Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scott preaching at an African church

Have you noticed no one is smiling in the picture except for Scott?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak in an English speaking African Church. We had about 25 people in the service. My message was on serving one another and the text was from Philippians 2.
The opportunity came about several months ago when I met Clifford, on my right in the picture, selling socks in a mall parking lot. We started chatting in English and I learned that he is from Nigeria and has a small church that he is pastoring which is composed of Nigerians and Ghanans. He is trying to reach the refugee community with the Gospel in his area. He invited me to come and speak sometime and encourage the brothers there. He also requested some Bibles in English if we could find some. My co-worker Daniele purchased some from one of his contacts here. So this last week I made the hour and a half drive to the church and preached in the morning service. 
  We had no instruments except our voices and our hands(which got quite a workout) which we used to praise the Lord for a good half hour. (I was told they cut it short so as not to keep me there too long) I really enjoyed my time there and have an invitation to come back again and preach another message.  
  Please be in prayer for the Sivi Marina African Church as they labor for the Lord and seek to reach the African Community here in Italy.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Long time no see

Wow, I just realized that we haven't posted on this blog since last November. 
Here are some quick random photos to pick up where we left off. 

This is me working at the NTM Italy office. I help out with any type of office related jobs, translating between English and Italian (with the supervision of a native Italian, since I still have lots to learn), I'm responsible for the Tribal Ambassadors project which attempts to connect Italian churches with tribal works from all over the world with the main purpose of praying for them, we are working on a possible future English testing program for the Italian students etc. There is always something going on. 

Next picture is Anders and Nathalie Borstad, an American couple from the Bible school in Jackson. They had some free air miles and came to Italy. They came down to visit NTMI Italy for a few days in January. 

Benjamin has been taking an afternoon homework class with an Italian language helper. This is to help him catch up to his native classmates in the Italian language. 

On December 31 we met up with the awesome Roth family in Girincs, Hungary. It is a little village in north east Hungary and happens to be the birth place of their grandmother. They came down for a day to find out more about their family history. I was their interpreter for the day and we had lots of fun. Benjamin just loved hanging out with a English speakers for a change! :) hehe

This is our Christmas picture made in Hungary at my parents house where we spent the holidays. 

And finally, Team NTM Italy!
Blessed New Year to everyone! ❤️

Monday, November 24, 2014

Neighbors, lanterns and legends

I have the best neighbors!
This, in the bowl is Zuppa di Pesce, or Fish Soup, very very common dish here on the Adriatic coast. I love cooking and baking (well, most days anyway). I remember back in Bible school (Jackson, MI, USA) and in missions training (Roach, MO, USA) I always used to share with my neighbors many things that I made. I just love doing that. And guess what, God has allowed me to have such wonderful neighbors like Concetta and Marika who love to share their cookings and bakings with us! Several times a week they bring over some pastries or other local delicacies... I feel so blessed that I am able to sample local food this way. Just yesterday Marika brought some of her mom's pastries over, they are delicious!
Ez itt Hal leves, ahogy a helyiek keszitik. A szomszed asszony hozta at kostoloba. Emlekszem, a bibliaiskolaban mindig vittem at a szomszedaimnak kostolot, amikor sutottem-foztem. Es most olyan szerencsem van, hogy a szomszed asszonyom szereti megosztani a sutemenyeit. Mindig hoz at egy kis kostolot, amikor sut. :) Milyen szuper hogy igy megizlelhetem a helyi izeket. 

