November 17 Prayer Requests

As you may or may not know, 17 is one of my favorite numbers because my birthday is on the 17th of April. That’s why I chose the 17th of each month to be my prayer update day. BUT yesterday, November 16th, is a very special day as well. It’s my REbirthday! I turned 19 years old in Jesus yesterday, and I’m so grateful for the growth that He continues to develop in me year after year.

Here are some ways you can be praying this month:

  • This weekend our team is taking a retreat near Lake Trasimeno in Umbria! We’ll be discussing team dynamics, our individual strengths, and how we work together. Please be praying that this will be a fruitful time of getting to know one another better, hearing from the Lord, and resting in the beauty of His creation.
  • My roommate/teammate Esther and I have joyfully begun to use our apartment for hospitality and ministry and we are so excited to see how God is going to use this. We’ve already hosted 2 nights of prayer and worship and we’re planning to organize our schedule to do them regularly, probably every other week. Pray that this initiative will be all about glorifying Christ, being sensitive to the Spirit, and hearing from the Father. We’re expectant that the Lord is going to do something big in and through His Body here in Rome!
  • I feel very strongly about the need for discipleship for new believers, so I am working on finding a few girls from church to meet with regularly for prayer, study, and growth together. Please pray that the Lord will direct me to the right relationships and that faith and obedience will flourish.

Thank you for praying with me last month! Here are some updates on past requests:

  • The Radiant Treasures Alliance (ATR) conference for anti-trafficking on October 29th in Bologna went beautifully! It was a wonderful day of collaboration and celebration of what the Lord has done and is continuing to do. Please continue to pray for the growth of our ministry Slavery No More, for more opportunities through new partnership, and for eyes to be opened and hearts to be softened.
  • Our church event with the local Muslim community went well. It was an interesting debate and presentation of ideas that gave a good occasion for discussions. Please pray for more opportunities for events like this in the future.
  • Esther has been doing great with her transition, is fully embracing language, and has jumped into all kinds of ministries and responsibilities. We’re really grateful for her! And our newest teammate, Josh, just arrived last week! He’s dealt with hardly any culture stress (praise the Lord!) and is already getting plugged in to life in Rome. Please pray that he’s able to find a more permanent place to live with good roommates soon! And keep praying for Lauren K as she continues support raising. We’re ready for her to get here too!
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Josh, Esther, Lauren D, and Heather

September 17 Prayer Requests

What a month it has been! God continues to provide beautifully for everything that I need. I arrived in Rome safely on the morning of September 9th with all of my luggage (praise the Lord!), had a bit of a rough few days getting over jet lag, but every day feels more like Home Sweet Rome.
This month’s requests:
  • Pray for continued adjustment in this time of transition as I ease back into life and ministry here in Roma. Pray for encouragement when transition is hard, for trust in the Lord’s plans, and for reminders of the call and the vision and the passions He has given me.
  • Pray for my apartment search! I am looking for a suitable place to settle into and call home. I’m hoping to find something by the time our intern Esther gets here in a couple weeks because we will be living together.
  • Pray for health in all areas (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).
  • Pray for sweet time spent with Jesus and that I would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading as I step back into old roles and take on new roles in ministry.
Thank you for your dedication to supporting me and the work that God is doing through the Rome City Team with your fervent prayers! He hears you! And He is doing big things!

Peace in the Whirlwind

Deep breaths. *inhale* And let it out. *exhale* Ok, let’s begin.

Can I tell you how crazy the past few weeks have felt? If you know me very well at all, you will know that my Myers-Briggs type might as well be written with only one capital letter: inFp. I identify pretty clearly with most of the descriptors of this type, but more than any other aspect, I am absolutely a Feeler. I think with my heart, I am concerned about the way that my decisions will affect other people, I deeply desire harmony, and I process a LOT of emotions.

A few weeks ago, my team leaders told me that they wanted me to shoot to arrive in Rome at the beginning of September. Whoa! I am so excited to be getting back to life and ministry and all my dear people in Italy, but this was a sooner departure date than I had anticipated, and not going to lie, I freaked out a little bit.

I started mentally processing what transition back to Rome will look like, leaving my family and the dear community that I have formed here in my passport country. The States are home, but Rome is home too. Movement is such a strange feeling now, because I’m always going to people I love and leaving people I love at the same time.

We started getting things in order for this planned departure date of September 8th, and I started to calm down. By the first week of August, I had all my support necessary to fund my budget for two more years of serving on the Rome City Team! Cue all of the emotions about being fully funded! Then last Wednesday, I bought my plane ticket! Celebrations!

Then just this weekend, I was finally getting everything in hand to apply for my visa. But Sunday night when I went to set an appointment at the consulate, the whole month of August was red – NO APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE for the the rest of the month. I immediately prayed, “Lord, please present a solution. I don’t even know what to ask You to do, but please work something out!”

So here’s where we stand right now: Either the consulate will work with me somehow, I will be able to apply for my visa SOON, and I will continue with my plans to fly out on September 8th, OR I will go for a visa appointment on September 6th, I will pay the fee to change my flight, and I will depart toward the end of September. There is not a lot that I can do about it either way, and worrying is not going to help in the slightest.

