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”.
I passed my written driving exam! Praise the Lord. This was a huge blessing. There are over 7,000 questions they can choose from, and they only give you 40. You can only miss four. I have now started my driving practice with the instructor. On May 3rd, I will be taking my driving exam, afterwards, I should finally have my license. It will have been almost a full year of work. Most of this time was dedicated to learning to answer the 7,000 questions correctly in Italian!
One of our supporting churches asked for a video update. We put together this short 4 minute video that you can see here: www.RiceFamilyMinistries.com/video/ I provided a download link so if your church wanted to download it and show it, it should be easy to do so. We hope it is a blessing to you, and gives you an idea of what we have been up to here.
The next month looks to be extremely busy. I have my driving exam in the beginning of the month. We are trying to schedule the moving truck for the middle of May. Pray we get our visa paperwork all returned before we leave Mazara del Vallo. We will be traveling way up north in Italy in mid-May. Then we plan on flying back to the USA on May 24th. After arriving back in the USA, I will need to travel out to Missouri to pick up the van we plan on getting from Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministries. Rachel and Rebekah then have graduation on June 6th.
With our church closing, we haven’t had a place to ‘go to church’. We of course have had services at home with our family, but it is just not the same. We have had one lady from our church request to continue with Bible studies, and we are grateful for this. We hold a Wednesday Bible study in our home with her and her neighbor boy.
So many people have let us know they are praying for us. I’m humbled and greatly appreciate the prayers. We appreciate our supporting churches, and so many of you that pray for us regularly. We know that we certainly could not continue forward without the prayers and support of so many behind us. Thank you.
Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice