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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