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Monday, November 09, 2009

UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 2009

TRIP TO THE STATES? We are beginning to work out plans to visit our children and our extended family in the States next year in May 2010. We can work this out reasonably economically. Our quandary is this: while we are in the States, should we prolong our stay and plan a full reporting visit to all of our supporting churches from Maryland to Colorado in this time of economic crisis? Some churches have had to cut back on their missionary giving, due to shortfalls in giving. So would it be wiser to postpone an extended visit until better economic conditions?
In the past a full visit of three months to the churches involved long-distance driving (± 10,000 miles). This time we would be paying gasoline prices of today. The Lord has always provided financial help for these trips, but we wish not to be presuming, but rather to do the prudent thing. What do you think?
SEMINAR AT COSENZA IN CALABRIA
Calabria is the toe on the boot of Italy, where poverty, tradition and the Mafia are rampant and the churches are very small or non-existent. But we have brothers and sisters in the Lord down there! Their leaders invited Harold and Enid to bring them a weekend of instruction, so we met with 20 people from four tiny congregations. Having already met the local preacher and his family, we singled them out for particular encouragement, as they try to minister to these struggling clusters of believers.
The theme was "The Risk of Taking Jesus seriously." Although everyone could benefit from this portrayal of Jesus as our confident hope, in his seminar, Harold targeted especially three college-age men: two are Christian university students, a third the (as yet unconverted) husband of one of the ladies in the church. The goal of this get-together was to reinforce everyone's confidence in Jesus as Lord, in the Gospels as trustworthy, in His lordship as real and in His promises true and faithful. Over the years, these people have had heavy doses "churchanity", and the best antidote is to bring everyone back to the core foundation of our faith, to Jesus himself. We all need to see once again his power, his loving kindness, his sensitivity to hurting people, his lordship in the world and his coming in judgment. These, not better indoctrination, will motivate people to do the impossible for Jesus' sake.
ENID'S A/H1N1 INFLUENZA
Enid has become part of the pandemic statistics for this year's new flu, by coming down with the A/H1N1, and Harold has been exposed too. Other church members at Matelica have it too. Please pray for full recovery and health for everyone.
UPDATE ON OUR CHILDREN. Roberta's spinal hernia has been operated and is in the process of healing. Debbie's broken arm seems to be healing well enough for her to return to work. Malcolm has had some serious dental surgery, but can now taste his own Italian cooking. Stuart and Lisa have undergone nasal surgery, and are getting back to normal. Thanks for praying for our extended family. The Lord knew exactly what to do with your intercession.
We really appreciate your loving care, and the Italian brethren too are in your debt because of your faithfulness in praying. We see at least one mountain that is beginning to move. More details will be forthcoming when we can measure its movement.
Harold and Enid Fowler