Monday, July 30, 2007
PS - Feel free to keep up with our future work in Verona at our personal blog at www.thecrossersblog.com or our team's blog at www.goveronanews.com.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Matt & Angie arrived in Italy in March of 2001 into a team context that was still storming and heading into norming. In the past 6 years since then they have become some of our closest friends. We've seen each other's ugly sides and been with each other through the best and the worst of times of this ministry in Ancona.
Since being accepted as the leaders of the new team, we have continued to work together toward a smooth transition and it really has been. We've talked lots about this month and how there would be lots of 'lasts' and yet for all the talk and preparation, I'm beginning to experience the reality of those words and thoughts. Last retreat, last outreach event, last English lesson, last staff meeting, last team meeting, last...you get the picture.
We will, of course, still see them for the next three months while they prepare to head back to the U.S. and we will still stay in contact when they are up North, but still, the reality of a post-Crosser team is starting to set in and I find myself full of emotion and anxiety.
Thanks Matt & Angie for your years of service together. Thanks for the laughs and meals and prayers and tears and dreams and new technologies and new TV shows and for everything else in between. As the lasts start to dwindle and fade and become replaced with lots of firsts up North, we wish for you a great new life and ministry in the fair city of Verona...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
8:15 Meet at La Via (our facility)
8:30-10:30 Language Lesson with Giulia
10:30 - 11:00 Quiet Time
11:00 - 11:30 Language Route
13:00 - 13:30 Hand out English Club Publicity
15:00 - 15:45 Open English Training
16:00 - 16:30 Hand out English Club Publicity
17:00 - 19:00 Open English (teaching English lessons)
19:00 - 20:00 Open House at La Via to introduce interns to some of our friends
This day is abnormally busy, but they do have a full schedule while they are here. Please keep Jen, Rae, April and Brian in your prayers. Thanks to them, we have already met a new girl, Gioia, who is interested in our Coffee House. Pray that God would protect them, unite them, form them and use them to reach the people of Ancona with His love!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
I have been so impressed; not with him, not with myself, but with God, and the changes I can see Him bringing about in Maurizio, literally, tangibly before my eyes. His mom has seen the change and is so happy - she has asked if she could visit our Life Group or host a Life Group dinner at her house. Maurizio has shared with his banker friend (who used to read his fortune using rune stones) his discovery about Christ. He shared with Jara (who up until recently was doing some form of 'energy' therapy on him) about his decision and invited her to Life Group. She came last Sunday with her fiance and left really encouraged/challenged. Last night, our Life Group gathered for dinner at Maurizio's house. She came with her fiance and she asked if they could come back this Sunday. Maurizio also invited a friend from his old 'New Age community' to come to the dinner last night - he's really something and I had the chance to challenge him to consider Jesus as more than who he currently thinks he is. Maurizio also shared with his cousin what Christ has done in his life and she is curious and wants to visit our Life Group.
I remember reading in a book on cell churches a few years ago about the Oikos factor. (Oikos is a greek word which can be translated as: house, household or family.) Basically, the author says that as you get to know people and build trust with them, you will inevitably be introduced into their oikos or 'circle of friends and family' and when that happens, we need to be sensitive to those who are searching. That is definitely happening with Maurizio.
The longer I'm here, the more I draw the conclusion that in this Italian culture, saturated with skepticism and suspicion toward anything non-Catholic, building trust is uber-important. We've seen it in small ways - in how people don't respond to publicity very much. Instead, when someone begins to trust us, they invite people that trust them and on and on it goes into this big network of trust. Lo and behold, we have a community of people that trust each other - although somewhat tenuous. So what happens when the first few people fall in love with Jesus and begin the process of becoming disciples? Do you see how it could have a ripple effect, sending waves all throughout the community?
As I'm typing this, I just got a text message from Maurizio. He is so excited and happy with how the dinner went last night. He said he was also excited that Jara seems so interested and desires to be integrated into our community. Maurizio gets it and he's living proof of the change that God longs to bring about in every one of us.
Last week after Life Group, Silvia, herself having given her life to Christ a couple of years ago, told Maurizio how proud of him she was for sharing with the people in his life. How neat to see that this 'newbie' in the faith is already finding his place and purpose in the Body!
