Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why we are in Italy

Many people thought we were a little crazy to give up 2 well paying positions, a nice house, the comfort of the familiar, and the closeness of family and friends to move across the Atlantic to the island of Sicily. But when the still small voice of God nudges you to do something, you had better listen. I could go on about all the hows, whys, who, what, and where, but the real beginning to this story starts in a chapel (short church service) seat at a very conservative, Christian college. That's when I met Jesus. I had a heritage of Christianity through my parents and grandparents, but becoming a follower of Christ is a personal decision. I grew up in church, Sunday school, and youth group, showing everyone what a "good girl" I was. Unfortunately somewhere along the way I realized that I had all the "head" knowledge, but it wasn't real in my heart and spirit. However, by the time I figured out that, something else got it the way - Pride. I certainly wasn't going to go around telling everyone that I didn't really have a personal relationship with Jesus. God has a way of catching up with you when you least expect it, in chapel that day we had a speaker that was sharing how he met Jesus. He was in church and feeling the pull of God on his heart, but was too worried about what people would think to ask questions and respond to that nudge. Well then a man came up and told him "Don't let what other people think send you to hell." That phrase summed up all my fears and I knew that I was so worried about what people would think that I was dooming myself. You say that sounds harsh, but it's true. God broke my heart that day, and I repented of my foolish selfish pride, right there in the middle of chapel. I knew all the right things to say and do, but they had never really been real to me. After that I was still concerned with what people would say, but I knew that I was right with God and that was more important. Looking back over the last 9 years, I have seen God's hand on my life in ways I never would have imagined. Different things have happened that can only be attributed to God's protection and guidance. And so I am here in Italy, working with my husband, to help a church and pastor who needed an extra pair of hands. God will take you places you could never imagine and do what best fits your skills and talents. I know that I would be miserable if I had not listened to that nudge in chapel and the nudges since then that brought me here.

I know that God is real, He lives in me, and I have seen things happen that could only be attributed to His hand. Some will say I'm crazy and that's ok, because what truly matters is God's opinion and whether or not you have accepted His Son, Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
Romans 10:9-10 in the Bible sum up God's plan for mankind. Salvation and peace with God is as simple as A, B, C,
Admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned...
Believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead
Confess that He is Lord of your life
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

I know this was long, and I am honored if you take the time to read it. I felt the need to share why I am in Italy and Who I am working for.


Samanthia said...

I cried as I read your posting.
Just remember the night I talked with you on the phone @ PCC and you told me the great news! Thanks for being so willing to follow God to Italy. May God continue to richly bless you & Shawn as you minister there and bless the lives you touch.
Love ya!