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!

August 17 Prayer Requests

It’s that time again! My 17th of the month prayer requests. First off, let’s start with praise!

In my last post, I mentioned my sticky visa situation. On Thursday, I checked for available appointments again out of curiosity, and a spot had opened up for THE NEXT DAY. So I dropped everything else I was doing, got my paperwork in order, and headed to Houston bright and early on Friday morning. My friend and teammate Josh came with me to see where to go and what to do when he has to apply for his visa, and to make the drive more fun. We even got to skype with our teammate Esther on the way there and have a virtual roadtrip with her!

Houston Visa Trip

Friends don’t let friends roadtrip alone.

There were no complications, and on Monday morning I picked up my passport with my new visa in it from the post office! Praise the Lord!

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I am so grateful and in awe of the ways that the Lord has provided. He just keeps reaching down and quieting my heart, reminding me to trust Him, and wrapping me up in His presence.

So my prayer requests for this month mostly revolve around my forthcoming transitions. TWENTY-TWO DAYS from now, I will be on an airplane headed back to my heartland. Here are a few of the things that I am praying about in regards to returning to Rome:

  • Saying Goodbye See You Later – Pray that my last few weeks in the States are spent well, enjoying every moment I can with family and friends.
  • Safe Travels – Pray for uneventful flights and zero complications with layovers, luggage, etc.
  • Language Learning – Pray for easy transition back into using Italian everyday. I’m so looking forward to being immersed in this language again, but I’m sure that I am going to be a little rusty after being in the States for nearly a year and a half.
  • Apartment Hunting – Pray for the place that I will call home! I have been searching online for apartments and I can’t wait to check out listings in person once I arrive. I really want to find a place that is accessible that I can use in the ministry of hospitality.
  • New Roles – Pray for the new responsibilities I will take on as our Team’s English Outreach Coordinator and for the roles that I will have in helping our interns adjust well to life on the Rome City Team.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
– Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV)

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)

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!”