• Jenna Wirshing

One Year Anniversary

Hey everyone! It's crazy to believe, but today, September 12th, marks one year that I've been in Italy. What an amazing year it has been; my heart is truly full. It has been a year of learning, building new relationships, and trying new things. I am beyond grateful for all of your support, your prayers, and your constant encouragement during this year of transition. Thank you!


Since my one year anniversary is right around the corner, my visa is also set to expire. I mailed in my renewal application a few weeks ago and have my appointment with the immigration office on October 26th. I'm hoping to get a renewal that will last for the next two years. Please pray that all goes well with that.


SUMMER CAMP

Despite the craziness of this past year with the pandemic and the quarantine, we were still able to take our youth kids to summer camp. Six of the Calvary Chapels were represented (Montebelluna, Feltre, Treviso, and 3 churches from Rome). We had 29 kids and 10 youth leaders (I was so blessed by the leaders, what a phenomenal group of people who truly love Jesus and love the kids they serve). Two of the moms cooked every meal for us, so we had homemade Italian food every day! On top of that, we had various people from the churches in Montebelluna and Feltre come each day to help serve; it was beautiful to see the body of Christ come together. Even though we came from 6 different churches, there was such unity.


The theme for the camp was Seguimi (Follow Me). We had separate sessions for middle school and high school every morning and every evening. We also separated boys and girls for two of the evening sessions and I had the opportunity to share little bit of my testimony one of those nights.

We saw the Lord do some amazing things in the lives of our youth. We had a few kids accept the Lord, others confessed sin, and a group of about 6 young men stood up for prayer because they felt the call of God on their lives but felt incapable or unqualified. Lots of prayer, teachings, good conversations, games, laughter, and fellowship, took place during that week. It was an absolute blast! Also, my Italian is continually improving, so I was able to interact and communicate with the kids more and more, which definitely made the camp more fun for me! I was able to have some deep conversations with a few of the youth regarding topics that dealt with evangelism, atheism, overcoming sin, what to do when we don't feel the presence of God, how to reconcile friendships, etc. I loved it!


Below is a set of three pictures from summer camp. The first is at our afterglow campfire, the second is during our volleyball tournament, and the last is during one morning session. Click on the arrow on the right side of the picture to see the others.

Below is the schedule for a typical day at camp.

We were there from July 5th - 11th


8:00 - Sveglia (Wake Up)

8:00 - Apparecchiare, Sparecchiare, Pulire i tavoli (Set up, clear off, and clean the tables - Dining Room Duty)

8:30 - Colazione (Breakfast)

9:30 - Tempo personale - Salmo 16 (Personal Devotional Time - Psalm 16)

9:45 - Lode (Worship)

10:00 - Studio Biblico. Media: Adam, Superiore: Michelangelo (Bible Study - Middle School: Adam, High School: Michelangelo - That changed on a daily basis)

11:00 - Pulizie (Cleaning - we had an hour set aside each day to disinfect & clean the bathrooms, bedrooms, common areas, etc. due to the new regulations with COVID-19)

12:00 - Apparecchiare,Sparecchiare, Pulire i tavoli, Lavare i piatti (Set up, clear off, and clean the tables - Dining Room Duty)

12:30 - Pranzo (Lunch)

14:00 - Riposo (Time of rest)

14:30 - Gioco (Group Game - outdoor sport that all campers and leaders participated in)

16:00 - Tempo Libero (Merenda) (Free time - Snack)

18:00 - Doccia (Cellulare) (Shower - Cell phone time - the kids were not allowed to have phones except for an hour each day)

18:30 - Apparecchiare, Sparecchiare, Pulire i tavoli (Set up, clear off, and clean the tables - Dining Room Duty)

19:00 - Cena (Dinner)

20:00 - Studio Biblico. Media: Adam, Superiore: Tyler (Bible Study - Middle School: Adam, High School: Tyler - This also changed on a daily basis)

20:45 - Lode/preghiera (Worship/Prayer - afterglow type setting)

21:15 - Gioco (Merenda) (Game - Snack)

22:45 - In Camera (In rooms)

23:00 - Luci Spente (Lights out)


