A special place to share together while we minister in Italy
Dedicated to my friend
September 1st, 2009
We had a very busy week finishing up ministry work at the office and packing. We are excited and yet a bit overwhelmed. There are numerous things Pastor Mike and Loretta are hoping we can accomplish for them while we are in Rome. The opportunity is one to treasure and yet one of great responsibility. We are busy packing and trying to make sure we have everything we will need.
We are bringing along the materials for “Life’s Healing Choices” that our church family will be going through while we are gone. We will be going through it with you.
Thank you for all those who have committed to prayer and fasting for this time of ministry. Your prayers are so very appreciated. There is no replacement for fervent prayer.
We will greatly miss our church family in Sturgeon Bay. However we are so blessed to leave them in the capable hands of the ministry staff and leadership team. As we leave, we go representing the family here in ministry.
Please feel free to leave a “reply” and send us a note.
September 3rd, 2009
After a 1 hour flight to Chicago, 3 hours to Washington and 8 hours to Rome we have arrived. Pastor Bob, missionary who runs the Bible School here, picked us up at the airport and handed us the keys to the “Speed the Light” vehicle. We made our way back to Mike and Loretta’s apartment where we are staying. As it was 9am (our bodies thought it was 2am) we walked down the block as it was time for a quick cappuccino and update meeting.
We had our cappuccino at the corner “bar” (meaning coffee shop as in barrista). There we saw Evano, the owner. He makes the best cappuccino in the entire world!
We covered information about how the church is growing, some needs and a few details for service this Sunday and discussed the marriage seminar and the singles seminar they have scheduled for us to do. These weeks will go by quickly with all the ministry we hope to accomplish.
After covering a few basics we went back and started the unpacking process. Of course we were exhausted so at reposo time of noon (our bodies thinking it was 5am) we rested a few hours. Now it’s time to hit the pavement, get cell phones activated and take care of a few more details before it’s time to eat some real Italian pizza!
Please do post a reply so we know who is sharing our “family room” with us.
Jesus loves you – and so do I
September 4th, 2009
We are still adjusting to the time change of 7 hours. In spite of being off schedule we had a productive day. Our late morning and afternoon was invested at the church. I worked on the sermon for Sunday and Jill did some office work. A trip over to the electronics store netted us the right adapters for our computers. Right next door to church is a fruit market so Jill was blessed. Down the street is a pizzeria so I was blessed. Of course, every street in Italy has a least one pizzeria.
We valiantly fought (and lost) the battle to print off copies of the message. However, we lived to fight the tech war another day. Our phones are now functional with an addition of a sim card. But, the van needs some help too. Pray I can repair an electrical problem that will save missions money.
After some prayer time in the sanctuary I was able to assess more of the needs for upgrades. We are so blessed at FWC to have such great equipment. The technical needs here are great. Please pray for wisdom as I try to tackle them.
The leadership team is hoping I will be able to provide counseling and ministry that will help couples who need some intervention. Please pray that I will have the right words and be able to effectively speak into their needs. I sense God has sent me for such a time as this.
I expect to start adding pictures in a day or so. That will help us stay even more connected.
Pastor Mark and Jill
September 5th, 2009
We had a busy Saturday in Rome. A
down the block to visit Evano and get a cup of the most amazing
spent time working on Pastor Mike and Loretta’s 2000 Opel’s electrical
problems. Then in the 90 degree humid sun we snuck away seaside for a
breeze. We caught the Lido (electric train) to the Port of Ostia to
On our way back we grabbed some tiramisu from a mom and pop store in
Antica. Ohhh it was icy cold and soooo good. Jill cooked up some
chicken into a rice and asparagus dish and we had a nice supper. A few
some highlights and more will follow. Thanks
much for your prayers. We appreciate them so much.
