Thursday, March 29, 2001

The Hunt Ends...

Ahhhhhh, one major step done in our adjustment to life in Italy. We signed the contract on our apartment yesterday. We get the keys in the morning, March 31st, so barring any unforeseen circumstances we will be moving into our new home tomorrow. The team that is here have volunteered to help us clean and move in (thanks so much guys & girls). For those of you that know how much I enjoy to grill, you'll be happy to know we picked up an indoor grill (since we don't have a terrace or yard). We plan on grilling chicken and having baked potatoes tomorrow night, so if you're in the vicinity come on over. We'll make extra.

Now if any of you are compelled to send us anything in the mail (we'll be looking) our new address is.......

Matt & Angie Crosser
Via Campo Battaglia 28
Perugia, ITALY 06122

Our phone number is still the same. For those of you wondering it doesn't cost us anything to receive calls.

Please pray for our landlord, that we may be a light to her and that she come to know our savior as we know Him. Her name is Maria Luisa Rondolini. She is a detail-oriented person that I believe is not married. We also got the impression that she is a little lonely.

Finally, we enrolled in language school today. We start on Monday. Angie and I are in the same class which is great for several reasons, one of which is scheduling. Please continue to pray for our language learning. We have already learned many phrases so your prayers are already being heard.

Thanks so much for all the support you are to us.

Monday, March 26, 2001

God Provides a House - We Think

Well to update you on how the apartment hunting is going on......on our last appointment Friday afternoon, we found what looked like the apartment God was leading us to. The only problem was the landlord required a large sum up front (in the thousands of $$). We were not prepared nor expecting this, so first we prayed. The location is closest to the school that we have seen so far, in fact you can see the class buildings from the windows. It has been remodeled and rewired with new pipes, electrical wires, telephone wires, etc.. It has an oven, washer, dishwasher and a bathtub (which is a little rare here in Italy). So, after we prayed about it, we still felt like this was the one. That evening I emailed several of our supporting churches. WOW!!!!!! Can I say WOW again!!!!!! Three churches came back with more than we needed! $2,940.00!! This will cover the up front expenses, the real estate agent's fee, first month's rent and also part of our first month's school tuition. God is great. I want thank all of you who may have had a part in this generous giving. We started the negotiation process. In Italy you submit a preliminary contract along with a deposit. Our real estate agents suggested offering a little less than the landlord is asking. If the landlord accepts this offer then we should be in the apartment by the end of the week. If she chooses not to accept the offer then we will resubmit a contract with a little higher offer. Either way our real estate agents are confident we will get the apartment. Soon after we get in the apartment we will post pictures of it at our website ( Thanks again for all your support and prayers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Two Week Checkpoint

We have just passed our two week anniversary, so I thought I would jot out a quick email describing some of our earliest experiences. First of all, sickness has ravaged our team. It seems as though everybody over here has had some kind of sickness. As we left I was in the middle of taking medications to get over bronchitis. When we arrived Angie's allergies started reacting to her new environment. When I was almost out of the woods, I acquired something like a severe strep throat. Wow, I don't remember when my throat hurt so bad. It kept me in bed more than I wanted and hindered some of the exploring that I wanted to do. I got to feeling better yesterday, so when Angie and I had to get out to see an apartment, we decided to do a little exploring on our own. We went to several shops in the center of town, then went down the hill to visit a little more of the city. This morning is the first morning in almost a week that my throat didn't feel like bloated sandpaper. Now it feels like a normal sore throat, that I think is going away.
One day last week, we made it to the Blockbuster Video store. How refreshing to see a familiar sight. They have two rows of movies in English and quite a few DVD's that have English as an option for language. We found one to rent and we went to the counter and I whipped out my Blockbuster card and asked if I could transfer my membership. The lady behind the counter swiped the card and said sure I just need to update your address and phone number. Wow, as if I wasn't already impressed by technology, isn't it neat to think a Blockbuster Video card works all the way around the world.
We have had a good time settling in with our team here in Italy, the only thing that is lacking is one of the couples, the Cormodes, aren't here currently. They had to return to the states to switch their visas. They return April 12, so our team will all coexist in the same city for almost two months!!! We are staying with Jason and Heather Casey, who have been very gracious hosts. We haven't had to worry about spending money eating out because they have joyfully been providing so much. However, we are in Italy, so of course we have gotten out to taste the local food. Most of it has been really good. It is very different than Italian food in the states, but great nonetheless. Although last Saturday, I went to run an errand with Jason. We stopped for a quick breakfast snack (timewise it was more like brunch). Jason got a sweet pastry, but I wanted something other than sweets. I saw a fried something that looked good and had Jason ask what it was. He said he wasn't sure. From the name it sounded like fried zucchini. That sounded pretty good for a quick snack, a couple of pieces of hot fried zucchini. Jason thought that might be right, but still wasn't sure. I said I was willing to take the risk. I ordered it and they handed it to me on a napkin. My first reaction was that it was cold. I thought well, you never know until you try it. So, I bit into it. There was a crunch as I bit through the fried exterior into the soft center. It's first taste was that of zucchini. I thought great I did a good job of guesswork for this order. As I began chewing it, I looked into the piece left in my hand. My eyes were drawn to the intense yellow color I saw in the middle, upon further inspection I noticed what appeared to be small little yellow hairs inside this fried green and yellow "thing." Before I had a chance to be revolted I looked again to see if I could make out any recognition of a known food. Now when I was younger I used to plant a garden at my parents house, one of things I grew one year was zucchini. As I peered into my morning snack I discovered I was biting into a fried zucchini flower!! I finished most of it. Then I thought about the fact I have some allergies to pollen, I wondered what would happen. As Jason and I rode the bus down the hill, nothing ended up happening except some queasiness. The queasiness could have in fact been caused by several things, but most likely the greasiness which the batter was filled with. Anyway, no permanent damage, and I know now what I am ordering when I choose the "fiori di zucchi fritti".
Last thing I will share with you is how the apartment hunting is going. We have with Jason's help got our name in about 14 agencies. We have now seen three apartments, and another by pictures (which was withdrawn by the landlord because he didn't want to rent it for a year). None of these seemed plausible, except one of the ones we saw, however it 's biggest drawback is the distance from it to our language classes. This may not be a problem if we get adjusted quickly to the bus transportation system and get an unlimited yearlong pass (which run about $224 per person). We have two other leads and will continue to research those as you continue to pray for this need of ours. Thank you for all your encouragement, cares and support. We are so fortunate to be loved by God, who takes care of all our needs. As for our apt in the states I believe they are signing a new contract on our old apt, which means we will be released from the lease. Thank you for your prayers.