So I am going to trust in the Lord’s timing. His peace that passes understanding has been SO comforting the last couple of days. Even when it feels like my emotions are riding a roller coaster, He will continue to be faithful.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
– Psalm 91:1-4 (ESV)

July 17 Prayer Requests

Over the past couple of weeks, my heart has been so heavy with the burdens of the world. The whole earth is aching. I know you feel it too. Please, just be remembering to pray for those that are hurting because of loss, terror, persecution, and all the attacks of the enemy. But also, do not let the enemy steal your joy or cause you to live in fear. Our God is so much bigger!

As I begin to make preparations for returning to Rome in a couple of months, I am starting to process what transition will look like and all the goodbyes I will have to make. I have developed such a strong community over the past year that I have been in the States, and with the tremendous blessing of this treasured community there will be a strong sense of loss when I leave. It is a beautiful thing to have people that you love in so many places all over the globe, but it makes all departures bittersweet. I will have to start these goodbyes already in the next couple weeks when my friend Kellie moves to Florida to work with the Jesus Film Project. Pray for her as she needs to raise the remainder of her support before leaving at the beginning of August.

And speaking of support… I am nearly 97% funded! That means that I have less than $200/month left to raise! Please, continue to pray with me that the rest of this support will come in within the next couple of weeks so that I can purchase my plane ticket and begin preparing my paperwork to apply for my visa.

And pray for these friends!

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Josh, Esther, and Lauren attended their final training this past week in Minneapolis. Pray for their continued effort in building their community of partners in ministry to support and encourage them as they prepare to join our team this fall.

Let us draw near to the Father’s heart, let us listen to the leading of the Spirit, and let us walk with Jesus, shining the light of His presence into the world around us.

June 17 Prayer Requests

It’s the 17th of the month again. Thank you for joining me today in prayer.

I’d like to start by sharing a PRAISE! My budget is now 90% funded! I have only $430/month left to raise! God has been so faithful to bring partners in ministry around me who are so generous and encouraging. I am so so grateful.

Please be praying that this last remainder of support will come in quickly and that I will have a sense of urgency and perseverance until this phase is completed. A September departure date is totally feasible and I’m trusting that the Lord is going to make it happen.

Please be praying for the dynamics of ministry in Rome during the summer. It can be difficult to make things happen because so many people are traveling. Pray for our team leader, Sarah, who is facilitating a Bible conversation English class in June and July. Lauren will also be helping with a week long English outreach the first week of July. Pray that they will have a good turn out for these events and that the Lord would prepare students’ hearts to hear truth.

Please be praying for our future interns and for me as we continue in support raising and preparations for fall departures. Pray that we make good use of our time and that we are intentional about investing time in people and enjoying every minute we can with friends and family before leaving for Rome.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
-Matthew 6:31-34 (ESV)

May 17 Prayer Requests

As I mentioned last month, I’d like to be involving others more frequently in request for prayer for myself, for the Rome City Team, for our ministries there, for Italy, and for Europe in general.

This month, I’ve been in touch with our current intern (already in Rome) as well as three more future interns who are hoping to arrive this fall. As we’ve begun to be more frequently in touch, it’s our hope that the Lord will begin to knit us together in unity and prepare us to be working together in Rome.

For our intern already in Rome, please pray for her process of transitions and ongoing language learning.

For our future interns, please pray for their training and readiness activities, as well as the process of raising support and developing a ministry team to encourage and surround them in prayer.

For the Rome City Team as a whole, please pray that our hearts are drawn ever-closer to the heart of our Savior so that, through resting in Him, we might gain clarity and wisdom for what He is calling us to do.

Would you spend some time in prayer today for these requests, for the ministries being carried out in Rome, and for the hearts of people who we will interact with to begin to be softened toward the Good News? Thank you for joining us!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
-Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

 

25/25/25

I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. For a good chunk of February I was actually pretty discouraged with the (lack of) progress I have been making in getting back to Rome. Through lots of prayer and talks with friends and colleagues, I’m feeling much more encouraged and I’m leaning on the Lord’s timing and plan. I’ve also had lots of new ideas, and with this new month, I want to mix things up a bit…

25/25/25

Introducing the 25/25/25 campaign! In the first 25 days of March, I want to try to get 25 new partners to come on board my ministry support team for at least $25 per month. Right now, my budget is almost 63% funded. If we are able to get these 25 new partnership commitments, my budget will be over 75% funded and I will be that much closer to returning to the Rome City Team. (It’s also my last full month of being 25, so it feels like an apt farewell to a pretty great year!)

Would you consider being one of the 25? Here’s how you can sign up:

ONLINE
Go to the giving form: https://www.efca.org/give
Click “Give Now”
In the amount box, type “25.00”
In the Designation – Other box, type “Creamer #1488”
In the comments box, type “Process this gift monthly”
Fill out the Billing and Payment information
Click “Donate Now”

If you’re interested in giving by check or by automatic account withdrawal, shoot me a message and I’ll get you the info.

Whether or not you’re able to give, will you help spread the word? As we say in Italian, “Passaparola!”