly explain what Jesus did for us on the cross, why it matters, and what our response should be in return.
Evangelism and Outreach
In order to better equip our church to share the gospel with our community, we decided to do evangelism trainings once a month. We will give and share examples of how to share your faith, split into groups to practice with one another, and do occasional group work to make it more personal. Our goal isn't to follow a method or script, but rather to familiarize ourselves with the simple gospel, ensuring we know all of the main points and scriptures in support. We want our church to feel equipped to have conversations with people and be able to point them to the person and work of Christ. Once finished with the trainings, we want to continue with outreah and evangelism events as a church.
Our women's study has offically begun again. We will be reading though Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray for the first part of the season and will end with instruction on Inductive Bible Study, teaching the women how to study the Word of God. Our first meeting was on Monday, October 11th. There were 10 women who attended. It was just the introduction, so we spent the time going through the schedule, conveying the vision for the year, and praying for one another. It was a really sweet time. I'm excited to see how we will grow in our relationships one another and to see what God will do in and through us. I've already begun reading the book and it is powerful!
Koinonia (Fellowship Nights)
We have a very social, loving church family. Since the birth of COVID-19 we haven't really been able to do much as a church because of the social distancing and social gathering mandates. But our church missed being with one another on a regular basis. So, as a result, we decided to do a fellowship evening every second Saturday of the month. We don't have any strict agenda for how these evenings will go; however, it's almost a given that we will have some sort of music (worship, karaoke, etc.), lots of laughter, prayer, pizza (most likely) and coffee! We had our first koinonia on October 9th.
Since the summer, we have almost doubled the size of our youth group. We have four new teenage girls coming, one of which just accepted the Lord a couple of weeks ago! God is moving and using these kids and it is such a joy to see. Our youth have a desire to serve Christ and do so passionately. They serve in worship, sound, and children's ministry. They are an active part of our congregation and desire to not only encourage the body of Christ but to also bring others into the kingdom. I'm excited to see what God will do in and through them this school year.
We are continuing our youth girls' study through Radiant by Priscilla Shirer and have invited our new youth girls to join. It continues to be a fruitful time. We have addressed issues of identity, obedience, struggles, letting our light shine, creating good habits, spending time in the Word of God, learning to use the Word of God, and not being conformed to the world but rather transformed. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time together thus far and it has been a blessing getting to know these girls more and more. We have about 2 or 3 meetings left, so please be praying for guidance in choosing our next study/book.
Bible College Teachings
I once again have the privilege of teaching in Montebelluna at the Bible College for the Women's Discipleship Class. I taught this past week on Temptation vs Victory and will be teaching again next week on Hope vs Hopelessness, the same topics I taught in the Spring. This semester's students consists of six American girls, who I actually got to meet during our inauguration: they came up to Feltre to help serve at the event. I'm looking forward to being with them again and getting to know them a little more.
I restarted language school yesterday, studying Italian level B2 (after this comes C1 and then C2, which is the highest level I can achieve...easier said than done). I will attend class twice a week for a total of 6 hours a week of instruction. I'm definitely looking forward to being back in the classroom and improving upon my language skills. I'm absolutely progressing and able to interact quite a bit more, but I still have much to learn and skills to refine.
What's On My Calendar?
Women's Bible Study 7:00pm (twice a month)
Missionary Team Meeting 8:30am - 11:00am (at least twice a month)
Church Prayer 8:00pm (twice a month)
Italian Class 9:00am - 1:00pm
Worship Practice 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Church Service 7:00pm
Italian Class 9:00am - 11:00am
Sending Team Zoom Prayer Meeting 2nd Friday of every month at 5:00am
Youth Group 4:00pm - 8:00pm (1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month)
Church Koinonia (2nd Saturday of every month)
Sending Team Meeting 6:00pm - 7:30pm (4th Saturday of every month)
Worship Practice and Church 9:00am - 12:30pm
Youth Girls' Book Study (once a month - day and time varies each month)
Young Adults Fellowship Nights (varies)
Inauguration Event: God showed up in a big way. We have new faces, new families, and new youth kids. God touched many hearts and His presence was powerful. God is stirring and moving in the hearts of people.
