Whew.....it has been a couple of months since I took the opportunity to post anything. We have been incredibly busy the past couple of months. At the beginning of March, Mary Ann & David (Angie's sister and her husband) got to visit for about a week. Then a couple of days after they left a group from Ozark Christian College arrived. The OCC group was here for about 9 days and four days after that a group from one of our team's main supporting churches sent a group over. The group was from Shively Christian Church outside of Louisville, Kentucky. They got to be here about a little over a week as well. It was great having all the visitors, now we are just trying to get back on schedule.
While the group was here from Shively the pope died. This was a major occasion that our team had been anticipating for years. We were already scheduled to be in Rome with the group on the day of the pope's funeral. We got up early and headed to the Piazza at the Basilica of Saint Peter (where the funeral was going to held). After about two hours of pushing and shoving through throngs of people we made it to an open spot with allowed us to literally walk straight ahead into the piazza. So, we were in the middle of the piazza during the pope's funeral. An amazing experience to be sure, no matter what affiliation we feel towards the Catholic Church. It is one of those days that I will remember for the rest of my life.
We returned to Ancona and about a week later the Rotert family arrived on the field to begin their next phase of ministry (language and culture learning). We excited to have them here (they are staying with us a few days before heading to Perugia where they will attend language school for several months). Soon enough they will be back in Ancona where they will join our church planting efforts. We definitely look forward to that!