So much has transpired since my last update. Spring was a very busy and demanding season, but quite fruitful as well. It was filled with tutoring, church construction days, studying for my driver's permit test, Youth Group, Bible studies, new babies, and other ministry. God answered lots of prayer and proved Himself so very faithful!
Pictured below is a snapshot from one of my days in the spring. I was working on a PowerPoint for youth group, tutoring one of my youth kids in math over the phone, and studying for my driver's permit test.
I took my driver's permit test on May 13th and passed! I had been studying day and night, taking every free moment I had to do practice tests, read the driver's permit book (280 pages all in Italian...although it did have pictures!), and prepare myself for that exam. Passing that test took such a weight off of my shoulders, so thank you so much for your prayers! Now onto driving lessons and then my driving test. I should hopefully have my Italian driver's license by November if not sooner!
Spring also blessed us with a new addition to our church family: little Lucy Rose Rogers! Lucy (Landon and Rachel's third child) was born on April 15th and she is just the cutest little bundle of joy. She is such a good little baby with the biggest smile! Thank you to all who prayed for the Rogers and little Lucy! Both momma and baby are strong and healthy!
New Church Building
Many days and weekends were spent at the new church building painting, spackling, cleaning, and preparing for our move. I for one had an absolute blast! Our church construction days allowed for unexpected times of fellowship and laughter. I loved the physical labor and loved seeing the building transform. We were able to move into the building at the end of May and had our first Sunday service on May 30th. Ironically enough, I missed it: I had already boarded a plane bound for the USA.
Since our move, we've had quite a few new people come. People from the community, friends, coworkers, family members, and visitors. God is moving and stirring in our city, and we are so excited for what lies ahead. We still have quite a bit of work left to do on the building, but it's coming along. We are waiting upon one of the craftsmen to finish the outside of the building, the gutters, and the courtyard. We ourselves will be finishing with the baseboards, signage, and other details on the inside. If you would like to be involved in what God is doing, you can do so in two ways. First, please pray! God is opening up the door for ministry into our city and we want to see souls saved! Secondly, you can partner with us financially. Click here for information on how to donate towards the ministry at CC Feltre.
I spent a total of about 5 weeks in the USA. Each day was filled with activity, but it was such a blessing to be with family, friends, and church family. I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the CCRS women's retreat up at Tahoe, sharing a brief update with the church before Sunday services, and hosting a meet and greet at CCRS. Being able to share with the church body what the Lord is doing in Feltre was such a blessing. The video that I made for the Sunday service can be found on my YouTube channel or by clicking here. If you missed the service and would like to hear what I shared, you can view it here (it starts around the 22 minute mark). The PowerPoint from the meet and greet can be found below.
While in the States, I was also able to attend my brother's high school graduation as well as my cousin's wedding in St. Louis (the first of the cousins to get married) and was then able to spend some days up at Tahoe with my dad, stepmom, and brothers for our annual family vacation. Below are a few photos from my trip.
A week after I returned to Italy, I headed off to youth summer camp. Calvary Chapel Montebelluna ran two weeks of summer camps for the surrounding Calvary Chapels in Italy. The first week was for elementary students, ages 6-11. The second week was for youth, ages 12-19. I went as a leader for the second week with our youth. The theme was "Servo" or Servant in English. We had 37 youth kids represented from all over Italy. These camps are some of my favorite weeks of the year. I love being with the kids, serving with these leaders, and watching God speak to and move in the hearts of the youth.
My Italian is continuing to improve as the months pass (though I still have so much to learn), which definitely makes leading and counseling that much easier. Being able to speak Italian and encourage these youth in Christ and in the Word is such a blessing. It is a privilege praying for and with kids, watching them choose Jesus, watching them be broken over their sin, and watching them ask to be filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the group of youth leaders at this camp was phenomenal. They love Jesus, they lead with such humility and confidence, and they seek Jesus in all things. Serving with them was a great joy. Below you will find videos of both the kids' camp and youth camp (made by Alyssa, the youth pastor's wife from Montebelluna).
Kids' Summer Camp
Youth Summer Camp
In July we had our first young adults' hangout. It isn't a formal ministry, but rather just a group of young adults from our church that want to spend more intentional time together to seek Jesus, build friendships, and make time for fun and laughter. Our first night together consisted of games, worship, and pizza. I'm definitely looking forward to our next one!
On September 11th and 12th we will be hosting our inauguration event at our new church building. We will kick off the weekend with an open house followed by a worship concert to close out the evening. Sunday morning will begin with breakfast, followed by an evangelistic service. Afterward we will share a picnic lunch in the park and host games for kids and teens. We are hoping to use the event to connect with our new neighbors, meet city officials, and reach out to our community to show them the love and hope of Christ. In preparation for the event, we had 1,000 invites made to hand out to those in our city, to our neighbors, coworkers, and family members. Furthermore, we put out an advertisement in the local Feltre magazine and printed 50 posters to hang up at local cafes and community centers. We are praying that the Lord brings many out for the event, but more importantly, that many would be saved and come to know the amazing grace, freedom, joy, and unconditional love that's only found in Christ. We would love it if you joined us in praying for our city and for this event!
