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)

Advertisements

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)

 

Follow Up and Going Forward

It’s follow up time! Honestly, I’ve been putting off this post. But when you make your goals known to the general public, you have to let everyone know how things go, even if the goals weren’t met. So this is that post…

Last month, I threw out a challenge. I wanted to find 25 new supporters to join my financial support team at $25 per month within 25 days. That was a big goal, but if you don’t try something, you’ll never know if you can do it. In those 25 days, I got 3 new supporters. At the end of this challenge, I’ll admit, I was disappointed. But I soon realized that instead of focusing on what didn’t happen, I should be celebrating what DID happen! I got 3 new partners in ministry! What a blessing!

At this point, after some other appointments and a couple other new partners joining my team, my budget is now 65% funded. I still have to reach 100% of my monthly budget before I can buy my plane ticket, get my visa, and head back to Rome. I would really like to reach this goal this summer. There are a lot of plans that the Rome City Team already have planned for the fall, and it is important that I am present for these conferences and activities. I know this will all happen in the Lord’s timeline, and I’m sure that this is absolutely a reasonable and doable goal.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer, and realizing how much MORE I need it in my life, both personally and corporately. I’ve also been thinking about how I can involve others more often in praying for me, for the support raising that I’m doing during this season, for the ministry that I’m a part of in Rome, for city of Rome, for Italy, and for Europe. This past Sunday, April 17th, was my birthday, and in honor of that, I’d like to make a request for prayer. Would you be willing to commit to pray for me and the work that God has called me to on the 17th of each month? I want to be cultivating this habit of prayer with others in community, and sharing specific requests that we can bring before the Lord together. Let me know how I can be praying for you as well!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7 (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!”

Prayer, Please!

I’ll be composing a more detailed post soon. This quick update is just to ask for prayer.

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with the missions team at Wayside Chapel to discuss the possibility of them joining my ministry partnership team. Please, pray that I have the right words to share about how God is working in Italy.

Right now, I’m waiting on one last document to come in the mail before I can go to the Italian Consulate in Houston to apply for my visa. I’m really hoping that it will come tomorrow so that I can make the trip on Friday. Please, pray that when I do get to go, I have absolutely everything I need and that they won’t suddenly say that I need one more thing. I’d really like to get the application submitted without having to come back another day with more paperwork.

And lastly, I’m getting SO CLOSE to being fully funded! I have less than $3000 to raise. I’d really like to be fully funded by the end of September, because I’m leaving on October 22! The Lord has been so faithful to provide for me thus far, and I know that He can do the rest. Thanks to those of you who have already been a part of my support raising journey. Please, pray for open hearts who are willing to join me in ministry.

To everyone who has been involved up to this point in support, encouragement, and prayer, thank you so much! You are much appreciated!

Blessings,
-Heather