All Prayer Letters

July Prayer letter

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Dear Praying Friends,

Summer is well on its way!  It has been very hot and very humid here.  We are still not quite used to this climate.  With summer comes lots of tourists, traffic and people to our town.  Sadly almost none of these ever visit our church.  The sad truth is when people go on vacation, they often take a vacation away from God!  We do have one couple from Germany that visit each summer and we are grateful for their faithfulness to church while in town.  We also had some very good friends take a vacation right here in our town, and it was great to have them here and in church with us.  It was very nice to have other Americans to spend the 4th of July with.

Shane has started driving school.  Here in Italy you cannot transfer your American drivers license over to Italy.  An international drivers license is only valid for a short time.  Studying for the Italian drivers license has proven to be a challenge but also great for learning the language.  It is kind of crazy, but necessary to enroll in driving school here, go to classes, practice driving with an instructor, and finally take a test.  This is all done over the course of a couple of months.  It is also very costly to do all of this.  Eventually Kathy will need to do the same as well.  The test cannot be taken in English, only Italian, German, or French.  Please pray that Shane will pass and all would go smoothly.

Many times in summer churches tend to slow down, attendance is down, offerings can slump.  We are thankful thus far, we have maintained good attendance during the summer.  Our church offerings have been down a bit, but God has provided for our church.  We started Sunday school in June.  While we have been off to a slow start, it has been great practice and good for our kids to be in Sunday school.  One thing we have come to realize, it is difficult to find good materials (Sunday School materials, song books, lessons) in Italian.  There are so few Bible believing christians that producing materials is not good business and thus neglected.  We have to sift through materials carefully while selecting lessons to use.  Though the heat has slowed us down a bit in distributing Gospel tracts, we continue to reach out and are trying to systematically get a gospel tract on every door in our town.  We continue to setup the table each week at the market as well.  Please continue to keep us in prayer that God would give us fruit for our labor.

Serving the King,

The Rice Family

Important Note: Any regular support or special gifts sent to BIO on our behalf must have BIO (or Baptist International Outreach) in the payee portion of the check. This is because of a change in bank policy. Soon checks will have to be returned to you if they are made out to us personally.

June Prayer Letter

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Dear Praying Friends,

We recently celebrated our first year anniversary here in Italy!  We are thankful for all the Lord has allowed us to accomplish this past year.  We continue to work on language, and progress is being made.  We appreciate the many people who have told us they are praying for us to learn the language.  The frustration is probably more of an impatience to be able to communicate effectively and fluidly the truths of the Word of God that need to be communicated.  God indeed is the author of all languages, the understanding and utterance of languages is truly something that God can help.  We are reminded of God’s response to the excuses that Moses used, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” – Exodus 4:11-12 Continue reading June Prayer Letter

March Prayer Letter

March 2017

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Dear Praying Friends,

As always February flew by and we are left wondering where it went.   This last month, Shane preached a series on Evangelizing or Reaching the Lost.  We are encouraging the people of our church to get out and witness and invite others to church.  Shane has been knocking on doors and passing out tracts almost daily.   We just recently ordered 10,000 invitations to our church and are excited to begin handing these out.  We are also preparing to get some new banners made for our market ministry and some new materials to pass out.  Please pray for us as we continually strive to get the Gospel out.
We have become friends with some missionaries here who work with the African Refugees here in Sicily. We had the opportunity this last month to go to one of the Refugee camps here in Italy and Shane was able to preach to a group of men.  There are many refugees here in Sicily, pray that we will be able to be a light to them as well. Continue reading March Prayer Letter

January 2017

January 2017

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Dear Praying Friends,

We just want to begin by thanking all those that sent cards and extra support for Christmas.  Your love and thoughtfulness was very much appreciated!  We had a good Christmas and New Year here in Italy learning some of the new customs and spending time with the people of our church.  We were invited to a family in our churches home for Christmas Eve.  Wow, I don’t think I have ever eaten so much or for so long.  The Italian people definitely know how to put on a 7 course meal!!  Many people were gone for the holidays so it has been nice getting back into a more normal schedule now that the Holidays are over.

The new Year started out kinda rough for us.  On Jan 1st Shane got up to get some wood for the wood stove and noticed we had a flat tire. So that week he had to run around to find the same tires for our car, as we found out you are only allowed to have the tires that are on your vehicle registration, which we found out they very uncommon, and hard to find.  Finally after going to a few different shops he found someone who could order them.  All that just to replace 2 tires!! As he was dealing with all that, Kathy was sick with a cold that affected her asthma.  She was sick for over 2 weeks, we finally decided we cannot use the wood stove.  The house here does not have heat so we are now using gas propane heaters.  We would like to get a pellet stove.  Please be in prayer about this as the humidity and cold really affects Kathy’s asthma as well.   She is feeling a little better but still is having to use her inhaler a lot.   

