I can’t really say that teaching Sunday School to children is among my ‘spiritual gifts’ but I do love children and for several years I have been responsible for our pre-schoolers. Now that they are getting a little bit bigger (two of them are in Grade 1) the challenge of actually teaching them to know and love Jesus is becoming urgent. We don’t want them to just grow up going to church! We want them to understand that they need forgiveness; receive God’s gift of salvation and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We want them to experience His transforming power now and we want them see for themselves that God hears and answers their prayers. Please join us in praying for these precious, adorable little ones! Pray also for lots of creativity on my part (NOT my forte!) as there is very little Sunday School material available in Italian for this age group.
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Stephanie & Elisabeth have been living most of their lives in Bergamo but they are originally from the Dominican Republic. When they were younger they came regularly to church with their parents but in the last few years they have come less frequently especially since they both have boyfriends. When they do come their boyfriends, Simone & Giovanni, come to church with them. A few months ago we began praying fervently for the salvation of these two girls and their boyfriends and God has answered our prayers. Last week Stephanie accepted the Lord and today, March 16, 2014, Elisabeth announced that she too has accepted the Lord. I believe that Simone has also accepted Christ as his Saviour. Praise God! Would you continue to pray for Stephanie and Giovanni, and Elisabeth and Simone that Christ would reign in the center of their hearts and their relationship and that they would grow abundantly in their love for Him and their knowledge of Him.
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Elisabeth is a wonderful Bolivian woman who has been in our church about ten years now. She accompanied the three children of her sister, Martha, to Italy and then decided to stay and she found work caring for a middle aged woman suffering from loneliness and depression. Now she is learning how to drive – my car! She is not the first person I have helped teach how to drive (and she probably won’t be the last!) It is a real challenge learning how to drive a standard transmission car because there are so many things that have to be done all at once. And if you never even ridden a bicycle before, you are not used to looking around you and seeing what is happening. The lanes here are particularly narrow, often actually unmarked and signs can be quite confusing, or even hidden behind trees! As Elisabeth drives I am careful to explain what she can expect at each intersection; which lane to take; if it’s a tight curve; etc., etc. I confess I am not always calm if Elisabeth goes racing into a traffic circle without slowing down sufficiently and really looking to see if she can go!
It gives me cause for thought as I think about life with the Lord. He knows the path that is ahead of us and He very carefully guides us through every “traffic circle or complicated intersection.” At the same time we need to see the obstacles and the signs in front of us. We need to know what to stay away from and how to avoid dangers. We need to study the “manual” for proceeding along this road of life and take the appropriate steps of caution. I wonder if the Lord sometimes feels distress, like me, for the dangerous errors that we make that come close to causing “crashes” in our lives? Does He raise His voice and say, “No, stay away from that! That’s not the way to proceed!” As we learn from His Word, we should actually need to hear His prompting less and less because we know what is right and wrong; we have some idea what to expect at the next curve. Some day soon Elisabeth will have her driver’s license and then she won’t have me to prompt her. But the Lord NEVER leaves us; He never stops giving us guidance and direction.
Pray for me that I would always listen attentively to His voice as He leads and that I would study diligently His Word to know His Will and follow closely His plan for my life.
And pray for Elisabeth, that she would soon understand, see and rightly interpret all the signs on the road, the curves and intersections, so that she can handle them rightly, without prompting and pass her driver’s examination!
PS. On March 11, 2014 Elisabeth passed her driver’s exam on the first try. Praise the Lord! I am so proud of her!!
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