During this time, the world is both together and apart. Together in that, we are all doing the same thing, social distancing to avoid spreading COVID-19, which is why we are apart. Thankfully, the single most important thing we can do is pray, and for that, we don’t need to be together.
The committee reached out to our missionaries serving in other countries and below are their responses. Please continue to pray for them and for the rest of our world. Each day brings different struggles, depending on where we are, but God knows them and He hears our prayers.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Greetings once again!!
I confess I have been holding off writing something because I feel like there is little to say! Like many of you, I have been in lockdown mode for quite a while now and although this week the level lightened up, we are still not supposed to be traveling too far from home.
But I had a great Christmas! Actually it was the longest Christmas break I have ever had thanks to covid!! I spent 10 days with my colleague Michael’s family and then another three days with Gary and his family. We haven’t been able to get back up to Gary’s camp property because of the exceptional amount of snow this year. In fact, to many shrieks of pleasure, we had a very heavy snowfall in Milano and Bergamo on the 28thof December. I must say, I wasn’t particularly happy myself but it was beautiful to see!!
Could I ask you to join with us in prayer for Ana. Ana is from Bolivia and she has been living in Bergamo for about 9 years now along with four of her five grown children. Ester is the one daughter who didn’t come as she was living in Brazil with her husband and children. Over the years the marriage fell apart and another relationship also failed but Ester had three children to care for. About 14 months ago she found herself needing to be hospitalized and unable to care for her children and at that point Ana and another daughter raced to Brazil and got custody of the children because they did not want them to go into foster care as they would have been separated. Luis (11), Bianca (10) and Camilla (4) have been flourishing here in Italy and Ester, back in Brazil, has been putting her life back in order with the Lord, attending church and using her singing gifts to bless many. But three months ago Ester disappeared completely. She was living in Sao Paulo, and it is proving incredibly difficult to find her. Ana has hired a lawyer to help with the search but she is devastated and terrified for her youngest daughter and for the future of her three precious grandchildren here in Italy. Ester was due to join them here as soon as the covid situation is over. Could you please join us in praying that Ester would be found quickly, unhurt and still desiring to walk with the Lord. Pray that she would soon be able to join her children and Ana here in Italy.
Praise the Lord! Despite the lockdown we are able to meet, in person, in church as the government has declared that worship is an essential activity. Now it has been a tiny bit complicated because their idea is that everyone will go to their local Catholic church and therefore not break the rules about not leaving the town where you live but our reality is that no one attending our church actually lives in the tiny bedroom community of Lallio just outside of Bergamo where our church is located. So we travel armed with a couple of documents that state where our church is and where we are going for worship and so far, no one has had any problems getting to church. We have needed this so much. We are also immensely thankful for Michael who continues to lead our church. And despite all the difficulties we have welcomed two new couples to our church and we are encouraged. I am getting steadily more proficient at broadcasting our service either via Zoom or directly live on Facebook.
Would you pray that we would soon be able to restart our youth group and especially Sunday School. I so miss teaching my little preschoolers and right now we have all girls in that age group.
Many of you have asked about Evelin and her kids. I have missed them quite a bit during this last lockdown!! It is much harder than I would have thought to have to be alone all the time and that’s coming from me – I love living alone!! But I am not usually indoors all the time! Evelin, Michele and Milvia are doing very well but we would appreciate your prayers for a good job for Evelin and also for the moving forward of the plans to put in a proper heating system etc. in their home. They are making do with space heaters but that is an expensive way to heat a home. It has been exciting to see Evelin grow steadily in her walk with the Lord and transmit this to her kids. What an awesome God we have!!!
Pray too for me as I try to maintain contact with people and use my time for His glory and for sharing the wonder of knowing Him. We really do have an awesome God and He is still in control! Halleluiah!!
Richest of His blessings to you, my dear friends!!
Thank you so much for writing in and checking on me!
I had a ticket to fly home on Friday, but cancelled the trip as it was to be for one month and did not make sense to spend half of it in self-isolation.
Things changed very abruptly here and now we are ALL in 24/7 lock down and unable to leave our homes without a signed document telling our departure and return points, when we are leaving and returning, and the reason for being out (we are given a list of the only reasons why we can be).
I had to venture out last week Monday to get a document scanned and signed by a witness to send to Mom's lawyer right away. That same day a widow called saying she had no food nor firewood.
I rummaged through the shelves to put some groceries together and filled the back of the van with dead branches and brush from the courtyard to take, but could not get a hold of her when ready to go.
However, by waiting a day, God wonderfully provided extra supplies. I stopped to pick up a lady carrying to heavy bundles to take to a widow from our church whom I helped care for back in Spring/Summer. My plan was to just take her bags so she could walk to the social house without that huge load. However, she was determined to get in, insisting she could sit on the wood! (We reorganized and made room in the front).
When I dropped her off, she asked me to wait and came out with two sets of beautiful, thick wool slipper socks she had made to sell and asked me to give them to the widow. As well, Christy, and American friend, came to the gate to return 2 thermoses and she had prepared a bag of groceries plus a bag of firewood! Wow! The widow, Lindralina, was so grateful!
The police stopped me on the way and commented on the full vehicle, but after taking a picture of my document and visa permit, allowed me to continue the journey. Praise the Lord!
Peace be with you always... I am still adjusting to our knew routine as our baby son just arrived to this world on the 25th of February!!! Now he is a little more than one month!!! Attached there is some pictures of us.
As we started this year we had about 5 camps where we organized experiential games and were very busy until the time of our baby birth... But as a little time after as we were planning ministry for this year we were caught by surprise all this situation... Which is making us be in pause for some time speaking about ministry because it's directly in contact with people... We are keeping ourselves in safe zone and keeping our distance and if I go out I try to keep the higene process... We are great to have my wife's mother with us... Although the plan was for her to be here one month... But her flight got canceled due to virus so she will be here until things move in favour.... Please pray as it's difficult for her to be away from home for so long... But she has been a great blessing for us and help during the time with baby...
As for us as we live in Campus it doesn't stop us from keeping maintenance... One of the projects that to all Nations Canada approved for us that we could renovate the big house here that has 3 bedrooms 1 bathroom a living room and dining room and kitchen... We are happy to say that in the time lap of January to end of March I have been working Hard and are thank full that we have finished this project as we have now moved and living in it as we are growing in number in our family!!! We are thank full for that.
As well we are continuing in the building at the back we have advanced a lot and are slowly getting it finished.... As I am not an expert it gets done slow haha but I am learning through people who have been helping and showing me how it's supposed to be done.... Also we started to do a clean up in our barns organizing all our donations and sorting them out to be in right places so it can be used and not only stored... Our goal is to free space and put things in order to be able to use the things... Also looking to keep making this place our home and beautiful for people or churches that visit our campus can get the best impretion and desire to come back again... This time of quarantine has given us more time to work in maintenance.
Also be praying for us as from December, Danyer, who was an employee or helper that we had for everything went ill and was in hospital as he was getting treatment. He shared with us his desire to quit, as he feels he won't be able to do hard strength work anymore... As of that we had to make a desicion and we are in the proceeds of hiring Johanas brother from Paraguay... He worked in construction in Paraguay and he is ideal for helping in maintenance... He would be coming with his wife and they are encouraged to come... As we are in this situation of the virus he is not able to come until it calms down!!
Be praying for us as we continue to adapt to a knew routine of work baby boy and big sister and family time...
To continue to do ministry and get closer to God and seek for wisdom in this time...
May the Grace of Lord Jesus be with daily
In His Service.
Steven, Johana, Aisha and Tarik Klassen
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