"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter is gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100
We hope this beautiful fall weather is a treat to all of you as it is for us! After a long hot summer, we are so thankful to start the semester off with a crisp chill in the air!
Saturday September 12th, we officially kicked off our semester with a "back to school" party of sorts. we had a great turn out . . . as always :D it was wonderful to see so many of our students!!!
Since Morgan left to return to the states, we are one worker short. this meant refiguring the "normal" work week. Before this semester, we taught monday-wednesday, on thursdays did various visitations and went to the church in Florence in the evenings, and had parties and other activites on friday. we have changed our teaching schedule to monday-thursday. This meant we could up our student capacity to 15 - 20 students per AI worker. you may not find those numbers very impressive, but you would be wrong ;) preparation is key in our classes. we are teaching english, but we are more importantly teaching the Word. this takes time and a lot of organization bc we cater to each individual student- in reference not only to their english level, but also their interest/knowledge of the Bible. in addition to our individual classes, we also have a few group classes.
the K I D S
in the pictures above, the kids were split into 3 teams. each team was a color. each team had to fill in the blanks of the english words written on their color index card, and then using yarn and masking tape, had to find the correlating italian word and connect them.
as any teacher would tell you, even though its my highlight of the week, the kids class takes A LOT of planning ;) however, its A L W A Y S worth it! this summer, i was discipled and wrote out a Unit on the life of King David for this semester and it is really going well! its a difficult to balance teaching the kids english and the Bible simultaneously for several reasons, but mainly bc they are limited on vocab. so learning a story is a little challenging. What i decided to try this semester is to really break down the stories. Each week, we learn a small part of the life of King David - 10 sentences to be exact. i highlight new vocab and try also to repeat vocab week to week to get the words to stick. then we play a game that correlates with the story of the week.
Federica, Ginevra, and Ilaria
Its always a joy to watch them soak up the stories and the english. they are so smart! its also absolutley true that children can learn languages 100 x faster and easier than adults. they amaze me every week! my prayer is that these kids will continue to be a part of the Bible School as they grow, so that they will continue to be met with opportunity after opportunity to know Christ. We would love for you to join us in prayer for them:
Carlotta, Federica, Ginevra, Ilaria, Federico, Michela, Mirko, Aurelio, Mattia, Mattidle.
in addition to this class, this week i received a phone call asking about the possibility of starting another kids class on wednesdays! ... as we always say, the possibilities are endless. Praise Him!
T H U R S D A Y S in F L O R E N C E
The new schedule is flowing nicely. eric and i kept our thursday evenings open in order to continue our group classes at the church building in florence. we have an advanced class of about 5 students and my beginner/int class has 4. i also have one individual student that meets with me before our group class. she has been a sweet blessing to me. the students that come thursday nights are very interested in the Scripture. they tell us time and time again that they love coming to read with us. they talk about the peace that they have discovered since studying the Word. this is so rewarding and uplifting to hear! its moments like these that we are humbled to be in His presence, witnessing Him work in the lives around us.
What do we study? last semester, we completed a LST book of Luke. This semester, we are begining another LST booklet on the Good News. This one includes various passages from the NT, centered on the Good News and our response to it. eric's class is reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. every night he talks about what interesting conversations they have as a class. again if you havent yet, READ IT. Please keep these specific students/ classes in your prayers.
R O S A
One week after we started back our classes at the school, Rosa's daughter Angela invited us to her country house for an evening of dinner and games all together! Of course the food was delicious, but the company was even better.
W H A T E L S E ?!
Andrea is our Christian brother here in Scandicci. He comes regularly to our Monday night Bible Studies at the School. By trade, he is an artist! one evening, he was a part of a workshop in Florence that was giving free demonstrations. We were happy to come and finally see Andrea in action! Above he is demonstrating how to do "fresco" painting!
Eric and his student Samuele.
Meet Eric's student Samuele. One evening he and his wife invited us to their home for dinner! we had a wonderful time and are already planning our next get together :)
L e t ' s S t a r t T a l k i n g. LST.
Eric, Barbara, and Ladelle
also in this new semester, we have had the privilege of hosting 2 LST teams. Barbara and Ladelle were our first team to arrive. They landed in Florence the Sunday after our kick off party at the school. we very much enjoyed having them with us! Ladelle had already been on several LST missions- to the Ukraine, Thialand, Mexico, Brazil... its amazing how God will use each of us if we are willing.
Giuseppe, Raffaele, Anita, and John
Following Ladelle and Barbara were John and Anita. they also stayed for 2 weeks and held individual classes . We are thankful for visits like these that refresh our Spirits. Above is one of our Monday night studies that is still going strong and growing. please continue to pray for these efforts.
Raffaele and Eric
Raffaele has quickly become part of our family here at the Bible School! He has been a joy to get to know and we so are thankful for his friendship!
Giuseppe, Anita, and Clara
Before John and Anita left, they had a small fall party at the school with their students. they planned some great get-to-know each other games and their students had a blast. Afterwards we ate some appetizers and chatted together well into the evening. its a blessing to be together with these italians and to have the opportunity to be share so many moments together. the Spirit is at work here in this place!
Kathy, Fe fe, and me
Speaking of the Spirit. . . we also had a sister from china and her friend come and stay with us at the school for a few days! Fe fe heard the Good News through the China Now program in Beijing. her church currently has 100 members!! isnt that amazing?! it was through one of her friends that she found out about the Bible school. One day she called eric and we organized to have her and her friend come and stay with us while they were vacationing in Tuscany. Even though we didnt get to talk with them a whole lot, meeting a new sister is always uplifting.
S U N D A Y
Sunday together with Sandra and her family in Vecchiano.
Just last Sunday Eric, Raffaele, Jodi, and I all went to worship with Sandra and her family at her home in Vecchiano. Afterwards we ate and spent the afternoon together. As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day. Eric led a wonderful lesson on following the Spirit and it was a joy to spend the afternoon together. I feel like a broken record, but we are truly blessed by so many who surround us here at the school and the work that has been given to us.
Minnie wanted both of the new toys. . . . ;)
Next Wednesday we are heading down to Puglia to help Rosa pick her olives! We also will be visiting with our beloveds from taranto! Cant wait to fill you in again next time!
Thank you for all of your love and support.
E and J