Love Pastor Mark and Jill
September 6th, 2009
Worship time at International Christian Fellowship~ Rome
September 8th, 2009
Whew! We have been busy. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. We had a very long day. However, I will make it up to you in pictures. Jill and I did some hunting… for a soldering iron for electronic repairs. It took a long while to find one. I needed to repair the keyfobs on the Opel missionary van. That’s key, with a remote control built in. Here’s a picture of one apart with the circuit board and battery holder broken off.
Here’s a repaired one.
And here’s the two happy repaired and reprogrammed keyfobs. New ones were $150 each.
Cost for the soldering iron $7 and solder $3. Total cost $10. TOTAL SAVINGS $290.
Along the way we went to Fore Romana. This is the archeological site of the original city of Rome.
To walk all the way around it was about 3.5 miles. With our other hiking we put on about 8 miles.
Of course, we stopped for gelato (Italian ice cream) along the way.
Tuesday was busy getting ready for Sunday so my notes could be translated into Italiano. We had church staff meeting to cover the myriads of issues.
Then it was a quick break for pizza (my second of the day). Following that we had the 2 hour prayer meeting at church.
I shared the devotional. We even had a first time visitor to the church for prayer meeting! Back home and time to share it all with you.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. Please take time to post a reply. It feels good to hear from you.
Pastor Mark and Jill
I thought you might
enjoy a sharing a few sites
You may have heard of the famous Fontane di Trevi (Trevi Fountain. Here are a couple glimpses.
And here is a close up…
According to Jill, rumor has it that this is where Peter used to go for Cappuccino when he visited Rome.
The whole subject made me thirsty for another cappuccino. So….
Then, I took my girlfriend to the park.
And I thought you might be interested
I’m preaching this next Sunday. So here are my notes…
Pastor Mark and Jill
September 10th, 2009
Today I thought of Judith Vorst and
about Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day. Poor
woke up with gum in his hair. His mother forgets to pack him dessert.
friend decides he’s not his best friend anymore. Alexander’s brothers
have any cavities but — he does. And just when it can’t get any worse-
beans for supper! It is enough to make anyone want to go to Australia.
Well today was Pastor Mark’s terrible horrible no good very bad day. I got up late after a poor night of sleep with a bad stomach ache. I did manage to figure out the electrical problem on the Opel missionary van. It was a directional relay. No problemo. Just go down to autoelectrica and get a new one. Well, the “new one was a used one. I brought it back and it didn’t work. Ok, take it back. They were closed for reposo. Ok let’s go into town to see the underground church at San Clemente. Walked the 8 blocks to the train station and rode the train all the way into Rome. Then, Jill asked if I remembered to lock the gate. I hadn’t. In the stress of the part failure I got thrown off and forgot to lock the gate. No problemo. Just call Asangi and see if she is home and can lock the gate. No answer (cell phone battery was recharging). Ok just call Lawrence.. No answer- out of cell range. Ok, take the next train back to lock the gate. Got back and the gate was locked. Asangi had come home. But now it’s too late to go back to San Clemente.
Well, then I’ll just drive to the Opel dealer and buy the part. It’s only 6 miles down the highway. It is 4:45 so no problemo. (Yeah right). There are 6 million people in Rome. They were all on the same road. 2 hours later we came to our destination that was only 6 miles away. Yes, we could have walked faster. To top that off, the Opel dealer closed 15 minutes before we got there. OK. Time to go home. The traffic the other way was just as bad. Tried a different route. No go. Stopped to buy some groceries to wait out the congestion. Didn’t work. The 6 mile return was faster. It only took 1 and ½ hours.
All along the drive scooters and cycles don’t wait for the traffic. They just weave between and race past the cars. And in Rome the people cut each other off so much it makes the worst American drivers look like saints.
I started my day with devotions from Pastor Rick. He covered how to better handle your anger. Arrrggg. Gary Smalleys words kept going through my mind:
Ask yourself “Do I enjoy getting angry?” “Does it produce the intended results when I get angry?” “Could I get the same results in a more effective way?” “How would I be different?” Wait, that wasn’t just Gary, Jill was saying the same stuff. No fair triple teamed.
