Today marks the third anniversary since my dad and I went to Italy on a missions trip! We visited with the Pieri family in Aprilia, about 40 minutes south of Rome. We were able to spend 10 days over there, they are days that I will never forget. I will treasure their memories forever.
The food was beyond delicious, mmmmm, real Italian food. I want some now! :) The European chocolate was sooooo good! I want some of that too! YUM!!
The people were cool. Many could speak English, but pretended to not be able to understand, it cracked me up! :) One story that sticks out in my mind is of the first day that dad and I were there. Faith, Joseph, and I went on a walk cuz I needed to stretch my legs after a long plane trip (I don't remember how long it was exactly). We met this lady on the street who came to the Pieris church occasionally. Faith and Jo introduced us, and interpreted a question from her to me. The question was: "Which do you like better, America or Italy?" Uuuuhhhh what do you say to that? Finally I told her that I thought Italy was gorgeous (which is the honest truth) but I liked America better just because that was where I lived. That answer satisfied her. Talk about awkward!
During one of the church services Bro. Pieri asked me to give my testimony. As I spoke he interpreted for me. As I was speaking Tonino, a BIG man in the mafia, interrupted me and asked me what in the world I had done that was bad enough to send me to hell. He couldn't believe that God would send a 15 year old girl like me to hell. It was definitely an experience, and made me REALLY nervous. But thankfully I was able to answer him, and finish. If you've never spoken through an interpreter before, it's rather difficult, and interesting.
So much has changed in these 3 years. The first big change was in 2007 when Faith graduated from high school and started attending Maranatha Baptist Bible College. We were able to see the Pieris several times during that summer while they were travelling around the mid-west. Little did we know those few precious times would be the last times we would ever see Mrs. Pieri again.
The next great change came the following year when I graduated from high school and moved to New York to attend International Bible College.
By far the most significant change began in September of 2008 when Mrs. Pieri was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Faith returned to Italy to be with her mom. In December Mrs. Pieri went home to be with her Savior. Her work on earth was complete. We'll never understand why it was that God took her, but we can rest in the fact that she was saved, and is now in the presence of the Almighty God, singing His praises.