The other day our team decided to have our morning prayer meeting at the beach. It was wonderful. I inhaled the salty sea air and gave thanks to my Father for everything.
Par napja a munkatarsainkkal ugy dontottunk, hogy a tengerparton tartjuk meg a reggeli ima- es megbeszelesunket. Gyonyoru reggel volt. Ahogy melyen beszivtam a sos tengeri levegit ha'la't adtam az Urnak mindenert. 
Lanternata. The other day we were off to parade through the streets of our little town accompanying our kids with their home-made lanterns. We actually had no idea what it was about before we went. It just seemed fun to go out at night with lanterns. Then it turned out to be a great opportunity for us to learn a bit of Italian culture.
They also call this event La lanternata di San Martino (St.Martin's lanterns). Legend has it that San Martino became a monk after serving as a Roman soldier. On a cold, rainy day in November, Martino was traveling on horseback, and came across a half-naked beggar. Seeing that the poor beggar was shivering from cold, Martino took pity on him, and cut his own cloak in half, giving one half to the beggar. As soon as Martino set off again on his journey, the sun came out and the temperature became warm. From this we get the "Estate di San Martino" (The summer of St.Martin).
That night Martino dreamt of Jesus wearing his cloak, and woke up with his own cloak intact. This sign made him rush off to be baptized and became a Christian.
According to the Catholic tradition, besides bringing us the wonderful warm November weather, San Martino has many shores as a patron saint or horsemen and horses, of tailors and beggars, of the poor and injured, of barrell makers and drunks, of cured alcoholics, of betrayed husbands- I leave it to the reader to find a thread here.
Well, anyway... we had fun walking around with our lanterns until the rain came down on us. Then we went home.
A lantern fesztival. Valamelyik este mentunk fel a foterre, Benike az iskolaban keszitett kis lampast es meg voltunk hivva erre a kis unnepsegre. Nem tudtuk mi az, ugyhogy felmentunk. Kiderult, hogy belekostolhattunk egy kis olasz kulturaba, es megismerhettunk egy regi olasz (katolikus) hagyomanyt. Vegulis abbol allt az egesz, hogy egy lohaton lovaglo romai katonanak oltozott embert kovettunk egy sereg gyerekkel, mindenkinek kis lampas a kezeben. Egesz jol ereztuk magunkat...amig el nem eredt az eso. Akkor hazamentunk. 
De a legenda szerint Szent Marton egy romai katona volt mielott szerzetesse lett. Egy hideg novemberi esten egy felig meztelen koldussal talalkozott, aki reszketett a hidegtol. Megsajnalta, es sajat kopenyet felbevagta es odaadta a koldusnak a masik felet. Allitolag rogton ezutan az ido felmelegedett. Azon az ejszakan azt almodta, hogy Jesus viseli a kopenyet, es mikor reggel felebredt, a kopenye ismet egeszben volt. Ezutan rogton elment, bemeritkezett es keresztennye lett. 
Hat innen ered a legenda. 
itt a romai katona lohaton
Here is the Roman soldier on horseback

Benjamin and Chantal...they are such good buddies and play so well together.
Benike es Chantal olyan jo baratok es nagyon szepen jatszanak egymassal. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tangerine jam, olive paste and a group of NTM leaders :)

On Saturday afternoon the group organized a little time out. Scott and I weren't going but then his old friend, Hanzi invited us to go as his guests. And you can't turn that down, can you. We had such a lovely afternoon. Here are some pictures that speak a thousand words...or however that saying goes :)
Szombat delutan a csoporttal egy kis kirandulasra mentunk. Eloszor nem akartunk menni, de aztan Scott egyik regi baratja, Hanzi meghivott bennunket mint vendegeit. Es azt nem lehet visszautasitani :) Nagyon szep delutan volt. 

First we visited a traditional fishing cottage on the sea.
This is Antonio, director of NTM Italy with his middle daughter, Sofia.
Eloszor egy hagyomanyos halasz kunyhot latogattunk meg. 
Ez itt Antonio, a misszionk olasz vezetoje kozepso lanyaval, Sofiaval.
Walking out to the water on the "moving" bridge
Meneteles a mozgo hidon
Fishing boat model
Halasz hajo modell
The owner of the cottage (left) is doing a little lecture on the history of the fishing cottage 
A halasz kunyho tulajdonosa rovid eloadast tart a kunyho torteneterol
Benjamin loved being "on" the water on this windy day
Benikenek nagyon tetszett a mozgo hid
We could taste local products and delicacies for example the tangerine jam and olive paste on rosemary toast.
Helyi borokat es inyencsegeket kostolhattunk meg pl. mandarin dzsemet es oliva kremet.
Lovely ladies
A holgyek
Then we went to a little town on top of the mountain where they had a festival. They offered local wines and foods for tasting. They had sausages, pancetta, fried pizzas and mortadella... We ended up eating a pancetta sandwich...Delictable! 
Aztan egy kis hegyi varosba mentunk el ahol bor-kostolo fesztivalt tartottak. Mindenfele helyi borokat es inyencsegeket lehetett kostolni. Kolbaszokat, sult pizzat, pancettat....Mi szalonnas szendvicset ettunk, nagyon finom volt. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

They are coming

Tomorrow is the start of a week long NTM EUROPEAN LEADERS CONFERENCE here in Italy.
We are hosting the conference this year just up the road from our town. 
Leaders from the various countries here in Europe are arriving today. 
for DECISIONS that will be made regarding the ministry of NTM and our partnership in that ministry. 
Holnap kezdődik misszionk európai vezetőinek egyhetes találkozója itt Olaszorszagban. 
Ebben az évben mi látjuk vendégül a vezetőket akik Európa több országából is érkeznek. 
azokért a döntésekért, amiket meg kell hozniuk ezalatt a konferencia alatt. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The day of the dead in Italy

It is November first and as we heard one of the biggest holidays in Italy. People flock to the cemeteries to decorate their loved ones' graves with flowers and little gifts. People even gift the children in the family in the name of one of their deceased ones. Friends told us the cemeteries are packed this weekend and the amount of flowers is unbelievable. We were encouraged to take a walk in the cemetery on Sunday, it would be an interesting cultural experience for us.

