Sometimes after a long time away, I find myself longing for home. (HOME. Isn’t that a beautiful word?) And although always greatly appreciative of the hospitality we’re offered, as miles and days pass my longing for home steadily increases. Even when visiting family and friends we don’t often get to see.
One-by-one we’ve watched them go. Quite often heart-broken, usually discouraged, but always leaving a big chunk of their hearts behind them. Graveyard life did them in, and it’s really no surprise. It’s often dark and gloomy, oppressive and crushing.
It was 1992, and after only two years on the field we were “back home,” at least in the minds of our fellow Americans. But we were planning our return to Italy, for that was where God had called us and planted our hearts.
June for us is a busy month. Hubby is busy finishing up his English classes. While I scurry about getting ready for our summer travels, as we usually visit and catch up with friends and churches. We’ll be traveling quite a bit this summer too, as usual. And I really wish you could join us!
Tips for missionaries (and people everywhere).
The fire didn’t heat better out of the fireplace. All it really did was create more smoke! Though no one would ever convince the dear, stubborn, old man of that! Yet we fondly remember those simple evenings of reading by the fire in my father-in-law’s home as some of the most cozy and delightful evenings of our lives, even with the choking smoke and burning eyes!
Adapting to different cultures is usually difficult, and many times perplexing and mind boggling. Take Italy’s standard greeting of kissing both cheeks. It’s really not as standard as you may think. Because usually people here just sort of touch cheeks and kiss the air. And furthermore, cheek kissing is often considered inappropriate in many business or formal settings.
One by one they filed in, sitting around the smoky fire in the dark, dingy room. The entire village, it seemed, wanted a look at the Americans. While I in turn, through teary, smoke-filled eyes, examined them. Our new town folk, for this was our new home.
Our village nestles between the rolling hills of Abruzzo’s Apennine mountains and the Adriatic coast. Covered with vineyards and olive groves, with snow-capped mountains in the background! Abruzzo truly is beautiful, and we feel blessed to live in such an area! Largely an agriculture region, it’s famous for its Montepulciano wine. And also for its long beautiful beaches, gorgeous mountains, and great cuisine.
We love this nation, although of course like any place, Italy has its share of negatives and downfalls. But somehow, when we look back over the years, all we see are the people we’ve grown to love. The beauty of the land and culture. And the thread of God’s unwavering faithfulness woven through from beginning to end..