Dear Friends and Family,
Spring…it’s a beautiful time of year! New blades of grass and blossoms are coming forth, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. It’s refreshing…it lifts our spirits and reminds me of the verse in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” A confession of faith in Christ for the first time is the start of a new life.
Since our last newsletter, there have been nine new baptisms in the faith from Islam. The Iranian pastor, Farzad, we are working with baptized seven in Bari and the last two were here in Turin, one of them being Aziz’s wife. Aziz and his wife and daughter were recently transferred from the refugee camp in Bari to government housing about an hour north of Turin. They have about three more months of supplemental aid before they will be forced out of the home and required to make it on their own. Aziz had invited our Bible study group to spend Easter with them. He grilled chicken outside and we sampled many Afgani side dishes. It was an Easter celebration we will never forget!
We also had the privilege of celebrating the Iranian New Year in March and we have been invited to participate in an Egyptian New Year celebration at the end of April. One thing is for sure, we are getting to experience a world of cultures with our small circle of friends. What a joy it is to serve the Lord in Italy!!!
We are excited about an intensive discipleship class that we are preparing to start in the near future. Rather than David traveling to other cities to raise up new leaders in the faith, with the help of Pastor Farzad, we have decided to bring these zealous converts to us. At least once a month we will host an evangelism/leadership training course to help equip these young men to share the Gospel wherever the Lord may lead them.
We are gearing up for our summer ministry with Teen Missions and the young people that the Lord has called to serve with us in Italy for the month of July. David will be returning to Florida on May 23rd to prepare for the Boot Camp training which begins June 8th. On June 24th the team will fly into Florence, Italy, where Becca, Gabriela, and Caleb will join the team. This year our team will again be backpacking through the Italian Alps. We will spend the first week in Florence with an Italian mission and join their team in street evangelism. The following two weeks we will be hiking in the Alps that border France and sharing Christ in the small mountain villages; we will finish our outreach in Rome, ministering alongside Farzad to the Persian immigrants who sleep in the streets. July 23rd the team will return with the assistant leaders to Florida for their debriefing classes. It is always a joy to invest in the lives of these young people and something that we look forward to every year. Gabriela and Caleb will not be returning to Florida for the Boot Camp training this year so their cost to participate on the team will be far less than last year. Although, we still need to raise the funds for their food, campground lodging and local travel expenses for the summer. This cost is approximately $600 each. We are always so blessed each year with your generous giving towards these additional expenses that are required in order for our children to participate with us on the summer teams. If you would like to help Gabriela and Caleb meet this financial goal, please enclose the coupon specifically marked for their support along with your check made out to Teen Missions. Just as important is their need to be covered in prayer. Please agree with us in prayer for safety, health, strength and spiritual growth for each of these teens who are committing their summer to mission service.
Maybe you noticed that we didn’t include Sarah in our summer travel? Sarah has been given the opportunity of a lifetime and just in time for her high school graduation! On March 12th she left us to join some friends who specifically minister among the Arab communities. Sarah joined them in France to travel with them to Israel and remains there at present. After joining some Moody Bible students in Beit Sahour in an evangelism course to reach Muslims, she had been seeking God about what would come next. The door has opened for her to volunteer in a ministry in Jerusalem called Shevet Achim. It is a hospital that treats children dying of congenital heart defects in the Middle East. If you would like to know more, please visit www.shevet.org. In addition, Sarah has been invited by a Palestinian woman to room and board in her home at no expense. This woman, Moona, is a widow with two young children still living at home and she has expressed great delight in Sarah’s companionship. Sarah has the opportunity to study Arabic, Hebrew and Kurdish if she chooses. As we have said before, her passion is to learn new languages and serve women of the Muslim culture. We believe God has given her the desires of her heart through this open door!
We love to hear from you! It is a blessing to partner with you and stand together in prayer. Thank you for all that you do to make a difference in our lives!
Please join us in prayer for:
The discipleship training course
Our summer team
Our children’s education and future
The Lord Bless you and Keep You,
David & Becca Powell