Music Event: 5 evangelical churches in Northern Italy joined together for a worship event. We each played a 15 minute set and one pastor gave a message on John 4 (True worshipers and the woman at the well). It was a biblically sound message that definitely spoke to my heart. It was wonderful to see the unity amongst the church.
Driver's License: I took my driving exam last week (Wednesday) and PASSED!!! Which means I now officially have my Italian Driver's License! From start to finish it took me 10 months, but I am so grateful that I am finally done! Thank you to all who prayed for me during this past year: for God's favor, for a mind to learn, and for opportunities to share Christ. I had many opportunities to talk about the Lord during my driving lessons and one of my instructor's actually came to our inauguration. Please continue to pray for him and for his salvation!
Evangelism and Outreach: Landon and I had a meeting with a long-time missionary here in Italy to talk about outreach and evangelism opportunities. We will be doing evangelism training with our congregation once a month for the next few months and we've printed out business cards with a QR code that links to our website and salvation message (our version of a tract). We are excited to see what the Lord will do this upcoming year.
Language Acquisition: I started language classes again last week. This semester I will be doing level B2 (the levels are as follows: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2). So I am definitely progressing, but still have much to learn. Thanks for your continued prayers.
Calvary Chapel Feltre:
New Believers - We have at least 4 new believers in our church and new people continue to come on a weekly basis. Pray for protection from the enemy, for their growth in Christ, and for us to be equipped to come alongside of them and encourage and disciple them in their walk with the Lord.
Post Inauguration Event – Please continue to pray for all those who received invties, saw the posters, visited our website, and came to the event. Pray that the Lord would open their eyes to the truth and continue to draw souls unto Himself.
Outreach, invitation, relationships within our community. With our move into the city center, pray for our neighbors. Pray for open hearts, pray for opportunities to minister and reach out, pray for new people to come, and pray for ideas in how to reach and minister to our community.
Evangelism Trainings: We will be starting evangelism trainings in the near future. Pray for God’s leading, equipping, and direction as we seek to share Christ with our community.
Tutoring Center – We are beginning to investigate how to go about opening a tutoring center at the church, how to organize it, how to advertise, and how to facilitate it. Pray for God’s will and direction as I will be heading it up.
Pray for our upcoming year as youth group, women’s bible study, koinonias and our young adults’ group are starting up again. Pray for the leaders to have fresh vision and passion for their ministries and the ability to convey that vision to those serving alongside of them. Pray for unity within each ministry, and for the furtherance of the gospel and the raising up of disciples.
The new church building. Please continue to pray for financial provision as we still need to pay for the remaining work and then eventually pay off our loan. Pray for the salvation of all of the workers we encountered and shared the gospel with these past couple of years. Pray that they would bring their families to church.
Possible VBS Mission Trip next summer (2022). Pray for vision, organization, direction, and that God would make it clear who is to come and what we are to do:
VBS (one solely in Italian and one with an English component)???
Other Evangelism Outreaches???
Personal Requests for Jenna:
My mom is coming to visit me November 9th - December 14th. Pray that the Lord would keep the way open for her to come. Pray for her travels, favor as she crosses boarders, her physical sustainment, and for her to have a blessed time while here. I'm so looking forward to having her with me!
Bible College Teachings: I will be teaching October 21st and 28th at the Bible College. Please pray for the leading of the Spirit, the ability to communicate clearly what the Lord has, and open hearts to receive what God wants to speak.
Please continue to pray for my language acquisition, a mind to learn, the motivation to study, and the ability to understand and communicate clearly (especially when it comes to spiritual topics). I will be starting language classes again next week.
Financial Provision: God continues to faithfully provide, but I don't want to cease to ask. He knows my need better than I do and I want to continually recognize that all I have comes from Him.
As always, thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement! Know that God is working, that He is faithful to answer prayers, and that His love never ends. Keep pressing on for the sake of Christ and for the furtherance of the gospel!
'Till the whole world hears...