After hundreds of miles of blessings and smiles, the time has come for us to say our goodbyes.
Tuesday morning we fly back to Italy.
Thank you to all who have made this furlough extra special by your hospitality, your prayers, your encouragement and your gifts.
I’m sorry that we weren’t able to see everyone, but we look forward to seeing many more of you next summer, when we plan on completing the second half of our furlough.
In the meantime, please pray for us. Many challenges lie ahead, but also many opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Keep in touch!
I don’t often forward notes from others, but I just received a note from my parents, veteran missionaries Fred and Rachel Whitman, that you do not want to miss.
First, they talk about a unique opportunity: an Italian Christian History Tour, led by my Dad.
It is unique in three ways:
1. It may be the last tour my Dad organizes
2. It would be a great opportunity for you to enjoy Italy, learn about our history and have a greater understanding of the need of the country.
3. For a tour of its kind, it is truly a great deal. My Dad never makes any money off it…he loses money every time, but he considers it worth it because of what it does toward raising awareness in the hearts of the participants to the needs of Italy.
The second part is regarding our new deacon! As a church body we were able to vote on a new deacon for our church body.
Soon, we will update you on our furlough plans, but this message is time sensitive, so without further ado, happy reading, and we hope to see many of you here!
(If you subscribe to both letters I apologize for the redundancy!)
Jon and Melodee
Yesterday the church voted almost unanimously for Jeremy, Giovanni, and Nicola to be our first deacons.
It’s unsettling to delegate more responsibility away from the missionaries, but we all agree that we could not have chosen three better men for the job.
They are theologically sound and faithful in all their households and in the household of faith.
God, help them to be men that your church can count on for the future!
Tomorrow is an important date for the life of the Centro Evangelico Battista: we are approving three men as the first deacons of our church.
Please pray that God will lead clearly!
Pray for their training.
Pray for their ministry.
Pray for a good working relationship with the body and with the pastors.
Thursday evening, August 22nd at 8:47pm, Eva Rose Whitman came into the world!
We thank the Lord for this beautiful blessing that God has given us. She weighed 3 kilograms and was 51 centimeters long at birth. (The use of metric is intentional, just to give you a hard time!)
We have been blessed to have my (Jon) parents helping out with Noah, and today Melodee’s parents arrived from Florida!
Thank you for sharing in this special moment in our life through your prayers and for the many of you who have been inquiring: “Is she here yet?”
The delivery went extremely well, and Melodee feels great! On top of that we had the privilege of sharing Christ twice while we were in the hospital — with Melodee’s roomate and an Indian young man whose younger sister attends our church. We felt God’s hand in so many ways. God is at work!
Now we are all back home, enjoying the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been providing meals and cleaning our house for us.
Noah seems to be adjusting well to having a baby sister, though he is not sure what to do with her crying. She has a voracious appetite and once in a while even lets us sleep.
Thank you for your prayers. We truly feel like the richest people on earth.