Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 6:23-24
Years of blogging and making connections. Months of planning and praying. Sixteen days ago and 6,354 miles later, we landed at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport. The next day, we drove 186 miles across Italy’s boot. Little did we know, that our lives would never be the same. In the Abruzzo Region, unexpected family awaited us with unexpected blessings.
Isabella and Maurizio warmly greeted us at their beautiful B&B Alla Canale. It was more stunning than the photos depicted on the website.
The view from the main level and from our room, the second story balcony, was piu bella del mondo (most beautiful in the world). It was breathtaking and hypnotic. As I gazed at the sunrise over the Adriatic Sea, I praised the Lord for His artistry in creation.
Be still, and know that I am God!Psalm 46:10
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.
In the chaos of preparing for the trip and the travel to Abruzzo, I had left the stillness. Here, I was able to be still and breathe in the beauty of the Creator of the universe.
The depth of beauty was unexpected.
The selfless service was overwhelming.
Isabella’s and Maurizio’s gracious hospitality blessed us beyond our imaginations. We have never encountered such genuine hospitality. Isabella’s love for serving others was deeply apparent, and we quickly grew to love them as friends and a few days later as family. They both have the gift of hospitality.
God orchestrated our days together and had more to come for us all.
We traveled to the Abruzzo Region to meet missionaries Sheila and Mario. Sheila and I connected through our blog posts. Signora Sheila’s blog, My Cammino, reveals a poured-out life for others and a special love for Italy.
Comments on each other’s blog posts and emails back and forth had created a strong connection. Keith and I looked forward to meeting Sheila and Mario in person.
In 1989, Sheila and Mario packed up their two children and left America to share the Good News with Mario’s people in Italy.
Through the internet and her blog posts, Sheila is also sharing the Good News and her love for Italy. She’s reaching the world for Jesus.
Our paths met.
Unexpected connections – God-orchestrated.
We enjoyed three days of prayer, dinner, lunch in their home, walking through their town, Scerni, and meeting their neighbors.
Mario and Sheila came by the B&B several times and visited with Maurizio and Isabella. The last evening was very special. We enjoyed juice together and much conversation. The two couples became friends and will connect with each other from time to time.
I wrote in the B&B visitors’ memory book. (Keith’s first name is George, and they knew him by that name.)
The next morning, we prayed for Isabella and Maurizio and reluctantly left for Sorrento.
Throughout our stay in Italy, Mario followed up with us to make sure that we were safe and well-taken care of.
What we planned as a long-awaited time of refreshing and time with each other became an unexpected adventure and discovery of extended family and unexpected blessings.
God’s plans are amazing and beyond what we could ever expect.Tweet
Our Father in heaven, thank You for the new family members You have given us. Bless Sheila, Mario, Isabella, and Maurizio to overflowing with Your steadfast love, provision, peace, and joy. Pour out Your grace and blessings upon them. In Jesus’ name, amen.