Rome

I know, I know. I have not blogged enough lately. I apologize! The team and I have had a busy last couple of days. We are entering into our busiest day of ministry, and we are doing so exhausted. I am writing this on Saturday morning (and not sure when I will actually get wi-fi to post it), all my teammates are still asleep and we are half an hour out from our agreed upon devotion time and an hour out from street witnessing at the church gates. Why are they still sleeping, you ask? We just got back from Rome at about half past two this morning.

We flew Ryan Air, which is an extremely cheap way to fly in Europe, but our flight was delayed over fifty minutes and then once on the plane, we didn’t take off for at least thirty minutes and once arriving at Stansted, we had to wait for shuttles for another twenty minutes. But that’s enough complaining! Let’s talk about ROME!

First of all, I never thought I’d be going to Rome, so it was such an absolute blessing that our team (along with two members of the church) were able to spend three days in Rome! We stayed at a nice, though somewhat shady bed and breakfast (which was really just someone’s flat turned into a hotel and it was just a bed–not really breakfast), but it was cheap and had air conditioning. Yes, thank God for air conditioning. Our team has been spoiled living in London during the summer where it has rained more than anything else. We forgot what heat was like, and boy were we reminded in Rome. But Rome is absolutely gorgeous. We saw all the main sights, visited the Vatican, climbed to the top of St. Peter’s. Actually, it was great climbing all 551 stairs to the top. First of all, please understand that I am afraid of heights. So while walking up these stairs you can’t really turn around at all, so I was wondering how I got myself into this. And we were walking up the stairs and got behind this old Italian lady who had to have been at least in her eighties. We were going slow, but strong. “If she can do it, I can do it,” I told myself the whole way. We ran into her again at the top. She was an inspiration.

Also, we made sure to eat lots of gelato. I love me some gelato. And of course, pasta and pizza. We were in Italy, after all. We used Rachel’s tourist guide book and found this adorable little Italian restaurant that doesn’t even have menus, and the pasta was absolutely fantastic. I am trying to think of some of the other highlights, but I am also still quite tired.

This morning is our last morning of street witnessing and our last real chance to push our Vacation Bible School (which no one understands what we are talking about when we say that, so we have to call it Holiday Bible Club). We still have a lot of prep for that, and it starts on Monday. Today we have street witnessing, NYI play practice, and are hosting a worship/skit/testimony night. I am sharing my testimony and although I know I will have more preparation by tonight, as of 9:17 this morning, I haven’t really prepared. So prayers are always appreciated.

Another item for prayer is my Pastor back home. I don’t really know updates (though my mom updates me whenever she hears anything) and can’t always get wi-fi to get updates right away, but he is in the hospital and needs God’s healing. It is so extremely difficult to be so far away when people I love are hurting and sad, so it has been a struggle to be thousands of miles away. But as soon as I first heard about it, I told my team members and we took it to God in prayer. We have been continuing to pray, and I pray for him every chance I get. I know my God is a God who heals.

We only have five days left here, and I will admit, I don’t want to think about that too much because I know I will be sad to leave. I really love my team and the members of this church. The beginning of June, I was surrounded by strangers I now consider family. I will be very happy to see my mom again (and let’s be real–I will be happy to turn my phone off airplane mode again), so I am excited to be home again, but in a way (and as much as my mother will hate to hear), this place has kind of become like home, too.

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