This past Thursday, here in Rome, we celebrated Valentines Day. No, this isn't because the Italian calender is that different from the American one, simply we needed a good excuse for a party and didn't plan ahead enough to do a Valentines Day party earlier. The party itself was a blast, and although my mind was done after speaking Italian for 4 straight hours, I loved that so many people were able to make it. I met a bunch of cool new people and got to stand on a chair and give a top 10 ways guys and girls are different... in Italian. I think a good time was had by all, though sadly I didn't take any pictures to prove it.
Life here has been a whirlwind lately, with little time to slow down. We are preparing for 3 weeks of American spring break students who are coming to help us out, to experience the ministry in Rome. It is a great help but also a great responsibility and a lot of work to prepare to best utilize these students. Not only do we want to use them well, we want them to have a great time, to truly get to experience ministry in Rome in one week. Needless to say, planning isnt my greatest strength and so this has been a little stressful for me.
Some of my responsibilities have been obtaining places for the nights to have outreaches with the students. In a large part due to my poor planning, but also due to not knowing the city and bars as well as I should, a lot of this is still up in the air. And the first spring breakers arrive here in 3 days. Pray that God works and all this gets taken care of. I am learning in the midst of all this what it truly means to trust God.
And speaking of trusting God, I am in the middle of trying to figure out what this next year holds in store for me and it frequently freaks me out. I am learning how to trust God and sometimes I do a great job of that, knowing that He holds my future in His hands and loves me more than I know. And then there are the other days that I get stressed out, dwell on the many options (join long-term staff here in Rome, return to the USA to do any number of jobs, work here in Italy in a job other than with Agape), and get buried under stress, paralyzed and unable to move. So pray for me on this decision, that I might actually trust God.
There is a church here this week to help out with a number of things, Hudson Community Church (I think). They did a night of music/praise/worship/sharing/prayer for us yesterday and one of the pastors shared something. He told a story about a pastor he knows in India who has a pretty debilitating case of leprosy but who continues to walk from leper village to leper village. He asked him what the Gospel means to him and his response is what I want to be true in my life. "Jesus Christ is all I have. Jesus Christ is all I need. Jesus Christ is all I want." May that be true in all of our lives.