Bare-Bones Luxury

It’s funny, but you don’t really appreciate the simple things in life until you’ve had to do without.  After thirteen months of living out of a suitcase, I am so grateful to have moved into an apartment of my own again.

However, many people would call my new-found luxury “roughing it.”  The apartment is unfurnished, and in Italy, “unfurnished” means that the kitchen consists of walls, a floor, and pipes coming out of one of those walls.  But I already have everything I need to do all the cooking I intend to do . . . for now.   Here’s a picture of what I’ve set up for myself as a substitute kitchen.

What you’re seeing is an ironing board covered by a tablecloth, and on top of it (from right to left):  an electric kettle, a blender, a coffee canister, a juicer, a cutting board under a cappuccino cup with a sieve, lined with a paper towel and filled with coffee (with a plastic plate to catch any overflow).  So I can make American coffee and juices of all sorts.  And that’s really all the cooking I yearn to do these days.  With summer swiftly approaching, I’m not likely to want to do anything else that could result in the house becoming hotter.

The next picture is my office.

To the right on the floor is my printer, behind the computer you can see that the “desk” also doubles as a dinner table.  Above the printer you can see a little corner of the “kitchen.”  Otherwise, the room is gloriously uncluttered.

The next picture is my bedroom.

Those who read my blog or read my book (Look, Listen, Love.  Lulu.com, 2011—shameless plug!), will recognize Prayer Bear, my furry companion/pillow/kneeler on my little folding Ikea bed.

The final picture is the new arrival in the house—in fact, it just arrived moments ago.

Yes, I have a washer!  But in one of those moments when life tries to take away your joy, the delivery guy told me that there’s no hookup for the water (notice the hose).  There’s a pipe for it just to the left of the hose, but it needs a connector, which means I need a plumber.

However, I refuse to let anything take away my joy.  Therefore, I would like to point out that for now the washer serves as another flat surface on which I can put stuff.  You can see the dishwashing liquid on the bathroom sink.  Now I can wash my cup and I don’t have to balance it on the tiny ledge of the sink.  How’s that for taking life’s lemons and making lemonade!

Of course, I’ll have to get all the stuff for a real kitchen, including a sink, but for now, I am loving my bare-bones luxury.

Moving In and Moving On

Change is an exhilarating, often uncomfortable thing, but with change comes growth.  Growth is what I see in the future:  Growth for the ministry and growth for my faith.  Change and the resulting growth are part of the law of the Kingdom.  God is doing a new thing!

Changes:

  • The organization has had a change of personnel.  Debbie has left to follow God’s call on her life.  Thanks, Debbie, for all your help, and all the best for the future.
  • Laurie has volunteered to take over as the interim (hopefully permanent!) Secretary/Treasurer on our Board of Directors.  Laurie and I have been friends for almost 35 years.  She is a woman of big faith and a fierce prayer warrior wrapped in a cute little package.  Welcome, Laurie!  I look forward to a fruitful collaboration.
  • With the change in personnel, also comes a change of name.  Barnabas European Ministries will change its name to European Faith Missions.  Our 501(c)3 tax exempt status with the IRS remains intact, so all donations are still tax-deductible.
  • I have just acquired the apartment in Milan that God indicated to me back in the beginning of April.  This means the end of living out of a suitcase—after 13 months, I was ready!—a very welcome change, indeed!  But it also means the beginning of several other challenges:
  • The apartment is empty and needs everything, including the kitchen sink (really!).
  • When the apartment is furnished, I will open it up as a missionary guesthouse—the first ever in Milan.
  • The apartment will also serve as a House of Prayer for Europe—the first anywhere specifically to pray for Europe.
  • In pursuit of the apartment, I’ve had to cease my travels.  But now I have a pretty busy travel schedule coming up.
  • With such a busy travel schedule, I will need a caretaker for the apartment once it is opened for guests.

The Kingdom is always advancing!  God is good!