So we arrive home. No part to show for the process. But, it wasn’t really that bad of a day. Compared to Alexander I have things pretty good. I don’t’ have hair to get gum stuck in. I ate dessert on the way home. I had my best friend Jill with me the whole trip. Lab tests came back and my PSA and Cholesterol are OK. And we in fact did have lima beans for supper. But Asangi made them with her Sri Lanka recipe and they were good. And I’m here in Rome making a difference. So, this is the day the Lord has made~ I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.
Think on even more good things…. Philippians 4:8…
I was able to fix the Italian water heater at the apartment so we have hot water.
Lucy told me her sister came to church and is planning to come again this Sunday.
I was able to finally diagnose the car problem.
Jill complemented me on being so patient in the worst traffic ever.
There is a time and a purpose to everything under heaven… even a Roman traffic jam.
September 11th, 2009
the day determined to finish repairs on the missionary van. I made sure
the 6 mile trek at a time when the highway would be uncongested. I made
mile trek on the highway in only 15 minutes; Great time for Rome.
the parts were in stock and I was able to get the flashers and turn
functional. They had been broken for some time. Altogether, the parts
Euros, or about $40. In the states it would have been less than $10.
the reality of what our missionaries often face. If it had to be
the shop I have no doubt it would have been closer to $200. So a bunch
saved is a bunch of Euros earned~ well available for other use anyway.
Next we printed off sermon material, responded to emails and other office work. Then it was time for education that is invaluable. We headed to Basilica San Clemente.
Here is a church built on the home site of a believer who was martyred at the nearby Coliseum. The current church is built on top of the fourth century church which was built on top of a pagan site. Great pictures are available to view at the website http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-san-clemente.htm
Rome is known for its incredible carved marble statues. One of these is the statute of Moses by Michelangelo. The statue was carved in 1515 and is on display at San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains). Here is the amazing full view of the carving.
Here is a close up of Moses.
On our way to San Pietro in Vincoli made our way up a set of steps to the sound of the accordion.
Here a street musician was entertaining for donations. We thought of our son in law Philip. He would have enjoyed the show.
The trip had us once again go past the Coliseum so Jill got a better photo giving a good view to enjoy and memory to share with you.
Please do take a moment to send a note.
Love, Pastor Mark and Jill
September 13th, 2009
As Jill and I sat in the church
went over the PowerPoint and message. She prayed for me as we prepared.
checked the devotion I receive from Rich Warren. It was focused on what
preaching. I sensed God again confirming His desires. We could hear the
team rehearsing. There was a sense of great anticipation.
Worship was so refreshing. I was glad we were there.
When time for ministering the Word came it was clear that God was going to touch people. Preaching with an interpreter can be tricky. Fortunately, Marina is so talented it seems almost transparent. The Lord revealed to me that as the Word was being preached it would be like a healing flow through the people.
As the altar call came half the church made their way forward for prayer. I looked out as I led them in prayer. People were in tears. Lives were being changed. Angels were dancing. Father was rejoicing.
It is a whirlwind after church. The service which started at 11am ended about 1:20pm. Praying for and talking to people meant we got out a little after 2. Twenty minutes later we got home so I could quickly start on the video to send to Family Worship Center. I finished the video as the service was just beginning at FWC. David patiently waited as I forwarded the 28megabyte file.
Jill and I sat and watched online as we viewed the live service at FWC. It was good to see what was going on at home.
This evening we have been working on laundry and packing to take a short trip to Bulgaria. We leave for the train at 5:15am. There we will visit Staci who was part of FWC while she worked in Door Cty. Please pray for our trip.
I felt a little overwhelmed today. Ministry is wonderful, but can also be physically and emotionally taxing. I felt like I needed a little downtime this evening. As we have been prepping, I found the Brett Favre show (Vikings vs. the Browns) online; Nice to relax a bit. Well since we need to be up at 4:??am I think I better get some rest.
