All Prayer Letters

May Prayer letter

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May 2018

Dear Praying Friends,

So much to write, so little time and space.  We got all our household stuff loaded on a truck on Tuesday the 15th.  They took everything to storage until we return to Italy.  Amongst all the chaos, we were able to keep out the clothes and most of the items we would need to go home on furlough.  After shuttling 4 kids to the airport to fly to Pisa at 4AM on the 17th I headed back home to fit the rest of the family and luggage into the car and turn the house keys over.  After packing all the luggage into the car, there were only 3 seats left for 4 people, a cat and our dog.  After scratching my head a little bit, my wife suggested possibly shipping luggage.  A couple of hours later we had the largest two pieces of luggage at a place to mail them up to Aviano.  We were finally on our way to catch the boat out of Palermo.  After 20 hours on a ship from Palermo to Livorno, we met our 4 older kids at the Tacon Family’s house for dinner.  We appreciate all their help as they picked up our 4 older kids and took care of them for two days.  They are a blessing to us as they then took 5 of our family to the train station to catch the train to Aviano.  Me and two kids then headed out to drive across the northern part of Italy.  Four hours later we showed up in time to unload the van, and run to the train station to pickup the five that had arrived.  Thursday to Saturday were certainly some crazy traveling days, and we certainly appreciate the many people praying for us throughout all this transition.  Everything went mostly according to plan and we certainly Praise the Lord for His help and strength through the craziness. 

On Saturday evening as we were with Pastor War in Aviano, we were fellowshipping and taking turns giving our salvation testimony when we realized that Christina needed to be baptized!  She had been saved when we arrived in Italy, however in all the fiasco of setting up house, visa paperwork and learning language, baptism was overlooked.  Pastor War offered to fill the baptism, and have a baptism on Sunday.  I had the privilege of preaching twice on Sunday and baptizing Christina.  What a wonderful day it was!  On Monday we met with yet another missionary who is graciously watching our dog in our absence.  

On Thursday, May 24th at 4AM here in Italy, about 10PM EST on Wednesday the 23rd, we head to the airport.  After a full 24 hours of travel we will finally arrive in Detroit Thursday night.  We have some meetings scheduled and some churches have already contacted us.  I’m working on putting our schedule together.  If you would like for us to come by the church, please contact us and we will try to set something up.  We will do our best to get in to as many places we can, as well as try to setup some new meetings.  

Prayer requests.  

  1. Pray as Micah and I fly out to BMTM in Kansas to pickup the van and drive back Mi on May 29th.  
  2. Pray for Rachel and Rebekah as they Graduate from Lansing Baptist School on June 6th, and taking the next step in their lives.  They need to get their drivers license and start Bible college in September. 
  3. Pray for our Moving & Furlough fund. We praise the Lord that we have 28% of the needed funds.  Please pray the rest comes in.
  4. Pray that we could raise more support in our short furlough.
  5. Pray for safe travels during furlough.
  6. Start praying now for God to provide a house that we can afford in Aviano when we return in September.
  7. Pray for the new work we plan on starting when we arrive in Aviano.

Serving the King,

Shane & Kathy Rice and family

April Prayer Letter 2018

April 2018

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Dear Pastor & Friends,

We always try to present the positive, and what God is doing in our prayer letters.  We just figure everyone has problems and difficulties in life.  Honestly the past month has been long, and difficult, however there have been blessings as well.  With the closing of the church, we have been actively praying and seeking what is the next step for our ministry here in Italy.  God has opened the doors for us to move up north to Aviano to work with the American Church up there.  Pastor Chris War has wanted to reach the Italians in the community for quite a few years.  After taking a trip up there, it was clear that we would work well together.  We will reach the Italians while helping in the English work.  They will continue to reach the American military families while helping to reach the Italians in the community as well.  Many have been praying, and we appreciate those prayers.  This is a big answer to prayer as to what we would do and where we would continue to minister.  Please consider helping us with the cost of the move as it was more than we expected, and certainly not in our regular budget.  Just last month we paid $1000 for our visa paperwork to be renewed.  We have also purchased tickets to go back to the USA for our short furlough this summer.  We fly out on May 24th.  Please pray for the needed funds for these expenses.  Any gifts can be sent to BIO and labeled “Rice Moving Fund”. Continue reading April Prayer Letter 2018

March 2018

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March 12, 2018

Dear Praying friends,

For those who got our email and responded so quickly, thank you for praying! Things went smoothly.  Some of the best surgeons and doctors on the planet have lost a patient due to circumstances beyond their control. This is always an unpleasant, and heart wrenching time. While this can be hard on a doctor, as a preacher, we deal with something of eternal consequences, the spiritual. Our church has been in decline since before we arrived. We arrived at a point where our church simply cannot continue in the current location. The expenses are more than our small church are able to bear. The end result is the church decided to close it’s doors. We offered to continue with Bible studies, and there was no interest. Cancer is a dreaded problem and can sometimes grow silently inside for years, displaying no symptoms, until it is too late. This appears to have been the problem when we arrived, and it finally reached it’s pinnacle. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psa. 11:3). We have become wiser through these difficult circumstances. We are clearly reminded to be aware, to be on guard against the cancer of apathy in the church that will kill a church if not dealt with. I have never witnessed a church so ready to close it’s doors, and hope I never witness it again. We are praying for God’s direction. We have no intention of leaving Italy, but are seeking God’s clear guidance in where to start a fresh here in Italy.    Continue reading March 2018

Rice’s Reporter – January 2018

January 2018

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Dear Supporting Churches,

Happy New Year!  During the holidays churches often suffer from smaller crowds.  We are no different here in Italy.  People travel, visit family, sickness and many other things affect the amount of people we have had at church.  We are grateful for those who have been faithful in our church throughout Christmas and New Years.  We were able to have a special Christmas service on the 17th of December.  The kids put on a nice Christmas play.

