God is good. All the time. You know it’s true. If it weren’t true, then nothing else He said would be true. God is everything he says He is or nothing at all! He would not be reliable! But God is true and God IS reliable!
Here are a few examples:
My tongue surgery is scheduled for April 24th, with admittance on the 23rd. I will be in the hospital for at least a week. But being after Easter allows me to direct the choir and enjoy family time! I have also been asked by the other pastors to preach. It is both a great privilege and a great responsibility.
Dealing with cancer has helped me ask myself: “If this were my last message, what would I want to preach?” I have decided to preach a message on why the resurrection of Jesus gives me a solid foundation for my faith.
My land lady, Antonietta, has started listening to Radio Luce, our radio outreach. We continue to have spiritual conversations with her, as well as her husband Ernesto, who a few days ago admitted to me: “I think I am going to die soon.” He really didn’t have a clear explanation as to why he feels that way, but it gave me the opportunity to share of the hope and truth we live by.
3. Over-priced grocery store:
We all have to admit that we have an over-priced grocery/convenience store that we go to when we are in a pinch. I go to one in the nearby town of Montebello. I have had many opportunities to share the Gospel there, and we give them Bible calendars every year. One of the deli ladies gave us some of her home made Wild Boar Pasta sauce! Then she invited us to come to a social meal where she was cooking! Another lady opened up to me in line at the cash register. She said that she never goes to mass because the ladies that go to mass are the same ones who steal from her store. I share the gospel and even *gulp* gave her a tract.
One of the blessings of my illness has been to have to delegate things I love doing. The one thing I love doing is leading worship. I finally asked my substitutes, Jeremy and Vincenzo, if they would be willing to lead even when I am in church! Another brother, Giuseppe, plans the worship service. Now I just need to work on training deacons and preachers!
We continue to marvel at God’s provision, despite the increasing costs of life and health care needs. I have had one of our churches decide to allocate monthly money toward my cancer-fighting supplements. We have had people give me money for my frequent trips to the cancer center in Milan. Our insurance company promises 100% reimbursement for my hospital treatments…more than they would do if we resided in the States!
God is at work. We are unworthy of His goodness toward us, and even of the kindness many of you show to us. Please pray for God to be glorified and for much fruit in all we do!
We close with a new addition to our website: our most recent presentation. It is a slightly updated version of the presentation we shared with you last time we were in America. Once it leaves this page you will always be able to find it on our “Why Italy” page.
Hi Jon and Melodee, I praise the Lord for your faithfulness. I am so encouraged by your growth spiritually; I can hear it when I read your letters and I praise God for it. Be assured of our continued prayers for you in the days ahead. Remember, there is no improvement on the will of God; something I have to remind myself of frequently. In Christ’s love, Pastor Chambers
May the Presence of our Eternal God give you peace every moment as you trust in Him. What did Paul say? That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. He has put you and Melodee in this real time place of trusting in Him when there is no other place to be. Every promise He has made is yes in Christ Jesus. Count on it. Love, Aunt Dorothy
Continue to pray for you all and will be praying for the surgeon on the twenty-fourth. God’s words to Israel can be applied to His children today, I think, when He said, ” ”I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ ” Jeremiah 29:31. Philippians 1:6. As He leads you and your family through this dark valley He has promised to walk it with you every step of the way. Our love is with you, Uncle Dale
Thank you all! Your words are of great encouragement!
Found your site on someone’s FB page and decided to connect with you. We appreciated your update regarding your surgery next Thursday, Jonathan. We have been praying for you and Melodee, along with the rest of your family, as you minister in Perugia and will be upholding you in prayer as the 24th comes around and your treatment continues. May God be glorified as He works in and through you.
Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ed.