June Reportby ITALY Kroeckertskothen, Thomas and Rebecca on June 4, 2007
Arrividerci Germania! In February our time in Germany came to the end and we had to prepare for our return to Italy. The time with you guys in California was a huge blessing to us and we really had a hard time to leave! Thanks to everyone who hosted us for a meal or shared with us a moment of your life! We really love you and are so thankful to have a family in the U.S.!
After we arrived in Italy, the 10th of March, with our car, packed till the roof ;-), the adventure began! We lived at our colleagues house for 3 weeks in the garage… Which sounded funny in the beginning, but it was sometimes a challenge, but it taught us also, to be thankful! Our colleagues have been so nice to us and shared everything with us! And hey, we are still friends ; -)!
The first days turned out that we walked through Umbertide, searching for an apartment or someone who had heard about one... But it was unbelievable: there was NOTHING! But OUR GOD answers prayer, thank you so much for all your support during that time! We believe, that the LORD had already prepared everything for us! While we've been in Germany, our colleagues gave us a phone number from a Lady who had an apartment to rent. We didn't know how expensive or how large it was, but we called her. When we met her at the first time we found out, that her husband was the pediatrician from the kids of our colleagues! When he heard, that we work together with that family, he was really happy and it seemed to us that the testimony from Family Aguirre had helped us to get his confidence! So, the 1st April we could move in! It is such a great apartment and a huge blessing! We have 2 balconies, 2 rooms, a large living room and a kitchen! (At our web-side you can see photos!!)
OUR SMALL GROUP IN UMBERTIDE Now we want to present you the small group of Umbertide. Our co-workers: Family Aguirre, George and Kim (51 and 45 years old), both Americans, with their 4 kids. Well, Jordan is already 19 years old and he starts the University at Pisa in September. Adrian is 17, goes to school and studies also German!!! Alison is 15 and goes to school as well and so does Philip, 13 years old! We are going along very well with all of them and they are a blessing and an example for us.
Than we have Olga. She is an older lady who is born in Umbertide. She comes every Sunday, to the studies she doesn't come, because it's too much for her in the evening.
Guida, she used to come, but a year ago she was very sick and had an operation. Since this day, she is paralyzed and can't go out any more. So every Saturday morning, Kim and I are going to visit her. We are reading the bible and praying. It's nice, because we always have a cup of tea with the nurse,Maria, who stays with her. And so often we are talking about our faith.
Tourè, a lady from Guinea who has been attending church for about a year now, asked George to do a Bible study with her. He and Kim meet with her weekly for an evangelistic Bible study. Tourè has had some contact with the gospel and is certainly a "God-seeker". She demonstrates a real desire to know God's Word—it is exciting to see her respond to the studies.
Gabriele, a man in the early 60s continues to be involved in the church life and has recently shown an interest in learning to prepare and develop brief messages. George will be working with him on this and maybe also Thomas can be involved in this. Do pray for Gabriele's wife, Gabriela to come to know the Lord—she knows all about Him, but she is still a slave to sin.
So we are a group of 11 persons, if everybody comes. But Sundays brothers and sisters often come from the Città di Castello church, the church we work with. This co-working takes much time. But it's very important that we come to know the believers from Città di Castello. better and they us as well. That means that we drive Tuesday and Friday to the Bible study, and/or to the prayer meeting to Città di Castello.
On Wednesdays evening we have our meeting in Umbertide. We alternate every week between Bible study and prayer. Sundays, at 10:30 h we have our service. It is different to be part of a church planting. But a huge privilege! Everyone is important, because if one is missing, you can tell immediately! For communion a roll and a glass of wine is enough for us ; -)! And if someone sings wrong, the entire group is in trouble ; -)! For me, who likes music, it's a challenge! But Adriane helps us with the flute and that is really great!
Please pray that the Italians, realizes that it's not the work of the missionary, but that the Lord calls EVERYONE to serve HIM!
The Lord has been doing amazing things here in central Italy!
On May 11 we had more than 110 ladies in the fellowship hall of the church building in Città di Castello, more than 50 of them were unbelievers! Three ladies who have contact with the church plant in Umbertide were present. They heard a very clear presentation of the gospel and enjoyed an evening of being waited on by men in the church who had cooked all day long to make a delicious meal and then served as waiters. Thomas was one of them;-)! The theme was "What is my value?" and gave lots of stimulus for discussion.
A week later, on May 18 in a concert hall which the church had rented in Città di Castello for hosting a Christian band was quite full with more than 200 people. It is harder to say exactly how many of these were unbelievers on this occasion. In addition to the band, there was an interview of a soccer player from Brazil who played on various teams in Italy. Marco Aurelio is a believer and is recently retired from soccer, but works as the leader of Athletes for Christ in Italy. His testimony was very clear and he gave a strong challenge to the young people—to the unbelievers to be saved and to the believers to live a testimony that is in line with what they say they believe. It was an encouraging evening of ministry!
Tourè: we are excited to see her readiness to apply what she learns from scripture. She has a desire to know what God's Word says about each thing she faces in her life and shows the signs of a believer who wants to walk with the Lord. Praise the Lord for His working in her life! During the summer she will only be attending church but will not have a regular Bible study due to the absence from Kim and George, so Tourè will need lots of prayer support . Pray for her husband, he is a nonbeliever!
This coming weekend we have a big event taking place, please pray with us! On Sunday, June 3, a choir is coming from the church in Perugia to perform in a rented hall here in Umbertide. A young man from the Castello church will be giving his testimony. We have hung up many posters and manifests, articles are being sent to the newspapers and radio stations and yesterday morning we handed out fliers at the local open- air market. Pray that there will be many unbelievers present for the concert and that the Lord prepares people, who are searching the truth and a sense in the life!
On Monday, the 4th, Kim flies with 3 the Kids to the States George remains still another month with Jordan, which has to finish school. They leave in the first week of July. So we will be alone till the middle of September! Please support us in prayer!!
ROBERTO AND SARA We have told you a lot about this couple, we came to know them in the coffee- bar. We had good discussions with them and we invited them to the concert! Please join us in prayers, that the Lord will open their harts for the Gospel and that they come to the concert!
We would like to ask you to pray for Annagloria and Gagu, an older married couple in our house. We had already good discussions and Gagu came already ones to a Sunday service! Pray, that they will really search the Lord and that we can, one day, study the Bible with them! Pray, that they will come also to the concert! Than we have some contact to a Widow in our House. She lives together with her two “Kids”. 37 and 32 years old... Pray with us for possibilities and contacts to people in Umbertide. Pray for hearts which are open to the Gospel!
We thank you with all our heart for your cooperation, because without your support in prayer, financially and your friendship we couldn't do anything! Let us carry together the burden, to bring the Gospel to the Italians! In Christ, your friends Thomas and Rebecca