Love Pastor Mark (and Jill too!).
September 15th, 2009
We really didn’t think we were going
it. We were up at 4:30am. Arrived at the train station at 5:30. But the
were slow. We were supposed to be at the airport and checked in by no
than 6:50 for our 7:30 flight. We didn’t arrive until after 7. But,
issued a boarding pass, we hurried through customs and passport
then ran to the farthest gate in the airport (25th largest airport in
world). We were sweating and breathing heavy as we arrived and they
boarding the plane. We just barely made it. Someone must have been
We rested a bit during the 2 hour flight from Roma to Sophia Bulgaria. Deyan and Staci met us at the airport. We took a short trip into the mountains for an overlook of Sophia, the capital city.
Then it was lunch time that we shared with Staci’s sister and brother in law Eve and Nicky.
Then it was off to Pernik where Deyan and Staci live. We met their daughter Deya and enjoyed a wonderful evening together.
They are part of a small church where they work with the youth. Staci of course was part of Family Worship Center while she worked in Sturgeon Bay.
We have been very busy on Tuesday, so I will send an update for Wednesday. I am also prepping for the Married Couples seminar this Saturday and of course church on Sunday. Thanks for you prayers and love.
Love, Pastor Mark
September 17th, 2009
Our trip to Sandanski Bulgara gave us a chance to see an important historical site in Europe associated with the spread of Christianity. We were only about 30 kilometers from Greece. Only 120 kilometers to the Southeast, the Apostle Paul founded the church of Philippi. During the first century colonials of Philippi, including Christians moved north to the area that is now Sandanski. The result was an underground Christian church was formed here by converts of the Apostle Paul. “Underground” because Christianity was not “legal.”
The archeological site we visited here was found in 1967. The complex includes a three-nave basilica (three sanctuary areas that lead to the same altar) with a narthex (entrance) and atrium (large gathering area) made in the Greek style. This was built in the middle of the fourth century after the 313A.D. Edict of Milan was given by Constantine making Christianity legal. The basilica existed till the middle of the sixth century. During it’s time, the ancient town that is now Sandanski was the leading economic and cultural center in the region. The church and Christians here played an important role in the spreading of Christianity.
From the believers of this church the Gospel spread through central and Eastern Europe from the Aegean sea to the Balkans. I spent time in the museum as well as the archeological site. Here are more pictures to enjoy…
There is so much more to share with
internet is not as accessible so we will share more when we get back to
Roma. Please leave us a post as we would love to hear from you.
After returning to Roma we had a marriage seminar on Saturday. They were hoping for ten couples. We had 25 couples! If you can imagine 25 couples all situated in a romantic candlelit room beautifully appointed… about 1/3 the size of our fellowship hall! In spite of the tight quarters it was an amazing time. Pastor Lynn and Pastor Bob Rose who run the Bible Training here in Rome (and other parts of Italy) put together this wonderful evening.
25 couples gathered into a room 1/3 the size of FWC fellowship hall!
I was the
speaker and was blessed to teach the couples a condensed version of my
Marriage Encounter presentation on “Sex and Devotions.” The people were
receptive and appreciative.
Love Pastor Mark
We are living in a part of Roma called Achilia . This is where missionaries Michael and Loretta have their apartment. It is about 2200 square feet. That sounds big, but it is actually share with 2 other families! One is the associate pastor Lawrence and his wife Asange who have two rooms and a bath. Lucy a single gal from church has a room and a bath. We are using Michael and Loretta’s room and office which also has a bath. The kitchen and dining/living room are shared by the three families.
Prayer request- please pray for Rascal. He is not doing well. His liver is failing and we have been taking him to the vet. The next 36 hours are very critical.
We have been so very busy. Tomorrow I’ll give you a few pics and synopsis of a day in Roma for us. Please keep Rascal and us in prayer.
