View this email in your browser

Buongiorno a tutti!

Hello to all of our family, friends and investors. We hope this newsletter finds you all well. Things in Italy are going very well and we have a lot of things to talk about. I often think about what John wrote in 3rd John 1:8 "We ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth." What a blessing it is to be able to have so many fellow workers supporting us. We appreciate every little thing that each of you does. We will arrive in the U.S. in just about four weeks and we cannot wait to see as many of you as we can! But until then there is much work to do here in Italy and if you'll give us a few minutes we will tell you all about what has been going on...

Trip to Vicenza

Just before the most recent lockdown we were scheduled to take a trip to the city of Vicenza, about 3 hours Northeast of Florence to visit some students we have in the city, and to preach for the two congregations that meet there (I'll explain that in a moment). Unfortunately, that had to be canceled due to travel restrictions. As soon as Italy lifted the ban on travel between regions I contacted brother Francesco Ferngani and told him we were free to come visit if he would like to reschedule. He said that he and the brethren there would love to have us and we scheduled to be there May 23rd. 

Vicenza is a smaller city, with a population of about 115,000. It is the home of Paladio one of the most famous Italian architects in history. You can see several of his buildings in the city, one of which the white house was modelled after. That's all well and good, but what is better is the fact that two loving, faithful congregations meet in the city. The two congregations meet in the same building. One is made up primarily of Italians and maybe a few US military members (there is a base close to Vicenza). There service is completely in Italian. The other is a congregation made up almost entirely of Ghanaian Christians. Their service is offered in English with a translation into the Twi (pronounced Chi, I think) language. 

Both congregations had about 30 people in attendance. The good news is I have two students in Vicenza (though I am picking up a third tomorrow) and both came to worship. One came to the Italian service and the other to the English service. I will have more to say about that soon.

Both worships were wonderful, warm and encouraging. The Italians were very welcoming. They worship from 10:30 until about 11:45, then the Ghanaians have a Bible class and worship from around noon until 2:00. This did not give us much time to eat between services, but our contact in the Italian congregation, Francesco, went and got us some pizza and drinks and we ate upstairs while the Ghanaians started Bible class. The congregation has a small apartment and class room spaces on the second floor. They are blessed with a very nice building right in the center of town. 

After lunch we went down and joined the end of the Ghanaian Bible class. I was immediately impressed by the teacher's level of knowledge and zeal for God's word. If only we had more men like him in the church! One of things I found most interesting is that he spoke in English and had a Twi translator. I did not know I would be using a translator, but it was a welcomed surprise. I had not used a translator in many years, but I could tell the man who was doing the translating was a pro and would do a good job. 

I preached the same lesson in both services, the only difference being the language. My lesson was four questions about baptism answered from the book of Acts (Why? Who? How? and When?). The Italians were very pleased with the lesson. The Twi translator for the second lesson was very good. We established a rhythm right away and I am sure he was faithful in his translation. It seemed most everyone there spoke English, but the translation maybe helped drive the lesson home. The Ghanaians had me feeling like I was back home in Micronesia. After the lesson Rebecca said, "I saw you up there and thought, 'well Scott is in his element now!'" It really was a great experience. This was actually my first time to preach in English in more than two years and it was nice not to be so tied to my notes. 

One of the great parts about the experience was the singing. The Ghanaians sang in English and in Twi and both were beautiful. I don't know what it is about hearing hymns sung in a language you don't understand, but it always moves me. If you are friends with Rebecca on Facebook you can hear some of the hymns. 

As I mentioned two of my students came and worshiped with us. Both definitely heard the truth on baptism and both brought it up in our Bible studies this week. Stefano asked if I thought his baptism was valid. Instead of answering I just showed him what the Bible says and asked what he thought. He said, "Maybe since God knows everything, He knows we Catholics are trying to do what is right, but in our own way." We then studied 2nd Samuel 7 where David tried to build God a house and Nathan told him to, "Do what was in his heart." But, then the word of the Lord came to him and said, "Have I ever spoken a word about this to the house of Israel?" (That's paraphrased). He said he would have to think more about this. He seems to have a good heart and to be searching so please be praying for him. 

We were so happy for this opportunity to go to Vicenza! We plan to go back when we return to Italy in September. One of the things we hope for is that the Ghanaian brethren will have contacts here in Florence that we can work with as well. 

I should also mention that Violet was a champ on Sunday. She sat quietly for the entire time we were there and was extremely well behaved. 

Please continue to pray for my two students that they will respond to the truth. 
Brother Francesco Fergnani leading singing. 
The Italian congregation. 
Apparently the Ghanaian group was not told my name so they said the sermon that morning would be delivered by "Bro. American Precher."
Part of the Ghanaian congregation. 
The building is shaped like an "L," this is the other part of the Ghanaian congregation. 
Preaching in Italian. 
Preaching in English with a Twi translator. 
One of my students, Stefano. 
The Bible class before worship. 