CHURCH BAPTISM

One week after camp our church held a baptism down at the river. Three of our youth boys were baptized. It was unplanned but totally a work of the Holy Spirit. One of our young men had talked to his parents Saturday night upon returning from camp and told them that he wanted to be baptized. They didn't say anything to Pastor Landon, but the next day Landon was teaching from the book of Acts on a passage that mentioned baptism. From the pulpit, without having previously written it in his notes, he gave an invitation to the church saying that if anyone hadn't been baptized and wanted to be to let him know. The next Sunday, the whole church gathered together at the river for a picnic and a baptism! Many people from the church in Montebelluna also drove up to show their support of these young men. It was such a wonderful afternoon of fun, laughter, celebration, and fellowship!


I made a video of the baptism and posted it back in July. If you didn't get a chance to see it, you can click on my YouTube channel link in the top right hand corner of my website, or check out my previous update titled Church Baptism



NEW CAR!!!! (At least new to me)

I finally have a car!!!!! I purchased it for 1,650€ in mid-July from a local car dealership here in Feltre. It is a 2002 Ford Fiesta, manual transmission, diesel, with 172,000 km, in great condition. It has made a huge difference in regards to ministry, relationships, shopping, serving, etc. I've been able to pick up youth kids for events, help friends move, spend time with families who live further away, and go on adventures with friends from school. I am super blessed by this little vehicle!



YOUTH GROUP

Youth group took a break during the month of August. Almost all of our youth kids went on vacation for multiple weeks during the month, so we suspended our Bible Studies until September. However, on Saturday, August 29th we spent the whole day together (kids and youth leaders). To kick off the event, I had a sleepover Friday night with our two youth girls. We played games, spent some time in worship, and ate Kebabs. We left early Saturday morning and headed over to Massimiliano's house (a member of our church) for an American style breakfast. We had pancakes, french toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and American coffee. We played some group games, recited memory verses, had a time of worship, and then drove altogether to a fun center about an hour away. Oh, and we made a pit-stop at McDonald's, which is quite the treat here in Italy! We played arcade games, went bowling, played FootBowl, and experienced a 10D motion theater. We had a blast hanging and laughing with the kids!


CHURCH BUILDING UPDATE

Progress is being made on the new church building and it is so exciting! The roof is done, the new stairs have been constructed, the framework for the plumbing and electrical is done, the bathroom walls are built, and the bones of the hallway have been placed. A few of our guys have been working extra hard on the building as well. We've had a few work days at the church, which have been a blessing to be a part of. Below are some pictures from those days.


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22:36-40


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son... ~John 3:16


People matter. In fact, they matter so much that the Creator of this universe chose to step down into humanity and bear a punishment that He didn't deserve so that we could obtain a righteousness we never earned. God demonstrates the value He has placed on each life and we are called to exhibit that same estimation of others by loving them the way we love ourselves.


This is my desire, this is my heart. I love people, I love being with people, I love doing life with people. This has been a year full of new relationships and friendships; a year of meeting new people, of being introduced to their way of life, a year of exploring and learning new things together, and a year of growing in Christ with one another.


Below are some pictures from a few of my adventures from this summer.

1) Moving from left to right, the first is a picture was taken on a hike with a few of the women that live nearby.

2) The second includes of few of my friends that I met at language class.

3) The third is from our Women's Night Out with the church (we went for some gelato and explored a nearby city).

4) The fourth was taken at Luna's 2nd birthday party (Luna is Tessa & Luis' daughter).

5) The fifth picture is from our 4th of July "Americans in Feltre" get-together. One of the guys I met in my civil training class back in November is from New York. He and his wife moved here last year but he works remotely as a journalist. During the quarantine he wrote an article about life in Feltre in the midst of the pandemic. A few other Americans that live in the surrounding cities found the article and reached out. So he organized a 4th of July BBQ that brought us all together. We plan to meet up every few months or so to continue the relationships we've built.

6) The sixth is from a dinner with some of the women from our church

7) The seventh is from my first trip to the beach here in Italy

8) The last picture was taken at a nearby castle about 30 minutes from my home

What's On My Calendar?

