Sunday, June 27, 2004

Life in Italy

Our Life Group (our church) went really well today. It is somewhat strange this summer, because first of all the Casey's being gone have given me lots of extra responsibility (not to mention the fact that we miss them) and second, our church has changed so that we have a flock (albeit small), but a flock nonetheless. Which means we have more responsibilities to care for the flock (and each other as the church). So, our Life Group (weekly church at our house) has become smoother and smoother. I am reaching a new level of my language ability as well as rely on my weekly outlines which are sent to Amedeo to correct after I have written them in Italian. And as any small groups grows with time, ours has incorporating our new family, Amedeo and Marta Riccardi (plus four daughters). Today, we had Marcus, Angie, Amedeo, Marta, Valentina, Michela, Simona, Cristiana, Danielle, Simona and myself. The four W's that we use to structure our Life Group model can be used as a barometer to evaluate how things went. Our WELCOME time went well, after answering our favorite ice creams and looking at the church announcements. Our Worship time flowed smooth as everyone joined in on the three Italian songs and one English song (with Italian words to sing along). During one of the songs it was incredibly heartening to see our entire Life Group raising their hands in the air as we sang "Ti Diamo Gloria" (We Give You Glory) which include the chorus "Jesus is the King!" After communion together, we prayed for the three kids (Valentina, who just turned ten, is participating with the adults) and Marcus, whose turn it was to teach the kids. While the kids had a lesson and craft, the adults discussed knowing God (from I Cor 2) and ministering to each other by encouraging and praying for those whose needs arose during our time together. As we challenged each other to seek to know God, we welcomed the kids back in who shared what they did and learned about. At the end we finished with a group embrace. As soon as we finished, we got things out for our monthly fellowship dinner. Everyone brought something, there was Italian, Romanian, Mexican and BBQ. We were so thankful for the diversity of our group, everything tasted wonderful. It is such a huge plus in our lives to be part of God's Church. He is making us more like Him as we seek Him together. It is a journey, that we will not soon forget.
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