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!)
Sunday we had our worst earthquake yet. In fact, they are saying that it was the worst earthquake in 35 years.
Our family was having breakfast in preparation for church when the earthquake hit.
The chandeliers were swinging, the glasses were clanging and worst of all the floor was moving, much like you would imagine being on a ship in a bad storm. We weren’t sure if we should try to leave the house or not. We probably should have run downstairs and out the door, but were in shock!
We thank God for protection. Amazingly there was no damage, no people directly killed by the earthquake. Similar earthquakes killed as any as 300 people in the recent past.
However all is not well. Noah’s school will have to find classrooms for three classes from another school whose building was damaged. Even worse, over 2000 people in the region were left homeless or displaced and the cathedral and concert hall in Norcia where I have played were both destroyed. You can see a few pictures that Melodee and I took.
The first picture is the outside of the cathedral in the main square, which now is no longer standing.
To see what is left of them you can see the drone images from the fire department.
You can see video here.
Also another video here.
In this video first you will see the concert hall (an old church) and then the basilica in the main square.
Certainly this city will never be the same. Pray for God to work through this situation for His glory and to continue to protect us!
It is no coincidence that Sunday we were able to give our a booklet titled “Where is God in earthquakes?” We have also offered them on TV and radio. Pray especially for those who we have the privilege to come in contact with through radio, TV and personal contact.
As we get into our fall activities here, I give you a few items to praise God for and prayer requests for you to print out and share with your family, friends and church.
1. No known cancer for two years.
2. Ten years in Italy as missionaries
3. Gospel opportunities coming our way.
4. New Young Couples group
5. Vacation Bible School
6. God’s continued provision.
7. More men being equipped for ministry.
2. Training men in the church, especially pastors and deacons
3. Health for our family
4. Furlough plans
5. New Young Couples Ministry and pastoral care
6. Evangelism and church planting
7. Salvation of our children and personal/ministry growth.
We had an exceptional week of Vacation Bible School thanks to the hard work of many members of Centro Evangelico Battista, Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids (our sending church) and Partners in Discipleship International.
Our theme was “God Always Wins!”, which is courtesy of Children Desiring God Ministries.
In my last note I asked a specific prayer request for one child with a difficult family background. Unfortunately, that child was not able to come to the Sunday event, but please keep praying for him!
I am thankful for Daniel and Elizabeth Ransom, my exceptionally gifted co-workers, for this wonderful video!