Other Studies and the Work in Florence

There is not much to say about our other studies, except they all continue to go well. We continue to have multiple studies everyday Monday through Friday. Monday is the lightest day with just one study, but that gives us time to prepare for the studies we have the rest of the week. We have both had some really good, spiritual discussions with our students in the last few weeks. As I said both of my students in Vicenza have asked some things about baptism, but Chiara and I have also had a good conversation recently about what it means to be a Christian and some of the differences between the Catholic church and the church of Christ. One of the things that she was curious about was confession. She told me that she didn't think confession made any sense because all the priest would tell her to do is say some Hail Mary's which she already did on her own. I used that as an opportunity to talk about how we only need to confess our sins to God and to one another when we feel compelled to do so. She liked what the Bible said about this. 
My classes with the Milano and Prato congregations continue to go well also. I am teaching the book of Acts to Milano and first principles to Prato. I will teach two more classes for each of them before we break for the summer. Though the classes are hard work, I look forward to them every week. I really have enjoyed teaching them and I hope both congregations will continue to have them when we return from the States. 

Things in Florence are going well. The church had a nice surprise two weeks ago when a group of students from Harding University came and worshiped with us. Because of Covid we decided to have the students and staff of Harding sit on one side of the building and the regular members sit on the other. It was nice to have such a big group for a change! Carlo continues to come to church most every Sunday and ask good questions. We have not been able to meet for an actual study in a while, but he continues to learn. 

It is interesting to be planning our reporting trip. When we lived in Micronesia all those years we would always be very excited about going back to the States because of all the things we missed. WE are excited to go back this year as well, but it is much different as we are not desperate for certain types of foods or shopping. Florence has really become our home and while we look forward to seeing everyone (particularly our families) we are going to miss it. 
The Prato class has grown recently with two new regular students. 

Personal Updates

Our little missionary family continues to be blessed. Despite a couple of colds we have all stayed healthy and happy here in Florence. 

Regarding Rebecca's immigration papers we are still in limbo, unfortunately. Last week I decided to go to the immigration office to see what is happening. They have an open time now to make appointments and ask questions. (There are a lot of people with a similar problem to us, the immigration system in Florence is messed up). The window is open from 7:30 until 1:00, but only for the first 100 people who arrive, and you have to get there early. I arrived at 5:00 AM and there were already about 20 people in line in front of me. Within an hour the line was well over 100 people. Thankfully, an officer came out at exactly 7:30 and handed out numbers. There were several who tried to jump the line, but she didn't allow that (for which I was grateful). I was inside the building within about 30 minutes. Rebecca arrived (after dropping Violet off at school) just as I went in the building. We were seen about 30 minutes later, but we did not receive good news. The man at the window told us she was still missing certain documents that we have sent by email at least 4 times, and dropped off in person once. He then said, "It is just going to take time, but we are working on it." We asked if she would be able to reenter the country and he said that she could, but she would probably just have to enter as a tourist. So we are going to go on faith and hope that we can get everything taken care of when we return. 

My dad continues to improve daily. He actually just returned home yesterday! He is still in need of a lot of help and, thankfully, my younger sister was able to move in with him temporarily. We appreciate your prayers on his behalf. He is still in a wheelchair, but he should be getting physical therapy most everyday and hopefully they will get him on his feet in the coming weeks and months. This is going to be a challenge for my sister so please keep her in your prayers. 

Violet continues to do well in school. She had a multiplication and division test the other day that she was a little anxious about (though we explained it doesn't matter how she does. She's only 7 we didn't learn those things until 3rd grade). But she did great on the test getting only three wrong! When Rebecca asked her, "Did the teacher say, 'Brava'?" Violet answered, "No, she said bravissima!" She was very happy to have done so well. 

We are so thankful to each one of you for all you do! We appreciate your continued prayers for our family, especially my dad, our work and our upcoming trip. 

The Shanahans
This is not the way he wanted to come home, but at least he's home!
One of the Vicenza buildings designed by Paladio, the inspiration for the White House.
This sign says, "Don't say FATHER if you do not act like a son every day. Don't say OUR if you live isolated from your neighbor. Don't say WHO IS IN HEAVEN if you only think of earhtly things. Don't say YOUR NAME IS HOLY if you do not honor it. Don't say YOUR KINGDOM COME if you confuse it with material gain. Don't say YOUR WILL BE DONE if you do not accept it when it is difficult. Don't say GIVE US TODAY OUR BREAD if you are not concerned with those who have no community and no bread. Don't say FORGIVE OUR SINS if you hold anger against your brother. Don't say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if you have the intention to continue in sin. Don't say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if you don't take a position against evil. Don't say AMEN if you do not take seriously the word of OUR FATHER.
Copyright © 2021 Mission Italy, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp