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Robert M. Housby. Via Marco Polo 5, 20124. Milano, Italia www.TheItalianMemorandum.


Telephone from the US: 815.897.2991 [Milan is 7 hrs. ahead of US] Italian phone: 320.376.1359 Pre-schedule Skype

Missionary Moments in Milano with Bob and Marla...

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (Psalm 118:26)

First mission report from Milan since April. In this report, we will point out areas of resumed continuity from last spring, as well as detail new developments.

The last week in Des Moines, Bob met with a former convert and Greek student. It was rewarding to hear this individual rattle off a New Testament passage in Greek. Since we had studied weekly for nearly two years, this incident had a sweet sound. So, we left for Milan August 30th, and arrived the 31st, with a brief lay-over at London Heathrow. It appears that there is a rainy season in September in Milan. It is definitely autumn now. Our first week allowed us to reconnect with Houdini; Reno; Luca; Ferdinando; Amedeo and Maria; Edi; Luigi and Rosario, etc. These persons were either our neighbors or those around the church building.

We have made about three visits to the Questura (police department). Marla is scheduled to receive her Permesso di Soggiorno October 8. The preliminary paper-work, visits to the post office, paying the fees; and obtaining of the marca da bollo (official stamp), have all precluded this permission to stay. Not to mention that we brought our marriage license translated into Italian from the Italian Consulate in Chicago with us this year (a requirement). These official permissions serve to substitute for visas. Last year we needed such. However, now we are officially recognized as resident aliens (cf. Phil. 3:20). Someone once told us that the Italians liked paperwork, affixed with stamps and gold seals. We have found this to be accurate. Incidently, typing these notes is significantly easier than walking to all of these appointments. During our second week, we reconnected with church members. Pure joy! We had a fellowship meal with Raul, Teresa and Gabrielle. We had a luncheon with Willie and Vanessa. We had a supper with Maria and Matteo. Started Matteo, a teenager, on a selfdevelopment track using the Scriptures. On Sunday morning, Bob spoke from the Gospel of John. Bob and Marla also typically teach the teens on Sunday morning. This class has ranged from 4-6 in attendance. Bob also arranges material for the younger childrens class. The third week in Milan, we reinstated regular office hours, including meetings with evangelism students: Fikadu and Fausto. We also shared the gospel with one Fernando, whom Bob met while walking to an appointment. He introduced his wife and came to the Bible study. Then, there was one Luciano from Milan and his wife from north Italy, whom Bob met en route to somewhere else. Luciano owns his own business (insurance). These moments are important for a number of reasons. In addition to the obvious, they serve to model how the gospel may be communicated. We also had a fellowship with the architect, Tony Console of Bergamo. We also spent an entire Sunday after church service in the company of Moreno and Maria. They live in Casselle Lurani, a small town outside of Milan. They are trying to persuade us to go with them to Puglia for Christmas. Their extended family live there. A current church plant in Puglia is happening with the help of this family. Puglia is in the far south or, the boot heel of Italy. Maria also cut Bobs hair that day. We also shared a meal with one Lillia (not yet a member). We had an attendance of about 55-60 on Sunday morning. This coming Sunday, we have invited Eric and Nora to our home for a meal after church services. As we approach the final days of September, we anticipate the arrival of Signora Tammy Short from the US. She is making the trip for a special wedding of some of a church family. She will be accompanied by her daughter Michela. They will stay with us during their week-long visit.

1. Business Card - Bob has just comp;leted a computer business card which will advance the work of meeting new people. Without a car, Bob is often on public transportation where it is very convenient to set up appointments for the office or elsewhere. He did not have a business card last year. But, we think that such will be a nice aid in the advancement of our agenda this year. Of course, there is nothing new about a business card. What appears significant here is in its usage. 2. Individual Tracks - We are recommending to all church members that they adopt a track for personal spiritual development (sviluppo). We have found that some are unaware of what a personal approach might look like.

3. Promoting/offering Hebrew to Milano and neighboring churches. One of the brothers of the Milan congregation studied in a rabbinical school in Milano, as well as having done other studies years ago under Fausto Salvoni, a brother and theological erudite of Milan. We are promoting his scholarship to the community as an outreach. Bob is wanting to exploit his talents by giving him posture.

We offer five devotional points before we close: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Language is not merely transportational (information), but also transformational (persona) (See Psalm 96). Christ is always central to meaning and hope (Isaiah 40-66). The Kingdom provides a context for God in history (Gospels). Optimism is non-circumstantial, and always grounded in God. Prayer raises the questionWhat if the world is not pre-determined?

Much of our work will remain the same. For this, we are hardly apologetic. Logging hours in the field with people (not the academic study per se), is the fruition of studies from years past. The time is now; the place is Milano; and the work is visible. As we close this newsletter, we should like to thank all of our supporters. You are surely represented on the streets of Milan. To him be the glory, in Christ and in the church (Ephesians 3:21).