The puzzled looks and stares of the Italians who interact with us clearly demonstrate how difficult it is for them to understand why someone would leave the United States to come and live in Italy.
The car sales man said, “Do you realize that we all want to go to the USA, and instead you came here?”
The waitress at the restaurant said, “Do you know how difficult it is to live here? I don’t understand!”
The agent showing us an apartment said, “I think you are crazy!”
Every person who questions us provides an open door for us to explain that we have come here to explain the Bible and to help people know God. When we explain this, the puzzled look does not go away, but they have varying responses. The waitress came back a few minutes later, apologizing for her insistence that it was unwise, and telling us that it was a noble decision. The car salesman changed the subject very quickly.
We know why we are here, we know that the need is immense, and that the people we encounter have no understanding of the Reason anyone would ever make this decision.
WE LOVE YOU!
These words resonate in our minds, as we rehearse our last few days in the USA. The days were hectic with many preparations, for moving to a different country presents its challenges. We are so grateful for the dinners, phone calls and emails we received, as we were preparing to leave. Certainly the highlight was our commissioning service. We were challenged by the message of our pastor, Jerry Wragg, and by the commissioning of the elders. As we stood there with Matt and Johanna Johnston, all of us with bittersweet emotions, we were overwhelmed by the love of God expressed through the care of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The reception afterwards was filled with a steady stream of church family and friends, who wanted to hug us farewell and assure us of their prayers.
WE LEFT HOME!
Although both Loredana and I have spent most of our lives in Italy as believers, we know that our home is where our local church is. We certainly miss Grace Immanuel Bible Church! We know that as our sending church, the ties are great and their prayers are faithful. What a blessing to have all of our pastors, and many friends come at the airport to see us off! While we were trying hard to get our luggage and carry-ons passed through check-in, considering all the weight restrictions, what a great blessing it was, to have our church family alongside to encourage us.
WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS!
As we begin our life here, we certainly need your prayers. Bureaucratic challenges, finding a home for both the Johnstons and us, opening bank accounts, buying vehicles, getting cell phones, getting used to the traffic – these are only some of the many tasks that we must deal with. And on the face of every person that we meet, there is that same puzzled look that says, “Why ever would you come here?”
FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL!
Dear friends, pray that we would never forget how precious the Gospel is in our own lives, and what a privilege we have in sharing it with others. No, we are NOT crazy!
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH US!
Our address in Italy: Via Pozzuoli 9 – 00182 Rome – Italy
You may call us on our Vonage phone at no cost for you (remember we are six hours ahead of you) : (561) 623-8995
Your co-slaves for Christ,
David and Loredana
[colored_box title=”If you would like to support our ministry to Italy ” variation=”steelblue”]Please send your tax deductible gifts to:
55 South Main Street #164
Oberlin, OH 44074
Mark on the memo line or on a separate note: For the ministry of David and Loredana Standridge[/colored_box]