| Stetson, Sandy, Isaiah – 10 ys. Pearl -3 ys.
On December 29, 2012, we completed our first year in Italy. The Lord has blessed the processing of our paperwork, the establishment of our family into a foreign environment, language studies, and insight into the Italian culture. The foremost desire of our hearts is that the Italian people might know Christ and the power of His resurrection and then reproduce their faith in other Italians.Family: From the outset, I knew that one difficulty of ministering on a foreign field would be leaving behind pieces of our lives that we would not normally have set aside. I had no trouble leaving my career as an engineer nor selling our small house that we loved, but Sandy and I were both concerned how Isaiah would handle leaving his grandparents and cousins. Although he misses them, both he and Pearl have adjusted to life in Italy extraordinarily well. I am thrilled that my wife is very content here, feels very connected to the people and culture, and is excited about future ministry opportunities. Although we have sensed some spiritual opposition, our nightly family devotions have been a refreshing time with the Lord.Language Studies: Learning the language is crucial to success in ministry. I started language school in February, took a brief pause in August to digest the material, and resumed formal studies in September. I will continue school until June 2013 and feel hopeful that I will be effective in communicating Sandy sharing a gospel tract
| jthe gospel at that time. Sandy has been studying with a tutor and will begin language school in September 2013. For a number of reasons, we felt led to enroll Isaiah in the public Italian school system, one of which was to teach him the Italian language. We are so thankful that he is excelling in school and already speaking with his friends and teachers in Italian after only a few months.Ministry: In July 2012, I felt led to leave the church we were attending. Initially, we began with
a missionary that held services in both English and Italian. After much prayer and speaking with my pastor and a few others, we left to attend a church established by an independent Baptist missionary that has been in Rome for 50 years and who holds all services in the Italian language. There are over 100 Italians in attendance, and we are able to glean from their salvation testimonies and consequently see how it might impact our future outreach. As we learn the language, we continue to distribute gospel tracts in mailboxes, at public metro stations, and with people we meet. We have had opportunities to present the gospel to a number of individuals but realize how deeply ingrained the Catholic religion is within the people. In general, according to the saved Italians I have spoken with, it seems to take at least two years of consistent witness many times before someone receives Christ. We are anticipating God to accomplish great things in Italy, and we are excited to be a part of it.Looking ahead: In 2013, we will take further strides in preparing for launching our first work… – Continue to grow in the language– Pray and visit other cities to determine where the Lord would have us go from Rome – we are currently praying about Verona, Padova, Parma, and Bologna.