Love Pastor Mark and Jill
September 23rd, 2009
Working away at church…
8:00am- Devotions at home, cappuccino and coronado e ciaccolato (roll with chocolate).
9:15 Take Rascal to vet
9:45 Pack dress clothes to change into for prayer meeting tonight as we won’t be able to come home in between.
10:00 Off to church – exit to highway closed for construction, taking Via Ostiense instead. Prayed and perfect parking spot opened up right in front of church.
10:30 Quick stop at Upim store to buy a pair of dress pants as my only pair are getting too frayed at the bottom. First pair fit perfect and were on sale!
11:00 Planning and setup.
12:00 Pizza and Gelato (what did you expect?).
12:30 Start replacing more of the light fixtures. For over a year they have had just bare wires and light bulbs hanging down as it was too expensive to hire an electrician. Walls and ceilings are made of concrete so every screw and bolt hole has to be drilled out with a hammer-drill for a concrete anchor.
4:00 pm 4 more done today, 7 lights done so far, 12 more to go plus three fan units and more wiring! Time to clean up and get ready for staff meeting.
4:15 Set up old desktop computer in my (Pastor Mike’s) office so I can begin updates on it to use it in sanctuary.
4:30 Staff meeting. Blessed by reports of how people are really enjoying our ministry. It was encouraging. Covered soooo much material.
6:00 Get out churches guitar and tune it to use for worship during prayer meeting. Print off songs and have Asange prep PowerPoint slides. Go over music. Print off message and order of service for prayer meeting.
6:40 Quick trip to the corner for a cappuccino and piece of cake to tide over.
6:50 Back at church and set up for service.
7:00 Prayer meeting begins. About 25 people come and we storm the gates of heaven with praise and petition.
8:40 Prayer meeting finishes. Extra prayer for others who come forward.
9:15 Leave for home.
9:45 Take care of Rascal.
10:00 pm Spaghetti supper and fellowship.
10:40 Write up blog and upload for our friends.
11:15 Respond to emails.
12:00am- Time for a few hours of sleep because there is soooo much more to do!
much more to do.
September 29th, 2009
There are some lessons we don’t like
learning. One that I have had to “grin and bear” is some of the prices
economy of Rome. Now a great cappuccino is only 80 cents (about $1.20
tax etc). That’s not bad at all. In fact it is a deal. Pizza is also
reasonable. Unfortunately, it pretty well stops there.
I had to put some oil in the car. No problem, just buy a liter (very close to a quart). So I asked “Contra costa mechina oilo per favore?” “tre dice.” I tried not to look to blown away. “Tre dice” is 13 euros. That’s close to $20- for one quart/liter. I thought there must be a mistake. After all, you can get your oil changed in the U.S. with five quarts and a filter for that price. I found out in Italy an oil change at a discount garage is about $90. Total sticker shock. Well, I had no option. The van needed 2 liters… so I found the best price, ponied up 25 euros ($37) for two liters and chalked it up as a lesson to appreciate how good we have it in the U.S.
Now I have to arrange for a night in a hotel up north as we prepare to start our sabbatical adventure!
The old adage goes… give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach him to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime. There was so much electrical work to be done that I figured I needed to teach someone the skills. So I’ve been training Pastor Lawrence to drill the holes, mount and wire the fixtures making sure of course the 240 volts of European power are turned off first. He is quick learner and has been working with me to finish the churches electrical.
After the Sunday service we had an afternoon singles seminar. 45 singles came for pizza and my pastor’s presentation. Jill did a fun game where the singles had to untangle into circle. I shared about being a whole person in Christ. Afterward we had a time for questions and answers. For 2 hours there was one question after another on life and relationship issues. Since people have to travel a fair distance to get to church, they want to invest the day. We finished about 5:30. It was a 9 hour day that was fulfilling and exhausting. We have heard some wonderful reports of how blessed they were and how practical and helpful the day was.