The weekend after, we will be joining four other churches for a music/worship outreach. Each worship team, including ours, will play a 15 minute worship set. We've already begun practicing for the event and are super excited to see what the Lord will do. We will have a full band (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and 4 vocalists).
Pictured below are photos of the invites, poster, and the city of Feltre.
What Lies Ahead?
August is a vacation month for Italy. Most businesses shut down for multiple weeks and many go on vacation. As a result, many of our ministries take a break. Thus, come fall, youth group, women's bible study, youth girls' study and Italian language school will recommence. We are also hoping to continue building relationships within our community, especially after our inauguration event, and being intentional about sharing the gospel. So we ask you to please pray for wisdom and direction this upcoming year as we look for new opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this place. We are entering into a new season and we definitely see the Lord working and doing a new thing.
What has God been showing me?
"Genesis 43:10 "If we hadn't wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now." Judah said this to his father, Jacob, while trying to convince him to let them take Benjamin and return to Egypt to buy grain. Jacob had refused to let him go, so they had remained in Canaan until the grain they had previously brought back from Egypt was almost gone. We aren't told how much time had passed, only that they could have gone and returned home twice in the time of Jacob's indecisiveness. Judah viewed this period of waiting around as wasted time.
What was the cause of this lingering and inactivity? Fear. Jacob's fear paralyzed him. It prevented him from moving, from taking action, from progressing, and from growing (their food source was being depleted apart from replenishment). His fear resulted in wasted time. Don't allow fear to keep you from obeying the Lord. Don't let fear rob you of time, time that could be used for the furtherance of the kingdom, for growing in Christ, building up your storehouses, and increasing in spiritual health. Don't waste time. Even if you are in a season of waiting, that time doesn't need to be wasted. Identify those things in your life that are causing you to waste time and lay them before the Lord."
I wrote the above entry in my waiting journal and upon reflection, God continued to speak to me about this idea of wasted time. Since most activity comes to a halt in August, things are pretty quiet. There isn't a lot "to do" during this time ( no youth group, no women's bible study, no Thursday evening service, many are out of town, etc.), but I realized that I can be active even in times of rest. I can use this time to read, study Italian, learn about the Italian and Catholic culture, prep for future book and bible studies, and spend time at Christ's feet. I don't want to be wasteful with the time that the Lord has given me. It doesn't mean that I need to be busy, but I do want to be intentional.
WHAT'S ON MY CALENDAR???
August 27th - Beach Day with the youth group
August 28th - Sending Team Meeting
August 29th - Church event to pass out invites to all in our city
September 4th - Pass out remaining invites
September 4th - Youth Group starts again
September 11th & 12th - Inauguration Event
Septebmer 18th - Music/Worship Outreach
Lots of new people at church: unbelievers, believers who have walked away, believers who have been without a church, people from the community, coworkers, etc.
The new church building is coming along. We still have some details to finish up, but we’ve been in our new building since May 30th.
The Calvary Chapel Conference in Italy back in May was a blessing and a wonderful time of refreshment. New relationships were built and old ones were strengthened.
My trip back to America was such a blessing! Thank you for such a warm welcome back!
My flights home were easy, no hiccups, no issue with COVID at all! Thanks for the prayers!
The kids' and youth camps were a tremendous blessing. Many kids left with a deeper understanding of the gospel, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. Many prayed to be baptized in the Spirit and left with a desire to follow and serve Jesus.
Calvary Chapel Feltre:
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.
Inauguration Event – Pray that many would come out, that God would provide abundantly, that He would give us wisdom in how to organize for the event and that we would be unified. Pray that souls would be saved and many would be brought into the kingdom.
Music Outreach – On September 18th we will be joining with 4 other churches from the area to do a music/worship outreach. Pray for unity within the body of Christ, pray that God would bring people out to hear the gospel, and pray for salvation
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 ministry to 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 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 the upcoming ministry meetings, for unity within each ministry, and for the furtherance of the gospel and the raising up of disciples to take place in each ministry. Leaders: Landon, Rachel, Jenna, Thamara, Rafaela, Luis, Vito, and Daniele.
Pray for our upcoming year as youth group, women’s bible study, and our young adults group start up again in September
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:
Driving Lessons and License: I will be starting driving lessons this week and am hoping to get my license soon
Evangelism and Outreach Ministry. Pray for wisdom and direction for this upcoming year, for fresh vision and new ideas, and for salvation for the people of Feltre.
More opportunities to interact with people in the city, community, and my neighborhood (especially my neighbors). Pray for wisdom as to how to go about that, what to involve myself with, and for boldness to meet new people (it’s still intimidating with my level of language proficiency).
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 in the fall.
As always, I cannot thank you all enough for your prayers, encouragement, and support. God is working, even when we don't see it! God bless you all!
Until the whole world hears...