ITALY-David Post 3
I’m finally sitting down to write a post-trip update. My last update was the night before the last day of the retreat. On that final day I ended up getting a solid half-day of work in and was well enough rested to give me energy for not only the morning session but to lead the evening session and give the concert that I mentioned. For the Lord’s Supper, we arranged the room so that all of the chairs felt like they were sort of seated around a giant table (we happened to have one of those!). I had the bread and wine placed around the table almost like it was set at different place settings. My meditation was to rethink the supper not as a somber and formalized ceremony, and not as an introspective sin-finding exercise, but as a joyful reunion-feast. We spent some time in 1 Corinthians 11 and then served one another the food since not everyone was seated right next to the table. It was the perfect illustration for my point about the problem that Paul was addressing in 1 Corinthians 11 – that the people were being selfish with the supper. It seemed to be a great blessing; remember that many of these people do not get to regularly experience the Lord’s Supper.
The evening concert was fun as I was able to share about 90 minutes of original songs, some silly and some serious; two of which I finished (at least enough to share) that afternoon. I ended up sharing a song which I did not plan to about bodily functions since people told so many stories about veterinary and culinary horrors. Perhaps my favorite moment of the trip was when a teen-aged boy sitting right in front of me understood what that song was about half-way into it and fell on the floor laughing (ROTFL, literally).
I made some further connections with two of the families who are scheduled to be in Nashville over the next year and hope that they can visit us when they are here. The group gave me a card and box of chocolates (which my family enjoyed very much!) as a thank you gift.
Early Wednesday morning I traveled with a few others back to Milan by bus and train, then decided just to walk around the city for a few hours after dropping my bags off at the train station. I did not see the last supper as it seemed like it would take all my time and cost a lot of money, plus I was a little unsure about where to buy legitimate tickets. So I walked to the city center to see the Duomo Cathedral (just the outside) and the fashion district. I had a nice lunch on the street and got to observe the fashion capital of the world first hand.
I had asked for prayer for gospel opportunities on the trip home, but I did not sit near anyone who was interested in talking. Instead, I slept as much as possible and got some reading done. I even wrote a song for my 18 year old to celebrate her graduation on the long flight and during the layover in Chicago actually got out my guitar and started working on the tune. Her birthday was the day before my trip and her graduation party and graduation were the week after (this combined with a wedding shower for my oldest is why I haven’t written this yet).
Thank you once again for being a part of the trip in some way and supporting this kind of work. I trust that our deposit of time, strength, prayer, and finances, will be like fertilizer into the souls of these missionaries and that as they head back out into the field will cause continued growth and encouragement in tough times.