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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