Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Do You Spell Outreach?

Antonella, the young student mentioned in a previous post, moved in with us last week, to help.

Katia arrived over the weekend. “Who’s Katia?” you might ask (as we are). No one seems to know, except that she is here to help. Apparently Pastor Giorgio sent her. Her arrival, along with a group of about 50 Italian young people for a camp, necessitated the move for three of us to the next building.

Katia moved in with Meri and Phoebe, and helped us with translation and distribution. She left two days later, although we thought she was here for the week, to be replaced by Marco. At least we found out that they are both linked to Pastor Giorgio through a sister church in Rome. Any bit of clarity in this outreach is a windfall, and as deadlines continue to shorten, we are quite content to welcome Marco and ask him if he’s ever cut a mat. Marco’s English is as fractured as his work ethic is strong, given us moments of delight; he has proven to be an enormous help, and probably the reason I’m going to have two more pieces in the show that I might not have been able to finish otherwise. (And his cappuccino NOT to be refused!)

The decibel level has risen dramatically on campus, while available laundry and shower time has reduced considerably.

The best news is that our daily rations of pizza, pasta and watermelon have evolved through the efforts of a mysterious someone who is obviously into the culinary arts, and we are saying thank you…..

In the middle of all this transition, we learned we must also move to another location on Saturday, the day of our first exhibit, and no time is scheduled for the installation on Sunday. Groans from the team, gulps from the team leader, and another revised schedule to try to cope with the changes.

How do you spell outreach? C-H-A-O-S!!!!

And yet…in the middle of it all, a germ of an idea came over the weekend…we sat by the beach for a few hours decompressing on Sunday after church, and after an emergency trip to the pharmacy for an artist in respiratory distress. I thought about it a bit as I stared at the beautiful Adriatic Sea, and decided it was from God. How would the team take to it?

On Monday as I rose early for some quiet time and an available shower, I had the full assurance that God was with us and about to meet us in a big way; I went into our devotional time ready to announce that to the team, to try to encourage them as we began our second week. God beat me to it 

But that’s a story I will tell you next time. For now, the team is off on errands and distribution, and I am hunkered down producing an exhibit brochure, a list of the artwork and artists’ statements, and laying out an installation plan. Soon the team will return and many questions will need answers, and probably one meltdown will need a little attention. I still need to wander around the property, looking for a wireless connection to post this…wondering how it can all happen that God delivers us exactly what we need in the midst of chaos, confusion and speaking in several different tongues…

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