Avanti Italia by fjwuxn


									                   Avanti Italia
               Update #7   February 2009

           Ciao`     Ciao`     Tutti!!!
I cannot begin without thanking the person/people
responsible for bring us back to the States for the
Christmas Holidays. We had such a wonderful visit
with many of you…family, friends, and especially
with our three girls! It was great to hug them!
(Which I took full advantage of, every chance I
could!) 
We have no idea who it is…we are very grateful and
humbled by your thoughtfulness and generosity.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

I had some tests done while I was back in the
States. I appreciate your prayers and
encouragement, thank-you. (Specially the ladies
from my “Ladies Night-out Group” and “Thursday
Night” Supper Club.) I cannot express how dear you
all are to me. Things are settling down and I pray
this coming year will be “less eventful!”

Upon our return from the States things have been
bustling around here and it looks like there is no
end in sight! Ha

In January, the Church Agape (pot luck) had 90+ in
attendance! The new HUF (Harding University in
Florence) students are in town! 
David and I continue our search for a car…it is
proving to be very difficult. Three times we
thought we had one...each time our arrival, “with
intent to BUY,” the car had been sold! …aarrgghhh!!

     As for work around the Bible School…
David has replaced a couple of water heaters, one
of which needed to be brought “up to code.” This is
always an adventure here, in Italy!
                     - Page 2 –

Needless to say this turned out to be a rather
time-consuming project and he is glad it is behind

David has the grounds pruned, trimmed and cleaned
out. I have planted winter flowers in the front of
the building. Several of the neighbors have stopped
by to chat and make comments regarding the
progress. The school has a charming “curb appeal.”

David has painted another bedroom, on the 3rd floor.
This room really looks nice. Alessandro, the young
man at the paint store, brought us to the back of
the store to select from the cans of “mistakes.”
We chose a lovely shade…for a fraction of the cost!
What a blessing! Also, a big thank-you to Alan and
Anna Maria Earhart (Alan, former HUF Assistant) donated
some furniture to the Bible school. The “new”
armoire is a welcome addition to the ambiance in
this room!   We appreciate their generosity! We
miss them and know they are a welcome addition to
the community down in Catania.

David continues with Bible/English lessons. He has
a full schedule. There is still a waiting list!
(What a great problem! )

Rosa and Felice are doing very well…thank you for
your interest, thoughts, and prayers!

               Recent & Upcoming Events

Soon it will be the peak of the tourist season and
with it comes many guests through our doors. March-
mid July seemingly are very very busy months here
at the Avanti Italia/Bible School building!       We are
preparing for another busy season.

The Bible School continues to enjoy a steady stream
of visitors. We look forward to visits from some
of the Avanti Italia
                      - Page 3 –

committee members in the coming weeks (Jim Woodroof,
Bob & Joyce Corbin, Frankie and Carl Mitchell.)

Last week, I joined the HUF girls as Mona
Shackelford led the girls’ Wednesday night devo at
the HUF villa, while the boys headed on down to the
Bible School for their devo.

February 14th was “Ladies Coffee/Special Project
Day.”   Each one contributed “something yellow” for
the Sunshine basket intended for Liliana Masini,
who was recently widowed. She and her husband,
Luigi, were long time members and some of the first
(perhaps the first?) converts here in Florence.
Luigi is deeply missed. Liliana has been unable to
attend, lately. We miss her beautiful smile &
sparkling eyes…we hope we are of some encouragement
to her by this very small gesture.

We look forward to Chad Fetters & Kensey Harris’s
visit! They will be in Scandicci for a few days to
complete some necessary paperwork, enjoy some
respite time, and also to welcome our newest Avanti
Italia worker, Lindsay Walle!

Lindsay begins her mission work here in Italy,
February 20th. She plans to join the Avanti Italia
team already working in Catania, which is in
Southern Italy. We look forward to spending time
with and getting to know Lindsay!

A few ladies of the congregation discussed & set a
time for a Ladies Bible Study that begins Feb. 17th
at 7:00 p.m. here at the Bible School.  Please
pray for this group! I am excited about the

February 19th, Avanti workers (past and present-9 in
all) attend a much needed “weekend get together”
here at the Bible School. What a great time!!
                       - Page 4 –

Everyone benefited, to say the least! We all
enjoyed a wonderful day full of sharing, discussing
various experiences (for example-a “wish I had
known…” segment, “this was particularly difficult
for me…” segment, etc.) It was a beautiful time of
sharing & developing ideas, relaxing meals,
bowling, prayer and fellowship!

