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Dear Praying friends,
July has been an extremely busy month for us. We spent a few days at the Northeast Vision Summit in Berlin, NJ. We were greatly refreshed by the excellent preaching and singing at the conference. We enjoyed the fellowship with many pastors and friends that we ran into there. That Sunday I preached all three services in Marietta, Oh. I also preached at Jr. Camp all week long as well. At least one young person was saved, and many Jr campers made decisions to live for God. It was an intense preaching schedule as I preached twice a day for the week. However, it was a great blessing to hear the campers give testimony on Thursday night at the camp bonfire. The Sunday after camp I also preached all three services at our sending church. I ended up preaching a total of 14 times in that 8 day span. Praise the Lord for the strength and ability to preach!
We have been working on getting Rachel & Rebekah ready for college. They have their driving permits, however we have not had much opportunity for them to be able to practice and be ready to take test for their drivers license. Getting a job has not been possible with the crazy life of being on the road, however God has greatly blessed them. They have the funds to start college. They will have to find a job as soon as possible once they get to college. This is of course a big step for them. Please pray for them as they launch out on this next phase in their life.
1Tim 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” We have served the Lord for almost 20 years as missionaries, and God has blessed us beyond measure. There have been mountain tops, and without a doubt there have been valleys also. However, through it all God has been faithful. Many of you have supported us for the majority of that time, and we appreciate your faithfulness. On August 5th our sending church voted to take us on staff. This fall, we will be transitioning from missions to associate pastor at Anchor Baptist Church in Massillon, OH. Our pastor suffered a stroke about 4 years ago. His health has suffered, and it has created some challenges as he continues serving the Lord. He has never complained, and has continued faithfully. However he has realized his human limitations as well. As a result, he felt it would be best to have me come on staff, while I can work under him for a while. At some point down the road, I will be assuming pastorate of the church. This has not been an easy decision for us, nor was it taken lightly. We have spent a lot of time in prayer, and asked for God’s very clear direction. We still need to return to Italy to take care of our belongings. We didn’t come back to the USA with the idea of staying long, so we need to go back to take care of things before returning to the USA. We would ask that you please continue your support for us until the end of the year. That would be a huge help and blessing to us. After almost 20 years on the mission field, we don’t own hardly anything in the USA, and we have never owned a house. We have a lot to take care of, and we certainly covet and need your prayers for us during this time of transition. Again, we certainly appreciate your faithfulness to missions! Please pray for Bro. Chris War and the work in Aviano, that God would supply another missionary to start an Italian work in that area! The need for missionaries in Italy is great! God has moved us, but our burden for missions will always remain. We love you all and feel privileged to have labored alongside each of you to reach the world for Christ. May God bless you immensely for your part in reaching Peru and Italy with the Gospel.
Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice