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Friday, December 15, 2006

UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 2006

Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the incredibly faithful help you have given us over the years, both in praying for us as Christian workers and as your friends in Italy. We have been in Europe 42 years, almost as long as we have been married (50 years next April). Time has zipped by with equally incredible speed, probably because we were busy with hundreds of projects big and small, and did not notice the passing of the years. Not everything has been joyful, but our heavenly Father has made it all worthwhile, many times over. So, we give our thanks to Him and to you for sharing in this ministry.
Does your church fly? Harold just completed his translation of Tim Woodroof's revolutionary book: A Church That Flies. His thesis is simple: many churches will never take off, because they are not restoring nor using the dynamic principles that let a church fly. He underscores the importance of understanding the permanent functions that God has called His people to perform, while relegating the temporary forms to a secondary position. We get into serious trouble when we give Pharisean attention to minute details and ignore what God considers our first business. This has profound implications for cross-cultural evangelism anywhere in the world.Pray with us that we may publish this eye-opening challenge to the status quo in Italian churches.
We had special house guests. Our participation in Christian conventions around Italy brings us into contact with many people from "the other side of the keyboard," for whom we thank God. One such family visited the Matelica church recently; our people welcomed them not merely with dutiful love but with real affection. This couple brought with them Catholic kinfolk to meet our people. That our visitors desire to evangelize certainly warmed our hearts too. Pray that we may encourage more fellowship among the churches. Oh, yes, we also sang without the instrument out of deference to our visitors? convictions, and it did not kill us. It was a good exercise in Christian freedom and love.