November 1-je van es ugy tudjuk, hogy ez az egyik legnagyobb unnep Olaszorszagban. Az emberek todulnak a temetobe hogy meltokeppen feldiszitsek szeretteik sirjat viragokkal es ajandekokkal. Lehet kisetalunk majd vasarnap hogy megnezzuk a sok viragot. A katolikusok imadkoznak a halottakert, es nagy tiszteletben tartjak oket. Meg a nevukben ajandekokat is adnak a gyerekeknek. Pl. Pistike, ezt a dednagypapadtol kapod (aki 20 eve halott mondjuk). Hat ilyen. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Why Italians don't drink cappuccino after noon

Middle of July, suffocating heat and humidity, Sunday lunch time. I am about to pass out and start fanning myself with my hand and start breathing shallow. Our host asks if we would like the fan turned on. I nod with gratefulness on my face. They turn a little fan on on the lowest setting in the other side of the long dining room and turn the head of the fan towards the wall.

August, scorching heat outside, going in the car. We have all windows down completely. But then our passengers are cupping their ears with their hands, they are wrapped up in a big scarf and to our question of whether they want the windows up a little they gratefully nod.

After one year in Italy I have learnt that there was one thing that many Italians feared above all others: "il colpo d'aria", literally, "the hit of wind". It is said to cause a mysterious condition called cervicale, a kind of neck pain. Our Italian friends swear that they had all experienced it.
Protecting yourself against the "colpo d'aria" is just one way you're meant to watch your health in Italy. But if locals are to be believed, there are many  other ways to fall ill, too -including air-conditioning, drinking a cappuccino after dinner, or leaving the house with wet hair.

I had found some information on these cultural ideas and believe it or not some of these actually have medical basis according to doctors.

1) The "hit of wind" can give you something called cervicale.

Turns out, there is something there. Getting a "hit of air" can't make you sick in terms of giving you an infection or a cold, said Dr.Steven Lamm, an internist and the medical director of the Tisch Center for Men's Health at the NYU Langone Medical Center. But being suddenly chilled  - whether by a cold breeze or from suddenly entering air-conditioning - does make the body work harder to maintain its 98.6 degree temperature. "The body is being forced to make adjustments. That process could result in some mascular cramping, or mascular spasms", Lamm said.
Hm. That would explain why...

2) You should never leave your house with a wet head

I went out with a wet ponytail before, usually just popped over to the bakery. I am warned every time how I would get sick. Even if it was 75 degrees out.
According to doctors the idea probably stemmed from the same as above: it is not smart to go outside in the freezing weather with wet hair because you're stressing out your body slightly.
And of course the wet-rat look ruins la bella figura.

3) Having a cappuccino after dinner inhibits digestion.

You should follow dinner with an espresso, never with a cappuccino. A cappuccino, instead is always drank before noon, usually at breakfast. They say dairy, consumed after a meal would inhibit digestion and make you feel discomfort.
According to doctors, it doesn't actually inhibit digestion, but could make you feel discomfort. Why?
It is estimated that about 80% of adults lack the enzyme that metabolizes milk and dairy. "If someone has a big meal and then has a glass of milk, whether it's in a cappuccino, or just in itself will have some gas."-said Dr.James Marion, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. It doesn't inhibit digestion, but one might notice they don't sleep as well, whether because of the caffeine, the milk, or the sugar, or because they feel bloated.

4) Sparkling water helps digestion

It's little wonder that a culture so in love with food is also so concerned about digestion. It is a widespread idea that sparkling water helps digestion and you find a bottle on every dinner table in Italy. Dr. Marion pointed out that carbon dioxide has no digestive properties, however sparkling water could help make you feel slightly less full: the gas makes you want to burp, and burping relieves pressure. When it comes to digestion, though, you're better off not having eaten that heavy meal to begin with. :)

5) Air-conditioning makes you sick. 

