Journaling in my beloved Bar Agostini, my Cheers in Italy, where everyone knew my name (thanks for the pic Sara)
Ciao cari amici,I apologize, it has been a while since I have last written. Have you missed me? I have missed you. I thought I would take some time to fill you in on life, God, and of course, music. I am back in the US of A, enjoying the comforts of Chipotle, peanut butter, and everything being in English. It is funny the things you miss when you are gone. Since it has been a while, I will start from the very beginning, a very good place to start (name that movie?).Our Team picture before Amos broke his leg on the scooters...
I left Italy June 4th, which seem like ages ago. I left after a debacle (in the kindest way) of a debrief, which ended with a lot of time in the hospital. It was a little strange saying goodbye to a country that had been home for the last 9 months. I mean, that is enough time for a new life, from start to finish, and I guess you could say that my life has changed in the last year, though I still have yet to figure out just how completely. It ended in a way that was only appropriate for STINT craziness; my Video system on the plan overseas didn't work, my plane to Columbus was delayed 2 hours, then I sat on the plane for 3 hours without moving anywhere, then was told my flight was cancelled. I slept in the airport and me, Kanda and Sara all flew out the next morning, though I flew to Dayton, not Columbus, because there were no flights to Columbus. Ah, such was life on STINT in Italy.
I arrived home to family and friends. My sister Heather was living at my parents house with her beautiful three kids until their new home in North Carolina was ready to move into. Needless to say, I love being an uncle, but having kids (ages 5,3,1.8) live with you is an excellent form of birth control! I began work at Day Camp the day after I got home, so I haven't really had time to stop and breathe. I am the director once again for a Day Camp for my city and get to hang out and play games with 6-12 year-olds all day. So if you are wondering what my official title is, really it is a professional dodgeball player who happens to play other games. Hopefully by the time the summer is done, I will work off the pasta-belly I put on in Rome, stay alive, and return to Italy with some semblance of the Italian language left in my head.
Life in the States has been different and eventful. Believe it or not, I miss speaking Italian... a lot. I miss my Italian friends and life in a big city, and when I tried to cook my family (2 sisters, their husbands, and oldest brother and his wife, Mom and Dad) an Italian meal of Amatriciana, I missed Italian grocery stores too! Besides those things I miss, there are great things that have happened, like I bought a new computer! I am starting writing for a website in Nashville, so I will let you know when the first article is published.
Despite all this, it has been easy to already settle into a comfortable routine. I like how God shakes me out of that. I was sitting in church on Sunday, trying to listen to the sermon, but God had other plans for me. The guy speaking would say something that would send my mind racing, but not necessarily along the lines of the sermon. I realized I have gotten too comfortable at home, too ready to push God out of the picture because I dont feel my need for God as drastically here. That doesn't mean my need has changed, but it is easier to ignore in comfortable America. I don't want to be that guy, that comfortable Christian who sits back and praises God on Sunday, lives a moral life, but never truly depends on God. I want to speak out, show Christ to those around me, learn how to life in the reality that I am a child of the King of Kings. The other thing I thought about while listening to the sermon was...
This is the one and only time this year I will talk about my need for money on this blog. I promise. I am raising money to go back to Italy and work with Agape Italia again next year and it is a sizeable sum. I trust that God can bring it in; I am excited to go back, help lead, and hopefully to see God's name glorified in Italy. If this blog has been an encouragement to you, if you are interested in Italy and Jesus, and are willing to hear me out a little more about this (no commitment, I promise, just hear me out), can you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how to get in contact with you? To give you an idea of the amount, it roughly equals $40,000 for all the monthly and one-time support I need. I would love to have your support financially and prayerfully for this next year.
OK, enough of that, more free music gems; I will be honest, I haven't listened to this group yet (someone I trust recommended it), but I downloaded this CD and have a road trip tomorrow and let's be honest, who dislikes a free album? So go to DOWNHERE and get a free album from the band called DownHere.