Today marks eight months since our family arrived here in Bologna, Italy! At this point we are also halfway through our year of working full time to learn as much as we can of the Italian language and culture.

We didn’t realize how all-consuming this season would be and it appears our blog has been abandoned since it started. While we’ve thought of writing many times, we have only been able to share snippets of our story on Instagram (follow us!) and in our newsletters and sadly not had the time to post so much on here. Until now! So, about the past 6 months…

The language learning and acclimation process is extremely humbling and often times exhausting and it’s taken more out of us than we expected. As we walk this part of the journey we constantly feel the tension between frustration with our inabilities to speak and understand as well as we’d like and contentment because of the progress we have made so far. We have also struggled with sickness for the majority of the time we’ve been here as this immersion includes the need for our bodies to get to know the germs here too. Ultimately we know how crucial this investment of time and energy is for our ability to be effective here and it’s foundational to our longevity.

While we focus on language learning we see the countless needs around us and opportunities for ministry. We are able to be involved minimally in ongoing initiatives such as Erika’s work with ATR and Jon’s micro-enterprise pilot project. Having our toe in the waters of ministry here has kept us motivated to work hard where we are so we can jump in as soon as we’re done.

There is a spiritual darkness that seems to envelope this nation like a cloud and it can feel quite heavy. Yet, there is a peace in being in the place where God has led us and excitement to be part His redemption story here.

Not long ago a talented friend took some photos of our family in downtown Bologna. At that time we were celebrating our 6 month anniversary in our new Bolognese home and the girls had just turned 4 and 1. It was fun to capture some moments of our family together in our new home city. So while we can’t transport you here to experience it all with us we hope these pictures will give you a glimpse of the beauty of this city and our joy to be in it.

Thank you to all of you who are part of this journey with us!