Happy Thanksgiving 2012!


Noah and MelodeeHappy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving Tour is coming to an end with a great time of family, fellowship and food.

Now we get to enjoy a few days of relaxation with Melodee’s parents in Florida before we head back to Italy.

Certainly we feel that God has answered our prayers for this furlough in so many ways…

1. We have had great times of communion with our partnering churches and individuals.  So many people have committed to pray for the 88 unreached townships of Umbria.  We know that God is going to do something great with this sacrifice of supplication on their behalf.

2. We have had enriching time with many of our mentors.  They have helped us evaluate our spiritual lives, our expectations, and our life mission.

3. We have had the opportunity for Noah to get to know his cousins and aunts and uncles on this side of the pond.  And, of course, it has been so special for Melodee and me as well!

When preparing for furlough, it was easy for me to focus on the importance of reconnecting with so many people who make our ministry a reality through their prayers and giving.  I probably spent the good half of six months preparing the scheduled and the presentation.

The one day it dawned on me…as a missionary kid, furlough was special because it gave me the opportunity to see my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins and some of my parents’ best friends, as well as the people who support the ministry.  So we have made every attempt to see family, including a special visit to see Melodee’s grandfather in Pennsylvania before he passed away, days after we arrived.  And our family and friends  have reached out to us, making special memories.

God has been good to us, and He has given us above and beyond our expectations.

Thank you to each one who had made this possible.

Life on the road, month two


The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost

Welcome to the travelogue of a missionary on furlough.

We have seen many lovely, dark and deep woods so far on this journey, but also many desolate plains and big and small cities.  One of the trees of those woods even fell on the mission house where we were guests in Allegany, New York, but God protected us and the house we were blessed to be in!

Most of all, however, we have been blessed to see many people over many miles and many states, and we still have 135 days to go until we return to our primary missionfield!

Noah has seen more places in his nineteen months of life than many people see in a lifetime.  The back seat of our borrowed car and the travel crib have become his home.  We have added a few travelers along the way…Baa Baa joined us in Corning, and Tiny Tiger joined us at the Cleveland Zoo.  Both were displays of the love of our friends for Noah.

The people have been warm and wonderful…from the barbecue worthy of a king in Evansville, Indiana to Grandma’s blueberry pie still warm out of the oven in Western New York.  The tears and the conversations have said it all…there are so many of you who are passionate to see men and women come to faith in the land of Italy, so full of religion that is big on ritual and void of Christ.

Since we arrived, we have been through ten states already and eleven churches.  We have been blessed by the generosity of friends and reminded of the treasure of family.

We have also experienced solitude (not on the weekends, of course), had time to soul-search and re-connect to God in ways that is simply not possible with our regular routine in Italy.

Please pray:

1. That God would help us evaluate our spiritual lives and the direction of what he wants us to do in order to be more effective at penetrating the darkness with the light of Truth in Perugia, Italy and across central Italy.

2.That we would continue to minister to people and churches effectively in ways that we usually cannot do because of the ocean that divides us, bringing people to commit to pray, to give, and to come.

3. That God would protect us as we continue our travels over many miles.

In the next month we will be ministering in the following places:

5 – Nokesville, VA – Grace Life Community Church

12 – Portage, IN – Portage Avenue Baptist Church

19 – Grand Rapids, MI – Calvary Baptist Church (just participating in the community of our sending church)

26 – Bolivar, NY – West Clarksville Baptist Church – AM

→ → Galeton, PA – First Baptist Church – PM

The rest of our schedule can be found at https://jonathanwhitman.com/furlough-2012/

Come hear us if you can, call us if you like and pray for us either way!

Robert Frost  said: “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  Thank you to all of you who are helping us fill the pages of this travelogue!