God is at work in Foligno! An update

Several people wrote me asking me: “How did it go?”

Vocal Artists of GRThe amazing thing is that I have not been back in the office since the day of the concert.  I think we set a new record of busyness!
Thursday night we got back around midnight from the concert.
Friday and Saturday I went to translate for a pastor’s enrichment conference in Assisi and was gone until supper time.
Sunday I was in charge of baptizing three people.
Yesterday I tried to stay away from technology and spend time with my family, who was starting to forget what I looked like!

We feel like the concert was a great success. 

Certainly there are things we could have hoped to go better, but overall we feel very confident that it was a good investment of time and money.

Paolo and JonPaolo put it best in his prayer: “Thank you Lord that there were not so many people to make us proud and so few people that we didn’t feel like we made a difference”.

Here are a few things to celebrate:

  • The musicians did an outstanding job.
  • My presentation during halftime went well.  I presented the reason for the concert and invited the audience to come to our next meeting on October 28th.
  • The church planting team from CEB did an amazing job.  Teamwork was incredible.  We even had some members who were able to share Christ with some of the people present!
  • We had a good attendance of about 150 people.  Several people asked for Bible calendars and pick up materials, and at least half of those present were unbelievers, many in contact with us for the first time!
  • Were starting to recover from the challenges.  Daniel is out of the hospital from his appendectomy, and a few of us (including Melodee and I) are getting over our influenza without missing a beat.  I’m also starting to get over the fact that I backed into Donatella’s car on our way to the concert Thursday night!

Meetings

You may be asking: How can you pray now?

  1. Pray for Sunday. We have our next meeting on the theme of the reformation in a beautiful setting that can guest as many as 50 people.
  2. Pray for preparations for the Bible study.
  3. Pray for me as I finish filling out royalty paperwork for the concert.
  4. Pray for the team as the recuperate and get ready for this next event!
  5. Pray for a good crowd and that everything will go smoothly!

Oncologist Report

Six trains two car rides, one taxi and a bus…and well worth it!

Thank you for praying for my visit to Dr. Riccio. He was impressed with my progress and doesn’t want to see me until April.

I wish I could say that we had deep theological conversations, but he did say that I am well on my way to recovery “If it pleases God”!  Pray for the salvation of Dr. Stefano and his family.

And thank you you for praying!

PS I didn’t miss any trains either!

A unique opportunity for you and an amazing opportunity for our church!

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  

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Earthquake – Safe…again!

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.

Norcia square

Norcia square

The first picture is the outside of the cathedral in the main square, which now is no longer standing.

Here is what it looks like now.

 

 

 

The other two are of the  concert hall, both inside and outside.

Norcia concert hall

Norcia concert hall

Norcia

Norcia

Here is what it looks like now.

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.

Seven Praises and Seven Prayer Requests

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.

The Whitmans in 2016Praise:
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.

Prayer:
1. Preaching
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.

Thank you for praying!!