All Prayer Letters

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

We found another Baptist church, or perhaps it would be better stated, they found us.  There is really not much left except documents, a building and a couple that was really excited to have found us.  He called me on a Sunday afternoon as I was in the office studying.  He told me he was a baptist, at which I was somewhat skeptical.   My son, a young man from our church and myself went out to meet with them a couple days later to find out who they were.  You can still see the “Evangelical Baptist Church” sign hung on the wall.  The paint was faded, but it was clearly there.  As the sign had faded so had the doctrines of a Baptist church.  The second time we went out, it was made very clear and evident, that this man no longer believes Eternal Security.  After an hour of debating, only prayer can change that fact.  It is sad to see where solid Bible Doctrines where once taught, the doors are now closed.  The need in Italy is truly great.

It has been a real blessing to us to have a few visitors already.  We recently had our very good missionary friends visit with us.  We have a few more visitors lined up this summer and we are looking forward to sharing our burden for Mazara del Vallo with them.

We have been very blessed to have a vehicle.  It is a tremendous blessing to use this vehicle for the Lord, picking people up for church.  However the vehicle barely seats our family, and often results in extra trips to get people to and from church.  Last month our 1997 Nissan van spent a week in the shop leaving us without wheels for a week.  We are certainly in need of a much newer vehicle with more seating capacity.  Please start to pray and consider helping for this need.

There is an outdoor market that comes to town on Wednesdays here.  We setup a table every week and give away christian literature at the market.  This has often been a slow work.  Recently we bought a new sign, and have plans to upgrade the market ministry to look a bit nicer, and have a better presentation.  This past Wednesday, we setup the table just a little bit different and saw a huge improvement.  We gave out more materials in just that one day than we had in the past 3 months.  Two ladies from Tunisia came and took a New Testament in Arabic as well as another booklet in Arabic.  I was able to talk to a few people as well.

Our church continues to do well.  Please pray as we continue to distribute tracts door to door.  We continue to pray that God will send fruit for our labor.  Please pray for God’s provision, spiritually, financially, and physically in our church.

Because of Him,

Shane & Kathy Rice

Rachel, Rebekah, Micah, Moriah,

Charity & Christina

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.
Over the past few months we have had some people contact us about coming to Italy as missionaries!!  We are excited to see the prospect of new missionaries here in Italy.  The harvest truly is plenteous and the laborers are few.  It seems now that it takes missionaries even longer to raise their support, some taking up to 5 years just to get to the country God has called them to. After raising their support they need to learn the language and the culture, finally getting to the place to be able to witness or preach on the mission field can be long and discouraging.  Please pray for those striving to get to the field of Italy, that they would be able to raise their support quickly and not get discouraged.
We continue to work on learning the language.  Great strides have been made, however we are not to that place where we are completely fluent in the language.  We have a decent level of conversational Italian.  Shane continues to preach and teach in Italian every week.  On a regular basis he runs into people who speak a lot of Sicilian (a dialect) and often struggles to communicate with them.  Often it is the older generation, and communication can be tough.  Please continue to pray for our language studies.  While we can get around with the language we know, we continue to strive for excellency of language to be able to communicate competently and proficiently the truths of the Bible.  Language is the vehicle with which the gospel is carried to the people.  It is essential to effective ministry.
We are excited that this month, Shane’s parents are coming for a visit.  It is always exciting to have visitors but when it is Grandma and Grandpa the excitement doubles!!  The kids are really looking forward to spending time with them and showing them all their favorite places here in Sicily.  We are also looking forward to a few other visitors this year.  If you or your church would like to visit and see what is going on here in Italy we would love to have you come!
Thank you for your prayers and support for our family! You are a blessing to us!!

Because of Him,
Shane & Kathy Rice
Rachel, Rebekah, Micah, Moriah,
Charity & Christina

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

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.

Our son, Micah, took Tae Kwon Do while in Peru and recently we were able to find a class here for him. Please pray for him to be a witness and example to those in his class, and that we would be able to meet new people and build relationships. I also recently found a bookstore here that has a story reading time for little kids. I was able to take Christina. She wasn’t able to understand much, but I am praying it will help her Italian and also help us meet some new people. We continue going to the Market each Wednesday and setting up a table of literature. Recently, while out talking to people we have heard, “Oh I have seen your table at the market.” We are excited to hear this because this means people are noticing us. Please pray for this ministry as we are able to reach many different people groups.

An update on our resident visa: we recently went back to the police station and were told once again that we needed more proof that our children are indeed ours. So after talking to the lawyer that is helping us he said we now need all the birth certificates of our kids and our marriage certificate apostilled and translated. We are working on this. Please pray as this is an added expense we were not counting on, and that when we are able to get these that this will be all they will need!! I Thess. 3:1 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” May God bless you for your faithfulness in giving and prayers.

Missionaries to Italy,
Shane & Kathy
Rachel, Rebekah, Moriah, Micah, Charity & Christina Rice

August 2016

August 2016

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Dear Prayer Supporters,

As many of you have seen and heard on the news, there was a devastating earthquake here in Italy this past week.  A whole town was destroyed and over 250 people have been confirmed dead.  We do not live close to this area and were not pysically affected by this earthquake but our hearts were.  As far as we know there was no gospel preaching work in that town.  The spiritual state of Italy is our heart’s burden and this has been an eye opener that at any time this could happen anywhere.  People are dying everyday and spending eternity somewhere either heaven or hell, this should motivate us to to tell others before it is to late.  Italy needs Christ not a religion.  Please pray for Italy and for the town of Amatrice.  Pray for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. Pray for more laborers here in the country of Italy!

As summer is ending here we are planning a Back 2 School fair for September 10th.  Currently we only have one teenage boy in our church and we would love to see more children and families reached. We have already passed out over 500 invitations and are trying to hit our whole neighborhood before the 10th.   Our church is right across t
he street from the local elementary school and we are praying that we may be an influence in this area.  We are going to have games and prize, but most importantly we will be able to plant the seed of the gospel in each of these kids as well.  Please keep this special day in your prayers!!

This summer has been a time of readjusting and getting used to the culture here in Italy.  My kids have enjoyed many bike rides and cook outs and swim days as well as catching up on Math from while we were on furlough.   Next week it is back to the books for them.  It is hard to believe I will have 2 in 11th, 2 in 10th, 1 in 8th and Christina will be in 2nd.  The older kids will all be taking Italian.  They have learned alot since being here but please pray for them as they continue to learn this new la
nguage.  They have never had to actually study to learn another language like they do now.  They grew up bi-lingual.

Here in Italy the month of August is a vacation.  Most of the stores and offices close down or only open in the mornings. As foreigners this can be frustrating but I am learning to enjoy this more relaxed pace of life. 🙂  Needless to say we have not made any progress on our visa paperwork.  The lawyer we have helping us said to wait until after the holidays.  To get our resident card we are waiting on the local police to come to our house to make sure we are actually living here.  Our prayer is come September we would be able to get all this paperwork done quickly.

Thank you to all who have written or called to make sure we were all right after the earthquake.  We appreciate all the concern and prayers on our behalf.  We are so thankful to have such an awesome group of prayer warriors.

God bless,

Shane & Kathy Rice

Rachel, Rebekah, Moriah, Micah, Charity & Christina