Also this month we were able to celebrate our 19th anniversary and our 18th year of ministry. We were accepted by BIO as missionaries in January of 1999. We are truly thankful and feel blessed for all God has done for our family over these years!  We also celebrated Micah and Moriah’s 16th birthday!  Hard to believe that they are growing up so fast!

We also were excited to get all of our visas finally done!!  It only took us 8 months but they are good for 2 years! It is a good thing too, since they are predated with our arrival date.  We are little by little learning our way around here and getting accustomed to living “la dolce vita” or “the sweet life” here in Italy. 

We are looking forward to a busy year with quite a few visitors coming.  We are excited at the prospect of new missionaries coming to work here in Italy.  The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few. There are so many towns here without a gospel preaching church, so many children who do not know that Jesus loves them.  Please pray as we finish our language studies and begin some new outreach programs.  We are excited to see what God is going to do in 2017! 

We covet your prayers and are so thankful for each of you and your love and support for our ministry.  May God’s blessing be poured upon you in this New Year!

Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice & Family

Continue reading January 2017

December 2016

December 2016

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Dear Praying Friends,

We had a great Thanksgiving here. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it is not usually celebrated in most other countries. We were able to get together with some other Americans and an Italian family and celebrate the day giving thanks and eating the traditional American thanksgiving feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and all the fixings. We were not able to get a whole turkey, so we had several turkey parts all cooked up as if it were a turkey. We truly had a great day and thank the Lord for the blessings that we have here in Italy.

Kathy decided to fully immerse herself in the culture here in Italy, and ended up spending a few days in the hospital at the end of November. She has had some personal health issues we have been working through. Please keep this in prayer as we dive into yet a new set of vocabulary words. We drove to Palermo (1.5 hours away) and visited a specialist. The specialist said Kathy is healthy, and nothing to worry about. We certainly praise the Lord for this.

The kids are doing well and looking forward to Christmas break. School has been going well for them. We have really had them focus on doing their Italian language lessons as part of their school work. We have also started reading the Bible in Italian as a family. I’m sure there are things that we don’t pronounce correctly, but this has helped us a lot. The kids continue to learn the language and seek friends here in Italy. They really have taken this all in good stride, please keep them in your prayers as they learn and adjust to a completely new life here in Italy. There is only one young man in our church. We really need to meet and reach young people in our area. Our church is doing well. We continue to learn the old hymns in a new language so that we can add to our repertoire of songs we can sing. I am currently working on Christmas songs in Italian which is a whole new challenge for me trying to fit all the Italian words into some of these songs music and timing is quite complicated!

I continue to learn more Italian every time I prepare for a message. It takes a considerable amount of time as I struggle with every phrase putting it into proper Italian. I truly look forward to the forth coming day when it doesn’t require so much thought to be able to use the Italian language. Language has been the theme of this letter, as it is involved in every aspect of our lives here in Italy. In order to effectively communicate to people, it requires language. That is our biggest mountain that we are climbing at this point. Please continue to pray for this.

In addition, we have had one new young man visit the church. Please pray for his salvation, his name is Dario. We still are not finished with our visa process we are just waiting for the final approval. Please continue to pray for this. I am supposed to get mine this week and hopefully, the rest of the families’ will be here before the end of the year! Thank you for your prayers concerning this matter. We have had one new church pick us up, and one more considering picking us up for support. That puts us just up into 90% of our support. We are very grateful for every one of you. God has blessed us this year and we are so thankful for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our family. We certainly appreciate the sacrifice that everyone has made to make it possible for us to be here.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Saviour with friends and family!

Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice & Family

Continue reading December 2016

September 2016

September 2016

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Dear Prscreen-shot-2016-10-05-at-7-30-50-amayer Supporters,

Thank you all for praying for the people who were affected by the earthquake in Northern Italy. Please continue to pray for them as many are still living in tents, and the weather is turning colder and rainy. Please pray that their hearts would be tender to hearing the Gospel as well. Our Back to School festival went well. We had a total of 9 new kids come (all boys). We had a fun time and were able to give each boy a prize and share the gospel with them. We also had a mother come and sit and talk with us. All the boys loved it and wanted to know when we were going to do it again. Please pray as we work on our Italian so we will be better able to communicate and minister. Continue reading September 2016