Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Milan!


Ciao a tutti! (Hello to everyone!) Well, summer is going by pretty fast! I’ve stayed busy most of the summer teaching students, although as the weather heats up more and more have left on vacation. My mother came to visit me for part of July, and I had a good time showing her around Italy and eating too much gelato (Italian ice cream)!

My big announcement is that I am planning to move to Milan for my second year as an Avanti Italia worker. I’ve enjoyed my year here in Florence teaching at the Bible school, but I am looking forward to going out and hopefully being of help. I will be working along with Lewis and Tammy Short, American missionaries who have been in Milan since 2000.

Milan is the largest city in Italy with a population of about four million, and is one of the major financial and fashion centers of the world. Since it is in the north of Italy, close to the Swiss border, I will finally have an excuse to wear all the scarves I managed to collect over the past winter, and hopefully see some snow.

The congregation in Milan has about fifty members, of all ages and races. Like most Italian churches, it is quite multicultural with members from, besides Italy, Singapore, the Philippines, Ghana, Albania, France, and China. I have been up to visit several times now, and they are a friendly and welcoming group, and I am looking forward to getting to know them better.

Some of the work I plan to be involved in with the Milan congregation includes doing Bible studies with new Christians, helping with the Women’s Bible Study group’s weekly meetings, teaching a children’s class on Sundays, and organizing activities for the "young people" (in Italy, anyone under thirty qualifies). In whatever time I have left, I will probably continue to teach some English-using-the-Bible type classes as a way to meet people and get involved in the community.

Lewis and Tammy have found an apartment for me on the west side of the city, not too far from their neighborhood. It’s small, but furnished and it will be nice to have my own space after living with so many people here at the Bible school. It’s just across the street from the Milan’s San Siro soccer stadium, so it might be a little noisy on Sunday evenings during the season. My apartment is one of the attic apartments on the fifth floor, but looking out of my window I am still not to the top of the massive pine tree just outside.

Well, I hope that everyone's summer is going well, and thank you for your continued prayers for the churches here in Italy. Dio vi benedica! (God bless you all!)

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