Dr. Lamm says "there are medical conditions that are associated with air-conditioners. They're primarily the result of the fact that air-conditioners require water to be recirculated, and the water can promote the growth of mold and infections." For that same reason, in some buildings with central air-conditioning, people get sick more often having allergic reactions with symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing.
So yes. Make sure that filters are clean and when possible, use fresh air instead.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

La passeggiata | The evening walk

image from livelikeanitalian.com
One of my favorite aspects of the Italian lifestyle is the late afternoon and early evening ritual known as "la passeggiata" or the evening stroll. Each evening, summer or winter, between the hours of 5pm and 9pm Italians take to the streets, to walk and socialize.
["passeggiata" comes from the verb "passeggiare"=to walk]
On Saturdays and Sundays the whole family participates, it is often the main social event of the day. Afterwards everyone heads home together for the evening meal. Italians eat dinner at around 8:30-9 o'clock. Something that we are still not able to adjust to.
We eat around 5-6...although we have been trying to push it out to 7ish...but then we are pretty famished.
Originally, one of the purposes of the passeggiata was to display the charms of young women who were eligible to be married, and in this process, parents of these girls encouraged them to be flirtatious. They wanted their daughters to "fare una bella figura" or to look good. This could be one of the reasons that generally people change their clothing after working, and put on their finer attire, dressing to impress, for the evening stroll. The goal is, after all, to see and be seen.

Italians like to share things and be with one another. They also like to be outside, as their homes are frequently small. Unless it is raining, you can count on "la passeggiata" to occur in every city, town and village in Italy every day of every week.

We often go out as well, Benjamin loves riding his bike or scooter and meet his friends. It is also a good opportunity for us to practice our Italian.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Living on the end of the branch

Wait for the LORD More at http://ibibleverses.christianpost.com/
Elijah watched and waited.
He sat by the stream and watched as it dried up, as the birds and beasts stopped coming for water and as the last pools disappeared. He waited until The Lord told him it was time to move. Then when directed Elijah moved in full confidence of faith.
For me waiting is one of the most difficult aspects of the Life of faith. Waiting upon The Lord. Waiting while praying and not seeing the answer. Waiting when circumstances and fears seem to demand my action.

We have have been in Italy for over nine months now. The Lord has demonstrated His faithfulness to us at countless times and in numerous ways. Sometimes we feel like we are living on the end of a branch with no net to catch us if we fall. But that is, of course, just feelings and not reality. We are as secure as any child of God in the hands of a loving Father.

In our lives now we are waiting on The Lord to learn Italian. The waiting involves working, which for us is studying and practicing. Sometimes progress is evident to us, sometimes we can't see it. But it is a process that requires time"There is no royal way to the wisdom." It is a humbling, slow, difficult journey. In the process we are building friendships in the community. People are aiding us and caring for us.  Without this process of language learning and our resultant dependance upon others we would miss out on so much of what it takes to become a part of the community. We would be independent but would have fewer friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

At the NTM Italy office

Every morning our team has a prayer meeting at 9. 
Then Scott goes home to study Italian, Antonio, Daniele and I stay at the office and start working. 
I only started working at the office a couple of weeks ago. 
My main responsibilities are

[Italian churches pray for specific tribes in Indonesia, Senegal etc.]

which will be held in Italy!!! :)

[corresponding with Italian students learning English and/or considering going to Bible school, helping in their studies, organizing future English courses, preparing materials etc.]


Daniele getting re@dy to work

Beautiful roses Dolores brought for my desk

Friday, May 23, 2014

The festival of San Nicola and studying Italian

Hi! A couple of weekends ago we had the festival of San Nicola in our town. As far as I know it is a national  religious holiday, although the stores are open regularly as usual. There was a big fair on the main street for 3 days, market vendors with toys, accessories, food etc, concerts, processions. 
We walked up a couple of times to take Benjamin to the fair and to do our usual passeggiata [stroll]. 
How interesting that even on a religious holiday everything is so commercialized. 
We saw two (Catholic) processions, seemed like the whole town joined the march. A band led the crowd, they also carried the life-size statue of San Nicola around. People were following. We first stepped outside on our porch to see the procession, later we just peeked out of our window. It was so sad to see this...the statue....and people following... 
We pray that it will be Jesus Christ who is followed by many people in this town.

