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