September 30th, 2009
For the last three weeks I have been
with the weekly prayer meeting. Each night I have shared a devotional
last two weeks I have led the prayer time as well. We meet at 7pm for
minutes of quiet time. After a song or two I shared the devotional and
we have prayer
time together as a group. It is exciting to have people from so many
all gathering for prayer. It feels like an Acts chapter 2 experience.
The days here have been so full. Our care for Rascal has meant investing most of the last 10 mornings for a visit to the vet. Afterward it has been off to church and trying to finish projects. Yesterday that also included staff meeting, counseling and prayer meeting. At the end of the day we have been pretty tired. We are enjoying our time of ministry but also looking forward to the rest of the sabbatical. Thank you for your prayers. We definitely need them and greatly appreciate them.
October 2nd, 2009
The last two weeks have been
busy. Not just for us but also for the associate pastor Lawrence.
Pastor Lawrence’s day off so we decided to double date on a day trip.
to the village of Tivoli about an hour east of Roma.
Tivoli is famous for Emperor Hadrian’s Castle of 132 A.D. and for The Renaissance Villa d’Este. This 400 year old villa is an amazing castle with huge fountainsand pristine gardens. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can Google it to read more about it.
The trip was so refreshing. Compared to living in Rome Tivoli was so very very quiet. We are used to lots of noise day and night so the calmness was refreshing to the soul. We really needed the break and are definitely the better for it.
Here are some pictures to share the day with you…
I have a sad report
to share. Our friend Rascal has
gone to be with Lord. We loved on him and cared for him the best we
patiently hand fed him for 10 days. Unfortunately, he just wasn’t
pull through. His liver had failed. Please keep Pastor Mike and Loretta
prayer as Rascal was an important part of their family in Rome. I have
a few pictures of our time with rascal.
To quote a famous Italian “The smallest feline is a masterpiece” - Leonardo da Vinci
This weekend we will be recording the marionette puppet show “Blessed are the Poor” “Beati i Poveri”. Philip and Sari will be going through Europe next summer and they will need the show produced in Italian for street ministry. The show has already been created in Polish. Our head translator Marina has finished two versions of Philips’ script. Next, I will work with a cast of people Marina has lined up for the recording of the parts. The recording is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. We really need and appreciate your prayers for this important project.
October 3rd, 2009
We spent most of the day working on
translation and recording project. We are taking Philip and Sari’s
Sideshow and translating it into Italian and recording it. Next summer
and Sari will be traveling through Europe doing street performances and
the Gospel. Thanks to the awesome work of Marina, we finished a huge
today. Tomorrow (Sunday) we will try to finish the rest of the
We really appreciate your prayers in this project. We believe there will be many souls brought to Christ through this outreach.
October 3rd, 2009
On Friday I was teaching Pastor
Maxwell how to do brick work for the finishing inside the sanctuary.
process, Pastor Lawrence accidentally stepped on a rusty nail. After I
the wound with an antibiotic I asked when his last tetanus booster was.
many of us; it was too long ago, more than the 10 years that it is good
Down at the Farmacia (Italian Pharmacy) I presented my U.S. credentials and secured a Tetanus Diphtheria vaccine (yeah with the 1 1/2 inch needle for an inter-muscular injection).
Pastor Lawrence was a brave patient.
So I get to play pastor, missionary, psychologist, electrician, bricklayer, and nurse too.
By the way…. when was your last Tetanus booster?
October 7th, 2009
Sometimes we don’t realize how a
phrase in English can be so hard to translate. One of the three stories
marionette show is about the story of the woman caught in adultery. To
emphasize God’s love in contrast to man’s denigration, Philip used the
“you’re not just meat on a platter.” That doesn’t translate well into
We had multiple discussions around this phrase. After the last discussion, about 30 minutes long, it was suggested (translated into English) “You are not just a use and throw away woman.”
The whole team has worked hard to create an accurate and touching presentation that will be a powerful tool for evangelism. If you would like to see the English version, you can goto youtube and search for “Philip Shorey.” Eventually, we hope to post the Italian version.