Friday, March 2, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
They must have faced them. They must have. Doubts. I don’t know if it was hot or cold. We don’t really know how many of them there were. We do know they were assembled in a prescribed order. And we know they were commanded to march around 7 times. What must it have been like? Remove the Veggie-Tales slushies and the Sunday-School images and really step back in the story. They had already marched around once a day for six days, the priests, the trumpeters and the armed men. On this seventh day when they were commanded to march around seven times, what must have gone through their minds? I have to think that some at least doubted. If the ratio was consistent with the “10 were bad and 2 were good” then most of them did. And still they marched. What if they had quit? What if the sixth time around they simply said, “You know, this is stupid! Why 7? If God is God, couldn’t He just kill everyone inside and open the gate?” What if they had quit that sixth time around?
Now, flash forward with me a few thousand years to late December, 2006 and pan over to the ‘Texas Land & Cattle’ steakhouse on the North side of
So true, so simple: an answer that bridges the debate between those that say we are called to be obedient and others who say we are called to be successful. Often in Scripture we see the two going hand-in-hand.
So today, we find ourselves in
So, though the walls may be tall, round and round we go.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
In recent months, God seems to be moving in the hearts of individuals to consider Italy as a mission field. Angie and I have answered a call to be the Team Leader for a new team that will be going to Northern Italy. It will be a process that will take place over the next year and a half. We appreciate your prayers as we launch this new endeavor and for the rest of the team here in Ancona to continue the work that remains in front of them.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Casey family returned on Sunday. They will be spending the next few weeks readjusting to life here, as well as the time difference.
Kid's English Club is on Tuesdays and most Fridays. Angie teaches several kids each week and you can really see a difference.
Chit Chat Open English - Starts today. We usually have 2 or 3 people who will come to practice their English in focused conversation and friendship. Some people just like to talk, for some we have lessons. It is usually easier to use a lesson with someone who doesn't know English very well.
Friday night, January 12, is our monthly Coffee House. The theme this month is "Winter". We usually have in the double digits (around 10-15) who come. They can hang out in a very informal atmosphere, chat in English and listen to music. Sometimes we have Italians come in and play live music, but not always. When we don't, Marcus plays live music with a keyboard. Everyone always likes listening to his piano skills and sometimes the night turns into karaoke. On my sketch blog, I posted some artwork for our February Coffee House, with a theme of "The Valentine Blues", you can check it out by clicking here.
Every couple of weeks we have a special prayer time for our team. In warm months, it is outside in the piazza. Right now, when it is colder, we have gone indoors into a nearby Catholic church, which is open for anyone to come in and sit. There is usually only 1 or 2 people besides us inside.
Monthly, we have a team fun night. This is for our team to get together and build our relationships, which always helps our working relationships. This month, we have team visitors who are going to watch the Casey's and Roterts' kids, therefore the adults are going to go to dinner together.
Twice per year our team has a planning meeting, usually outside of Ancona. We will be having our meetings January 19-22. Please be praying for this because it is a foundation of everything we will be doing for the next six months.
Every week, we have our two Life Groups that meet in homes. These groups are in their early stages, building relationships and growing together in Christ.
The last thing to note is that the Rotert family is heading back to the states for six months for their Home Service Visit. They will be seeing family, supporters and supporting churches as they travel throughout the US.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Saturday, December 9, 2006
La Fonte is an event that we plan for the church to come together and have a special study. It enables us to spend a little more time than normal on a specific topic. Last Wednesday, December 6th, our topic was an "Introduction to Discipleship". This was prepared and taught by Josh Furnal, who is developing our adult discipleship. Below are a few pictures from the event. Angie prepared and taught a special kids lesson during the adult study. We even had videoconferencee thanks to the foresight by Josh and the setup by Brian.
Friday, December 8, 2006
We operate a free English conversational program for adults, classes for kids and a monthly American style coffee house for adults to practice English conversation in an informal atmosphere. Our coffee houses have featured themes like 'football', 'autumn', 'hawaiian luau' and christmas, as well as live music and American style coffee drinks and snacks.
Bi-annually, we plan two contact events for deepening current friendships and reconnecting with relationships of which we have lost communication. Examples of these are Family Zoo Day, Picnic in the Park, Open House at our facility and Thanksgiving Outreach. Of these all, the Thanksgiving Outreach has gone over well in attendance. Italians have seen this american holiday on TV and in films, and this way they get to experience it up close and personal.
Our children's ministry has occasional outreaches like 'movie day', Christmas carnival, bowling, spring carnival and works in conjunction with our kids' english program. Most of the events are planned around a family style of ministry, where the whole family can come together.
As you read you'll see more about our ministry. If you ever have any questions please feel free to write us at email@example.com.