Cynthia and I have been in Italy now for twelve days, and I want to thank all of you who are praying for us. This trip has several components, but all of them need to be undergirded by prayer. For those who did not know we were here, let me explain.
First is Cynthia’s time of study at the Florence Academy of Art. As a professional artist, my Cynthia has dreamed of studying here for many years. We first came to Florence in 1994, and returned again in 2015. That year we agreed to embark on this five-week long journey so that she could fulfill her dream. She goes to a morning live model “Painting the Figure” class at 9:00am, and then after lunch with me she returns for a three-hour “Painting the Portrait” live model class at 2:00pm. Both classes are taught in the beautiful classic renaissance style so characteristic of Florence, and she is loving it. It is however extremely mentally and physically taxing, and we ask you to continue to uphold her in prayer.
Second is my role as house-husband. I am cooking, cleaning, shopping, and caring for Cynthia, so prayers for me too please. Especially for good health.
Third is the work I am doing for NAMS. As we draw nearer and nearer to the global transition of our leadership, I am engaged in an extended period of writing to provide resources for the NAMS community. I am spending most of each day engaged in that task, and I would ask for prayers for guidance.
Next week I will leave Florence for a brief mission journey in Europe. One of our daughters-in-law, and our oldest granddaughter will spell me at the flat. I will fly first to Belgium, for a brief meeting with the Anglican Bishop of Europe in Brussels. NAMS first helped the Anglican Diocese of Europe in 2001, and we are exploring how we might be more proactively useful for new Anglican church planting throughout this region. NAMS has helped new work in the past in Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, and the Netherlands. We continue to believe that there remains a great work to be done throughout this vast continent, and we would like to assist if we can.
Then I will fly to Spain where we will hold a small NAMS summit to discuss and pray over two things: the general challenge presented by the massive recent immigration into Europe from the Middle East, and its church planting implications; and whether or not to establish a NAMS Base Community in Malaga, Spain, as a strategic center for our future work in Europe and North Africa. Can you take these two things in to your prayers as well? That God would grant clear wisdom and guidance to our deliberations. Also safe travel for those joining this summit from Germany, South Africa, Chile, and the USA.
Finally I would like to ask for prayers for the faithful church in Italy. The “footprint” of Christendom is everywhere here, but the living faith of Jesus Christ is weak. Those who are true believers are marginalized and generally hidden from the view of the majority. Please pray that God would raise up laborers to come in to this harvest field.
— Jon Shuler