Monday

Women's Bible Study every 1st and 3rd Monday night


Tuesday

Missionary Meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday morning

Church Prayer every 2nd and 4th Tuesday night


Thursday

Worship Practice @6:00pm

Church @7:00pm


Saturday

Youth Group every 1st and 3rd Saturday evening


Sunday

Worship Practice @9:15

Church @10:30

PRAISE REPORTS

Youth Summer Camp! Pray for unity as a leadership team, for the kids to have open and receptive hearts, for lasting friendships to be built in Christ, for decisions to be made to follow Christ with their whole heart

  • Summer camp was a huge success! The leadership team was phenomenal: it was such a joy to serve alongside each and every one of them and get to know them more. The kids were great! Many of them did respond to the Lord and choose to follow Him deeper. Thank you for your prayers!

More opportunities to interact with people in the city, community, and my neighborhood. Pray for wisdom as to how to go about that, what to involve myself with, and for boldness to meet new people.

  • I had the privilege of going hiking with a few women that live close by, relationships with my neighbors are slowly but surely progressing, and I was able to go on a few excursions this summer with some of the people from the comunita and my language school.

A smooth process in getting my health card

  • I was originally going to purchase public healthcare, but decided to go instead with private health insurance, which ended up saving me over $1,500 for the year, so thank you for your prayers!

Wisdom in purchasing a car. I'm hoping to do so in the next few weeks. I've already begun the process of actively looking, but don't want to rush the decision. Pray for the right vehicle and opportunities to share the gospel with those I come into contact with as a result.

  • I finally have a car! Thank you for your prayers. The salesman who sold me the vehicle was great! The whole process took a little over a week and, even though all conversations took place in Italian, each time I went back he had learned a few more phrases in English. It was very thoughtful. Being an American led to questions of why I was living in Italy, so I was able to share with him a little bit about the Lord and the ministry here in Feltre.

Permesso Renewal. My Permesso (visa) expires in early September. I will be reapplying sometime in July/August.

  • I sent in my application and have my appointment with the immigration office on October 26th

PRAYER REQUESTS

  • My Permesso renewal appointment is October 26th. I'm asking for a two-year visa, so please pray for favor with the immigration office

  • Kids return to school on Monday, 9/14/20. Pray for their health, for their endurance and resilience with the new COVID-19 regulations, and for parents as they attempt to navigate the new schedules and expectations.

  • Pray for the youth: for their walk with the Lord to remain strong as they return to school, for them to be light in the darkness of public school, and for them to grow in grace and truth.

  • Pray for wisdom for the youth leaders and the Holy Spirit’s filling and guidance on how to counsel, teach, plan events and come alongside these young people to help them grow in the Lord!

  • Tessa and Luis just had their second child, Benjamin. They are in the process of moving into a new apartment and purchasing a new vehicle as well. Pray for endurance physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for them in this new season.

  • Rachel, Pastor Landon's wife, is pregnant with their third child! Rachel has terrible nausea, so please pray for physical relief and for their family during this transition

  • More opportunities to interact with people in the city, community, and my neighborhood. Pray for wisdom as to how to go about that, what to involve myself with, and for boldness to meet new people.

  • The new church building project. Pray for wisdom for those selected to do the renovations quickly and effectively and for opportunities to share the love of Christ and the gospel with them.

  • Financial provision for the new building project. God has already provided for the full cost of the building, all that's left now is renovation costs.

  • My language acquisition, a mind to learn and memorize, and stamina and diligence to study Italian daily - Language classes should begin again sometime this month

  • Continued unity and vision as a missionary team (Landon, Rachel, and myself)

  • Revival in Italy

  • Salvation for the people of Feltre and Pedavena and boldness for us believers to share the gospel

  • Unity within the body of Christ here in Feltre and continued discipleship, raising up, and equipping of the saints for ministry

  • Financial provision. I've seen the Lord provide abundantly and faithfully each month already, but I want to be faithful to continue to ask and believe that He will move and stir in the hearts of people to help make the work that I'm doing in Italy financially possible


As always, thank you so very much for your continued support, prayers, and encouragement. Can't wait to share with you all what the Lord will do this upcoming year!

Love in Christ,

Jenna


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