On Monday evening we finished the last recording Edorado did the part of Saul “the religious leader.” He was fantastic. After 3 days of recording, 36 pages of script, (and of course a few cappuccinos) we have completed a monumental task- The BIG project. Thank you to everyone who was praying. The hand of God was very evident.
David Bruss set up an FTP site for me to send the 125 megs of files back so we would have a secure backup. Early Tuesday morning the project was completed.
October 7th, 2009
Since Friday we have been quite busy
BIG recording project. But there are many other things that have
Sunday was our final day of preaching at International Christian
The service was incredible. We could tell people have been praying. The
were appreciative of our ministry here. As a church, they presented
Jill and I
with a gift of a beautiful Italian clock. Several others gave gifts to
their love and appreciation. It was a wonderful day. We will miss the
The BIG project of course took up most of the rest of Sunday and a few hours of Monday as well. The rest of Monday has been packing up 5 weeks of living and preparing to head to Venicia (Venice) for the next part of our journey. Some of the leadership team took us out for supper on Monday evening to express their appreciation. Much of the appreciation goes back to Family Worship Center for loaning us to them for these 5 weeks.
October 7th, 2009
The alarm went off early and we finished packing our remaining stuff. Of course, on the way to the train station we stopped by Ivano’s for one more perfect cappuccino. Pastor Lawrence and Maxwell were so kind as to help us with our luggage and take the train/metro ride to Termini, the main station to get on our cross country train.
The 6 hour ride northeast takes us through the hills and valleys of the countryside and more cities of Italy. Instead of the non-stop high-speed Euro Star that saves an hour and a half, we choose the Inter City train that costs much less. Train travel in the U.S. is a lost art. Here in Europe it is common and convenient.
October 7th, 2009
Tonight we have a small (and I mean small) room booked. There is no bathroom in the hotel room (you share one with others on the floor). There are rooms on four floors and there is NO elevator. We arrive with our heavy cases and find, our room is on the first floor! Someone was praying. For this modest accommodation we pay 80Euro or $120 a night. That is considered one of the lowest priced rooms on the Island. The average room is well over $500 a night and one can pay much more. But, our needs are few and our wants are simple. The ancient beauty of Venice is so appealing. It is rugged and romantic. This is our first stop on our way home.
Now begins a time of Sabbatical. The word itself implies rest. After the last 5 weeks of ministry we definitely feel the need for it. Tomorrow we will board a ship and continue our slow journey home.
October 11th, 2009
On the ship Internet access is very slow and very expensive. So we are not able to post much. Please forgive the limitation. We are making our way home slowly as we will cross the Atlantic by ship. Next Sunday we will be in Ponte del Gada in the Portuguese Azore Islands. I will be preaching there. Please pray for an effective outreach and ministry.
Love Pastor Mark
October 24th, 2009
Jill and I had a wonderful time of ministry at Ponta Delgada. We were blessed to see the new work there and be a part of it. We are currently in the Atlantic ocean making our way to the U.S. We will land in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Since we are here (where it is still warm) we are going to take a few days for scuba diving together. We will be home next weekend. My message for November 1st is entitled “There’s no place like home.” We hope you will be there with us.
We love you and miss you.
November 1, 2009 Rev. Mark Schwarzbauer, Ph.D.
That’s the title of my message for Sunday. It’s also how we feel. We loved our time of missions’ ministry. But, the people in Sturgeon Bay are our family and we are so happy to pastor here and be home.
Yes, these weeks of missions’ ministry have been wonderful. We know our overseas ministry has made an eternal difference in so many lives. From the seminars and services, counseling, repairing and installing, we have helped the work of God in Rome.
Judy, we are so very appreciative for your help in touching so many lives. Thank you from us. Thank you from the people at International Christian Fellowship in Rome. And thank you from Missionaries Mike and Loretta Hopkins. God will bless you for your kindness.
Pastor Mark and Jill