April 30, 2016
Dear Praying Friends,
Our visas have been approved. We are extremely thankful for this! It is a large step of faith to buy tickets expecting to get your visa, but God has provided. We sincerely appreciate the many people that surrounded our meeting at the Italian Consulate as well as the three week process to get our visas approved with prayer. I have no doubt that everything went through smoothly because of the many prayers. It is always a time of great reflection as all your paperwork, is turned in, and it lays in the hands of a government official to allow you into the country or turn you away. We have a small supporting church in Michigan that simply banded together and several people promised to pray for us every day for the rest of the month of April. What a great encouragement and blessing that was to me. Words cannot really even describe what that did for me.
Taking a family on an international trip is a lot to think about. However, moving everything you own, and storing what you are not able to take, becomes a enormous undertaking. We have been working on sorting, storing, and packing since before April started. We have moved our travel trailer to West Virginia and have moved into our good friends house, the Weavers. We are so thankful for the Weaver family and all their help to us. Just imagine packing everything you own, and moving… or shipping it overseas. The time, money, effort, energy, and emotions can all run short as deadlines grind down on us. We recently had a garage sale/bake sale to get rid of much of the stuff that we cannot store or take with us, the Lord blessed and we were able to raise about half the money to pay for shipping our stuff to Italy.
We leave for Italy on April 30th. We will probably not be available for a month as we travel and get setup in Italy. We currently have a house lined up for us to land in. We will be shipping some of our stuff over about mid-May. Please pray that all goes smoothly as well. Pray that we learn the language quickly. The Jordan’s are going to help us get our feet on the ground and we are very grateful for the help they have already been in getting some things at the house setup for us.
Please continue to pray for the rest of the money to come in for tickets and shipping. We are still about $2000 short of what we need to cover all these expenses. So many people have given, and we cannot tell you how much we appreciate the special gifts that have been given to cover these expenses.
As we prepare to leave we cannot express enough how grateful we are for Anchor Baptist Church and our dear church family! They had a wonderful sending off service for us and an Italian meal to follow. We will truly miss all our dear friends and family but look forward to see what God has in store for us in Sicily!!
Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice