September Prayer letter 2018

September 2018

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Dear Praying friends,

The primary purpose of our trip back to the USA was for Rachel and Rebekah to graduate from high school, and get them ready for college! Praise the Lord both of those things are done. We dropped the girls off at Vision Baptist College at the end of August. It was a joyous and sad time for us as parents. Amazing that time has passed so quickly. We are proud of our girls, and their desire to serve the Lord. They are enjoying the classes, and start their new jobs soon. Please continue to pray for them as this has been a big change for them.

The time here has also been spent traveling and visiting churches. In the 3 months we have put more than 12,000 miles on the van we leased. Our lease was up the beginning of September, so after dropping the girls off at college Shane and Micah had to make a quick trip to get the van out to Missouri to Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry. They made the whirlwind trip of 800 miles in about 15 hours as well as a stop for church on Wednesday. It was a long trip, but we thank the Lord for the safety and protection during the trip. The van was a blessing and we are thankful for Bro. Hargis and BMTM (www.bmtm.org).

We got tickets back to Italy! We still have a lot to take care of in Italy. We are thankful again to our home church who has covered the tickets of our trip. Please pray as we have to sort through everything we own in Italy, and sell, or get rid of most of it. It is not possible to bring it back because of the cost involved. Also, the appliances would not work here. We will be traveling to Italy on September 18th with Micah & Moriah. Please pray for Charity and Christina as they stay in Ohio and do school.

As many of you know we will be transitioning back to Ohio as Shane will be Associate Pastor at our sending church, Anchor Baptist Church. We have not started at the church yet, and it is very likely we will not start until November. We certainly covet your prayers and support until we are fully out of Italy. We don’t see our ‘ministry’ changing much, just the location in which we are serving. I am reminded often that God has first and foremost called us to be servants, secondly to be pastors or teachers or even missionaries. We look forward to serving Him here in Ohio. Having been missionaries for so many years, we don’t own anything here in the USA. We continue looking for a house, a vehicle, and all that goes with that. Transitioning to another country is not just a big change financially but emotionally as well. Please continue to pray for us during this transition.

As always we are reminded that we cannot do the Lord’s work without the help and prayers of so many. We love you all and are so thankful to be fellow laborers with you to reach the world for Christ.

Serving the King,

Shane & Kathy Rice

August 2018

August 2018

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Dear Praying friends,

July has been an extremely busy month for us. We spent a few days at the Northeast Vision Summit in Berlin, NJ. We were greatly refreshed by the excellent preaching and singing at the conference. We enjoyed the fellowship with many pastors and friends that we ran into there. That Sunday I preached all three services in Marietta, Oh. I also preached at Jr. Camp all week long as well. At least one young person was saved, and many Jr campers made decisions to live for God. It was an intense preaching schedule as I preached twice a day for the week. However, it was a great blessing to hear the campers give testimony on Thursday night at the camp bonfire. The Sunday after camp I also preached all three services at our sending church. I ended up preaching a total of 14 times in that 8 day span. Praise the Lord for the strength and ability to preach!

We have been working on getting Rachel & Rebekah ready for college. They have their driving permits, however we have not had much opportunity for them to be able to practice and be ready to take test for their drivers license. Getting a job has not been possible with the crazy life of being on the road, however God has greatly blessed them. They have the funds to start college. They will have to find a job as soon as possible once they get to college. This is of course a big step for them. Please pray for them as they launch out on this next phase in their life.

1Tim 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” We have served the Lord for almost 20 years as missionaries, and God has blessed us beyond measure. There have been mountain tops, and without a doubt there have been valleys also. However, through it all God has been faithful. Many of you have supported us for the majority of that time, and we appreciate your faithfulness. On August 5th our sending church voted to take us on staff. This fall, we will be transitioning from missions to associate pastor at Anchor Baptist Church in Massillon, OH. Our pastor suffered a stroke about 4 years ago. His health has suffered, and it has created some challenges as he continues serving the Lord. He has never complained, and has continued faithfully. However he has realized his human limitations as well. As a result, he felt it would be best to have me come on staff, while I can work under him for a while. At some point down the road, I will be assuming pastorate of the church. This has not been an easy decision for us, nor was it taken lightly. We have spent a lot of time in prayer, and asked for God’s very clear direction. We still need to return to Italy to take care of our belongings. We didn’t come back to the USA with the idea of staying long, so we need to go back to take care of things before returning to the USA. We would ask that you please continue your support for us until the end of the year. That would be a huge help and blessing to us. After almost 20 years on the mission field, we don’t own hardly anything in the USA, and we have never owned a house. We have a lot to take care of, and we certainly covet and need your prayers for us during this time of transition. Again, we certainly appreciate your faithfulness to missions! Please pray for Bro. Chris War and the work in Aviano, that God would supply another missionary to start an Italian work in that area! The need for missionaries in Italy is great! God has moved us, but our burden for missions will always remain. We love you all and feel privileged to have labored alongside each of you to reach the world for Christ. May God bless you immensely for your part in reaching Peru and Italy with the Gospel.

Serving the King,
Shane & Kathy Rice

July 2018 Prayer Letter

July 2018

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Dear Praying Friends, 

I woke up early this morning with this verse on my mind:  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Ps 27:14).  I don’t like to wait.  As a missionary, we long to be going and doing.  It is one thing to know the Lord’s will, it is another thing to work with God’s timing.  We planned on going back to the field in September.  We are frequently faced with the question, “When are you going back?” To which I respond, “Lord willing in September.”  For several weeks now I have been struggling with going back in September.  We are not in a position financially to make this happen.  We still have to finish paying off our move, and tickets to come back to the USA.  We are still about $6,000 short on our goal for that.  I cannot purchase tickets to return until we have that paid for, and money for our return tickets.  Many have given, and prayed, and we have been very blessed by those who are able to help. I’m extremely grateful to the many who have sacrificially given to help with those expenses!   Please continue to make this a matter of prayer.

I have preached every week since our return to the USA about a month ago.  Things have been extremely busy, and we have logged over 4,000 miles in the month of June.  We praise the Lord for a new supporting church in Ionia, Michigan!  What a blessing it is to have a new supporting church!  

Rachel and Rebekah enjoyed their high school graduation from Lansing Baptist School and are busy getting settled into Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  They were able to get their driving permits, and have started learning to drive.  They are looking forward to heading off to Bible college in the fall.  Thank you to so many who sent them cards and gifts.  They greatly appreciate it.  As parents our hearts have truly been blessed by the compassion and love you have shown to our children.  Our other four have greatly enjoyed time with grandparents and the older three enjoyed a week of teen camp with our sending church.  Christina is anxiously waiting her turn to go to junior camp for a week. 

In June we had a great week at BIO Training school.  Whenever we are in the USA, we try to attend these as they are always a blessing and encouragement to us.  We learn something every single time.  On our travels down to Tennessee we blew two tires on the trailer.  We are extremely grateful for God’s protection and provision during our travels.  The first tire blew as we pulled into a gas station.  We were able to change it right there.  The second tire blew on the highway, and we didn’t even notice.  It was shredded when someone on the highway motioned to us there was a problem.  Praise the Lord we were able to get off at an exit, there was a large place to park, and drop the trailer so I could go and buy tires.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  

Serving the King,

Shane & Kathy Rice

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