Sorry it has been a little while since our last email. Since our last email I (Matt) slipped on the marble stairs in our apartment and landed on my back. It put me out of commission for a few days. It still hurts in three spots, neck, upper back (between my shoulders) and my lower back (close to my tailbone). I've been joking (halfway) about having Chuck Parrish flown over here to work on my back (for those who don't know Chuck our Prayer Coordinator, he is a chiropractor). Anyway, it is starting to feel better but still needs your prayers. In the past seven weeks since we've been here, we've (between the two of us) bronchitis, strep throat, severe allergy infections, stomach illnesses & backaches. We are starting to see how Satan attacks those who would be missionaries for God in Italy. Some of you may remember the fact that I shared before we left that only 80% of Italian missionaries return for a second term. Pray for us so that we can help turn these numbers around. Our God is powerful and we will trust in Him to heal us.
Language school has been quite helpful, yet overwhelming at the same time. God the author of all languages will teach us the language so we can communicate His message to Italians. In the meantime we will use the broken Italiano we know to find out when the garbage is picked up, or how much that book is and where do we go to find a mop bucket.
Also this month I went to my first professional soccer game. Perugia versus Inter (Milan). Inter won by one. In the next month I will post some of the pictures on our website. The crowd was exhilarating as they became one body chanting and cheering for their team. After one goal the man standing next to me was sooo excited, yet had no one to share it with so he gave me one of the largest bearhugs I have ever had! whew, maybe that's why my back is hurting. Afterwards he said "Scusi" (excuse me) and looked a little embarrassed, so I said "Prego" (basically no problem, don't worry about it).
Dan and Amy Cormode rejoined our team in Perugia a couple of weeks ago, they are staying with us as they prepare to go on a very important internship with an Italian church in the South. The church they are going to intern with use the cell model in which we are planning to use as a team in Italy. Angie and I have really enjoyed having Dan and Amy stay with us while they readjust to their Italian lifestyle.
Last Wednesday, the Casey's, Angie and myself met a group of mission workers in Rome for some mutual encouragement, networking and having a chance to get to know each other better. Chris DeWelt (Missions Dept at Ozark C.C.), Steve Siglar (CIY Missions Dept.), Kevin Dooley (F.A.M.E. coordinator), and another team that is researching a new site for a church plant, consisting of Roger & Elaine Twitchell and Darrin King. We really appreciated getting to spend time with them as we mutually saw some sights in Roma. (Thanks for the encouragement guys & Elaine. I'm halfway through C.S. Lewis' "Weight of Glory").
Still waiting on that home phone to be installed. I spoke with our landlord about it today and she said that many people take vacations around Easter, and so they tend to get backed up. I'll keep you informed. thanks for all your support.