“Conferenze per le Familie,” (a retreat for families),
will meet at the church building on February 28th.
It is always a treat to be together.

            Evidences of our being here…

I am continually reminded how we “stick out like a
sore thumb” here! Ha! I would like to recount just
a few encounters…that happen to us ALL OF THE
TIME!!!! It is incredible…

Recently, I was working in the yard and an elderly
neighbor lady who walks her dog to the garbage
dumpster several times a day, stopped by to comment
on my work. She welcomed me to the neighborhood
and told me not to give up on my Italian  I see
her often out and about Le Bagnese, she always
makes a point to acknowledge me…

I have two neighbor ladies “across my back balcony”
in the next apartment building. There is one older
lady who lives directly across from my balcony, on
my same floor (the 2nd,) and another who is on the 3rd
floor. They both always notice & comment regarding
any changes we make here at the Bible School and/or
regarding anything in the neighborhood. They make
the effort to “connect” with me….

     A few weeks ago David and I were having a
  cappuccino and pastry at Bar Aquila and a woman
approached us. She asked if David was the Director
   of the Bible School. He answered, “yes.” She
                     - Page 5 –

knew who we were AND that we were “full” (English
lessons.) She then asked if we “could please
squeeze her & her young son into the schedule?? If
not both of them…could we
please make room for her young son????”

We told her we were so sorry and, at this time,
there were no time slots available...not at the
moment. She quickly took out a paper and pen and
wrote their names and phone number down. We thanked
her, again expressed our regrets, and she left.
Awhile, when we went to pay for our breakfast…come
to find she had already paid for us! How did she
know to approach us….

I cannot count the number of times we are
approached by a person(s) we have NEVER met and the
request for Bible study/English lessons is extended
to US!!!
         How do they know?!?!?!?!?!?!?
How sad we are forced to reply “…sorry…not at this

                Some of Our Needs…

  (1) We need your prayers!   We need workers! We
      need your support!
        Prayers: For the hearts of the Italian
        To be open and ready for God’s word. For
        people who will commit 2 years of their
        life to a great work & who are willing to
        ACT on it…to DO it! For us, that we might
        see the important, encourage each other,
        and that we do not become discouraged.

        Workers: If there is someone you believe
      to be
        a candidate for the Avanti Italia
        contact with us! We need your assistance
        with this. We should not have a waiting
        list. We should not tell people…
        (continued on page 6)
                       - Page 6 –

  “ I am sorry, at this time, I cannot study the
                  Bible with you.
      But I can put you on a waiting list……”

        Support:       Pray for us. Recruit for us!

(2) Upcoming projects…how can you help?
Yard: We are tackling the backyard! A rather large
area that is absolutely unused, presently. The
goal is form several outdoor sitting areas for uses
such as meditation & prayer, one-on-one Bible
studies, entertaining, forming relationships, etc.
We do not have sponsors…yet.

Offering hospitality, being outdoors, and enjoying
a well-prepared meal are all part of the culture
here in Italy. Some of the immediate needs of this
project are…
         •One outdoor long table & chairs
         •Outdoor lighting
        •The buckled asphalt will need to be
         (David hopes to do this with a work crew-
        no cost)
        •Additional shrubs, flowers, ground cover,
        and a few small trees-would be a welcomed
        •2 or 3 small patio type round tables and
        or benches     for one-on-one Bible study,
        prayer & meditation, etc.
        •Pavers for the small patio tables

If you would like to partner with us in this
endeavor contact us or send your support to

    College Church of Christ
    712 E. Race Street
    Searcy, AR   72143
    Attn: Avanti Italia-Backyard Project

                    - Page 7 -

Also, if you know of someone who might be
interested...please forward this Newsletter!   Pray
for the work here.

It was so good to see so many of you over the
Holidays. Your words of encouragement were very
touching and encouraging.

We miss you and look forward to your emails!

Ahhh, once again…blame the large print & format for
the length of this Newsletter! 

Much love, Debbie

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