Scroll down to see past updates or use the archive links on the bottom left.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

UPDATE JANUARY 2005

ANOTHER YEAR OF GRACE! We are amazed that the Lord has been so good to us, by granting another year of grace. We celebrate His grace for supporting us in Italy over 40 years and our marriage for over 47 years. There can be no doubt about His grace all these years; the question is whether this coming one shall be a full year of grace, one ending in judgment. Either way, when He gives the signal to start the overture that He may well entitle: "The Last Day of Our World", we shall not have known that we had just one more day to live for Him. Let's live this time for His pleasure, so that 2005 may be a year of grace for everyone He brings into our lives!

Update January 2005

Gratitude. We are so thankful to our Father for helpers like you! We mention especially Debbie and Mike Alwardt who have so faithfully helped us as Stateside secretary (forwarding agents) for many years. Thanks especially to Dan DeNeal who so unselfishly helps by printing our Newsletters. We certainly do appreciate your praying for us, because with the difficulties, the Lord has given His grace blessed us, and given us people to help.

The weak American dollar. We are also deeply grateful for your giving to our work, because since the introduction of the Euro as the official currency of Europe, the weak US dollar has gone from Euro 1.00 to $1.00, to the present exchange rate of Euro 1.00 to $ 1.34. This means that, though the dollar income remains at roughly the same level of previous years, we have lost buying power.

Mid-Winter Rally. For years since 1964, we have relished the rich, family fellowship of European and American Christians who come together between Christmas and New Years' Day for the Mid-Winter Rally. Held this year near Trier, Germany, the retreat was a real treat, because the planning committee put together a splendid program centered around the theme: "Peace, Within and Without," articulated in the morning workshops and preaching. Randy and Julie Gariss, Wade and Beth Landers came from College Heights Church in Joplin, Missouri, Matt Crosser (Italy), Scott Caully (Germany). Harold presented a workshop on God's Self-revelation in the Old Testament, and Enid helped with the children in an emergency until the "official team" arrived from America. The workshops were geared nicely to meet the emotional needs and intellectual sharpening for everyone's ministry.

We drove to Germany, stopping at Vicenza in northern Italy to meet friends and worship with the Church there. They even invited Harold to lead the singing! After crossing Switzerland and enjoying a German hotel and meal, we drove on next day to the rally. Thanks to Don and Janet Bridges, we were able to catch our breath at their home in Landstuhl, Germany. Don asked Harold to preach at Landstuhl, sharing the workshop he led at the rally. Our return to Italy brought us to an overnight reunion with Christian friends just ten minutes from the Milan airport. The driving was splendid, the roads mostly dry with some rain and just a few flakes of snow. This is no small cause of rejoicing and thanking God. (No avalanches, no skidding on ice, no wrecks)

Imagine driving 2,000 km hardly noticing the fatigue. To be exact, that's from central Italy to Germany and back. The secret? On our car cassette player we listened to C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. To hear this Christian master story teller describe the Gospel in terms that children can understand, with background music, is to weep, laugh, dream rejoice and worship. We heartily encourage you to get the CD's and enrich your spirit. The child in you will feel a responsive chord struck as you follow the adventures of children who meet Jesus under the guise of the great Lion, Aslan. The mature adult in you will be led to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.

Disaster relief. Some people in the Matelica church put together over $1,000 in cooperation with the Lecce (Italy) church. Two members of this latter church are from Sri Lanka, whose parents were saved from the terrible tsunami because they were in church when the disaster struck. The little church was upon a hill, and left untouched. However, they lost everything else, house and jobs. So we wanted to help where we could. The Lecce church spear-headed an effort to send relief, so Matelica joined them. One of our ladies has a small pension, but a big faith in God and an ever greater appreciation of grace, and she gave beyond her means to bless the suffering in south-east Asia.

Our NEW e-mail address is info@hefowler.com or hefowler@iol.it. No other address is valid any longer. Please update your address book, since we have already lost some mail.

We send our love and greetings,
Harold and Enid Fowler