On this little video below you can also see our landlord and landlady from whom we are renting our house. They are believers and they have really been such a blessing and help to us. They are great friends and we thank God for them! :)
We do a lot of studying and drilling vocabulary together with Scott. Sometimes, when we cant stand to be in the house anymore we drive out somewhere nice and enjoy the fresh air and Italian grammar. "_"

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This is what happens when you pray that God would help you get to knowmore people in town

I honestly don't know how to even start telling you what happened to me today. [Wednesday]

I am still very shaken up and it physically hurts to think about it. I keep reliving moments of it in my head and it literally makes me nauseous.
After this dramatic preface I hope I wont disappoint with the story.

The brief version:

I picked up a ball on the beach believing it to be abandoned or washed up from the water since no one was around. All the sudden this angry guy pops up out of nowhere with a 2-year-old and started yelling at me, calling me a thief and called the police on me! The whole thing was surreal, he wouldn't hear a word when I tried to tell him I didn't mean to steal anything. He was very very mean and harsh and he also told the police that I tried to take his SON and his thingS... @o@  I was so shocked and upset, I was crying the whole time, the police came out, I explained everything, they were annoyed by this guy and tried to comfort me. Turns out one of them was the police chief and the same guy who helped us the previous week when we reported our missing bank card. [He loves Americans] He greeted me with a smile, they got rid of the guy after "taking his report". He told me nothing is going to happen, this is nothing, really not to worry about it. "The guy was CRAZY"-he said to me [in English]. Then Antonio and Daniele [co-workers] arrived [to my rescue] and we all started chatting. I was still shaking, upset and crying, the officials kept comforting me, giving me Kleenex etc :) It turned out to be a nice conversation about New Tribes and faith and about what we are doing here in Petacciato. We even took a picture together! :) LOL
What a way to turn such a stupid incident into something so cool!! Thank you Lord! Building relationships with the local police meanwhile!
Poor Scott was "stuck" at home during all this because I took the car down to the beach. I called him sobbing when the guy first told me that he was calling the police. He then called Antonio and Daniele who were at different places at the time but hurried to me quick. When I finally got home he waited me with a cup of tea, then he held me and we talked about what happened for a couple of hours. I love him!

Okay. So that was pretty dramatic. After our long talk I told Scott I didn't know how to move on with my life after all this. He suggested to go and watch a cooking show. The man is wise.

Now are you ready for another cool story?
I left an hour earlier to pick up Benjamin from school and took a nice walk around town. To calm my nerves and to get some exercise. When it was time to pick up the bambino I arrived at the school. I saw one of the moms i knew pulling up to the school so I went up to her and greeted her with a cheerful "Hi how are you doing?" [in Italian]. She got out of her car, took off her sunglasses and I realized that it wasn't even the person I thought she was.
I had no idea who this lady was yet I greeted her as if we were homies. :)
I was not about to admit I mistook her for someone else so I just kept chatting and tried to act natural.
[but inside I was like...@_@ ]
She seemed to go along with our little chat and actually seemed like she really did know me!
Turns out she lived right across the road from us and knew us by sight! She had been wondering about us, what we were doing in Petacciato etc. She invited me over to her house and even gave us a ride home! :)
I just made a new friend! :)
Thank you Lord, only you can do such crazy twists in our story!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Serendipity in San Salvo

We had a nice long weekend last week and we decided to take a walk around downtown San Salvo, where we get out groceries every week. 
You won't believe what we found!
Mult heten egy szep hosszu hetvegenk volt, es ugy dontottunk, hogy korulsetalgatunk San Salvo varosban egy kicsit, ahol minden heten bevasarolunk. 
Nem fogod elhinni mit talaltunk!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Blessed Easter Everyone!

Easter family picture 2014.
Husveti csaladi kep 2014.

Benjamin with his Easter treats. Here in Italy there is not really an egg-coloring tradition. Instead they give children these huge chocolate eggs with a little toy surprise in it. 
Benike a husveti ajandekaival. Itt Olaszorszagban nem igazan van tojasfestesi hagyomany. Helyette hatalmas csokitojasokat adnak a gyerekeknek, amiben egy kis jatek-meglepetes van. 
One of the our friends came over and brought these nice treats for us. Homemade olive oil, Easter pastries, farm eggs, locally made pasta. 
Egyik ismerosunk athozott par finomsagot nekunk. Hazi keszitesu oliva olaj, hazi tojas, husveti sutik, helyi szarazteszta. 

In church here there is not a big emphasis on Easter somehow. But our hearts were full with thankfulness and joy over our Lord's resurrection. He is risen! He is risen indeed! :)
A gyulekezetben itt nem unneplik kulonosebben a husvetot (sajnos). De a mi sziveink telve voltak halaval es orommel az Ur Jezus feltamadasa felett. :)