The day after Christmas I (Shane) spent the day flat on my back.  I had a lot of pain in my left shoulder and shooting down my arm.  A few days later I went to the Emergency room and was given muscle relaxers and pain killers.  A week later I was still in pain, though not as bad.  After a few trips to the doctors office and a lot of pain, I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in my neck.  Physical therapy seems to be helping and I’m on the road to recovery.  We don’t fully understand how the medical system works here and sometimes it is tough to figure out where to go and what to do.  It took two separate trips to the ER to get in.  We are thankful that we haven’t needed much medical attention, but when we do, it can be tough to know where to go or what to do.  Kathy still has back pain from her herniated disc as well.  Continue to pray that we both can recover quickly.  We have a couple in our church, he is practically blind from diabetes, and she has had a herniated disc in her back as well that has kept her down.  Please pray for them as well.  They are missed at church as their health keeps them home.  We have jokingly said we are going to put a Hospital sign on our church door as it seems like everyone is suffering from some ailment.

I’m finishing up driving school.  Since completing language studies, I have moved driving classes up to high priority.  I will have two opportunities to take the written test and pass.  I’m praying I will be able to finish the first time around.

Kathy and I are heading to a church planters conference in Northern Italy for a few days in the beginning of February.  This should be a help and blessing to us.  We look forward to spending a few days with other missionaries here in Italy as well as other European countries.  We have very little fellowship in the area we are in so we are really looking forward to this.

The kids are doing well.  School continues to buzz along.  Rachel and Rebekah are working ahead and looking at finishing a little early.  We are already working at making plans to head back to the USA in May as they will be graduating in June.  There is a lot to get done.  When we arrive in the USA, they will need to get a driving license, buy a car, get insurance.  They will need to get a job and start saving for college as well.  These are all firsts for them, and will be a real time of transition for them.  Please prayer for God’s guidance in their lives. We also  covet your prayers for our work here in Italy as we are away for a short time getting our girls setup in the USA. We currently don’t have anyone to cover for us, and this complicates our plans.  Please pray that God would work something out, ”Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:38  While I may not know how, that doesn’t mean that God is not able.

We appreciate your prayers and support for us as we serve the Lord here in Italy.

Serving the King,

Shane & Kathy Rice

December Prayer Letter

December 2017

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Dear Friends,

As the year draws to a close, it is always good to look back and remember the blessings, provisions, victories, and even rejoice to leave some difficulties in the past. Great strides have been made in learning the language. Moriah and Shane have both finished up all 5 levels of Italian in Rosetta Stone. Many others continue to work on this and finish up Rosetta Stone. Shane has not finished up driving school as he had hoped. Please continue to pray as he has prioritized this and hopes to have this done within in the next couple months.

We had a good Thanksgiving dinner with our children. We had to order a whole turkey before hand as they are not sold normally during November here. Thanksgiving is mainly an American holiday. It was nice to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner and play games with our kids.

About a week before Thanksgiving a missionary called me out of the blue asking if we wanted a van. He was leaving the country and wanted to give their van to us. There was a small detail to work out, the van was way up in northern Italy and we are about as far south in Sicily as you can get. On top of that we had little time to work with getting it down to us. I ended up flying out on Thanksgiving evening to Pisa, taking a train in the morning down to Grosetto. I spent the day doing paper work getting the vehicle transferred to my name. Afterwards I drove it about 2 hours south to catch the ferry we had setup to overnight the van to Sicily. It was a tight time table that we setup, but everything went great! Praise the Lord for His help in getting the paper work done in time, and catching the ferry. After 14 hours on the ferry, we were driving the final hour and half home. We knew the van needed a new clutch, so it spent the following week or so in the shop. We are now using the van and are extremely thankful to the churches who responded so quickly to help with the needs of all this. Everything was covered cost wise, and we are extremely grateful. This was a huge blessing and provision for us.

During the first part of December our four older kids were able to take a trip to a Missionary Teen retreat in Spain. We were a bit nervous with them traveling out of the country on their own. As it turned out, they ended up with delayed flights, change of airports, missed flight that had to be rescheduled to the following day. They did a great job rolling with the changes especially for not having parents there to walk them through the difficulties. The Missionary Teen Retreat was a true blessing for them as they were able to rub shoulders with many other missionary teens. These are considered Third culture kids because they haven’t grownup in the traditional ‘American culture’ and yet have a mix of American and other culture where they live in them. There were missionary teens from Germany, Austria, Spain, Romania and Italy at the retreat. They enjoyed English preaching all week long.

On Dec 17th, we had a special Christmas service with our kids and one other teen boy doing a Christmas play and singing. While we had no new visitors, we videoed the play and I have heard of many that have watched it afterwards. We pray this will plant a seed in their hearts.

Many of you have given special Christmas offerings to us, and we greatly appreciate that! It is a tremendous blessing for us. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New year! God Bless!

Serving the King,

Shane & Kathy Rice

November Prayer letter

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Dear Praying Friends,

The weather certainly has cooled off here.  We have a long summer with a lot of heat and humidity.  When it starts to cool off, and is still humid, it makes if feel colder than it really is.  As fall hit we decided to host a Fall Festival at our house.  We had many people come to the festival that we invited.  We even had a family come that has never been to church.  It was a great turn out with lots of people.  We had a hay ride (even though that is foreign here) as well as a bon fire, and plenty of food.  It was a great opportunity of fellowship for the church and a great point of contact for many people that do not come regularly to church. Continue reading November Prayer letter