Italian Ministries – Arrival

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Prayer Bear, Jr. clowning around, just like his predecessor

I arrived at Montesilvano train station in the rain.  It wasn’t raining hard, so I had a decision to make: umbrella or GPS on my phone.  I couldn’t hold both while pulling my rolling suitcase.  I chose GPS and arrived a bit wet, but not soaked.  The conference center was well-marked, so as soon as the building came into view, I shut off the GPS and pocketed my phone.  Check-in was very easy and my hotel was close.

Minutes after arrival, there was a knock at my door.  It was my roommate, Sing.  She introduced herself and told me that she is from Malaysia, but living and going to university in Mantua.  Like me, Sing feels the pull of Europe, and she’s wondering if that means that she’s got a missionary calling to Europe.  I suspect that she does.

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I am in the second week of a three week (liquids only) fast, so I went with her to the dining room for dinner.  But since they had nothing liquid, besides water, I decided not to stay.  Sing did have friends there, so I wasn’t leaving her completely alone.  I discovered that across the street there is a small market.  I bought some apricot juice and drinkable yogurt, and returned to the room.

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At nine they had the welcome session, and there I saw Esan, who had stayed with me last summer during Ramadan (see Footprints of the Holy Spirit).  I saw the recognition blossom slowly on his face until it was a fully-flowered smile.  He hugged and hugged me, like he was seeing his own mother[1].

This was the first reunion of the conference, and I hope it’s not the last.  What a nice start!  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.  God is good!

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[1] In truth, Esan is about my own age.

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