In Christ,
Matteo e Angela

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

Today We Arrived In Italy

As I sit here in Jason & Heather Casey's apartment typing this email, I am remain in a state of flux. I keep imagining myself waking up at any moment to find that I am not here. Our trip is still somewhat of a blur to me. We started out yesterday with a lack of sleep and 13 boxes of our personal goods. At first it appeared that we wouldn't be able to take all of them, even after I called and gotten approval from our airline's international department. However, it turned out to be just minor miscommunication. We were able to send all of them, and in fact the ticket agent told us he was only charging us for some of the boxes, not all! Then we were surrounded by close friends and family and allowed farewells to be said. That alone would have been hard enough, but the good-byes were just part of the emotion filled day. As we said our last "see-you-laters" We boarded the plane, where we sat in awe of what God has orchestrated thus far. We opened several cards and looked at pictures that were given to us by friends and family at the airport, which made us cry even more. The hour and a half flight seemed to be lost in the emotion of the moment as we thought of the past and anticipated what lie ahead.
We switched planes in Chicago and started the long last leg of the trip. Everything went on schedule for the second flight. Besides landing, the second most crucial thing we were praying for was customs. We had prayed that customs in Italy would go smoothly and there wouldn't be any problems. There was a chance that they would need to open every box, which would make the boxes harder to transport. The other concern was that some governments will add duty and taxes to goods even if they are used, which goes against most countries policies, but happens anyway. We were prepared to pay some duty if asked to, however the need never arose. We wheeled two carts and were followed by Airport Staff with two large carts carrying the boxes up to the customs gate. The customs official asked a few simple questions, including what was in the boxes. We replied household goods, clothes, movies, cd's, etc... I told him I had a fairly complete packing list, but as we were digging through our laptop briefcase he said, "It's okay, you can go on". Praise the Lord, we didn't even have to open one box. God works beyond our wildest dreams. As we wheeled around the corner we saw the smiling faces of Jason & Heather Casey. The Casey's were meeting us at the airport to transport us and our luggage to Perugia (about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive). The Milliser's remained home for lack of space and they also watched Jason & Heather Casey's son, Jacob. And the Cormodes are back in the states receiving new visas and visiting supporters, family and friends. They will be returning around the middle of April.
We arrived in Perugia around 1 pm and our first stop was the mall. We picked up some electrical needs and a cell phone. Any of you are free to call, it doesn't cost us anything to receive calls. Just remember we are seven hours ahead of most of you (in Central Standard Time), meaning your five o'clock is our midnight. However, we would love to hear from you. Our number is 011-39-340-5305186 (dial all of this for it to work, let me know if you have any trouble). Then for dinner we all went over to the Milliser's apartment to take part in a wonderful dinner.
Be praying for us as we search for an apartment. We are looking at one tomorrow. And will probably be looking for one for a couple weeks. We will continue to update you as we get settled in and we will also start adding pictures to our website very soon. We love all of you and thank you for caring about us and God's work in Italy. Thanks to all those who helped us pack and get ready. Also, thanks to those who joined us for our farewell party at Holiday Inn last week. If you any of you have any questions please feel free to ask.