A Personal and Ministry Update

Things don’t always proceed according to plan. Stuff comes up. Things change. And even the best laid plans can turn awry. Our partial retirement seems to be going that way. But one positive thing is that with Hubby no longer teaching English he’s home to help with spring work. We’re swamped with spring cleaning and yard work.

Partial retirement?

We never planned our retirement to equal inactivity. There are too many needs in this world for us to stop reaching out. Hubby has continued preaching and teaching in churches. We’re still engaged in counseling, mentoring, and humanitarian work. But we have aimed at less responsibility.

Yet it seems the more we try to step away from official ministry positions, the more they come our way.

Responding to a request for help, we stepped in to temporarily help a church about an hour away from us. Due to various circumstances, it was left without leaders and was floundering.

We are hoping and praying for the Lord to send a young couple to take over as long-term pastors. But in the meantime, it takes a lot of our time and energy. And the hour-long drive to get there doesn’t help! Please pray for this flock without a shepherd. And that the Lord grants us wisdom and energy!


We have many travel plans. But now with the added responsibility, it’ll be pretty difficult to get away.

  • Our summer home
    Plans to go down to our summer place at Easter were postponed because it’s been too cold to stay in the unheated house. Now that it’s warmed up, we might be able to make it for a few days. The small church there misses us (and we miss them) and they really need encouragement. And we need to check on the house!
  • Our northern church
    We’re also hoping to visit our church in the Emilia Romagna area. We never visited there or or summer home last year because of my back injury.
  • The USA
    Vaccine requirements for foreign travelers are finally ending so we’ll hopefully plan to visit our families. After a 4-year absence (because of the pandemic) I’d say it’s time! I hope and pray I’ll be able to see my aging mom at least one more time. But first we’ve got to get this church functioning on its own for a bit.

Prayer Requests

  • Juggling
    Pray that the Lord will enable us to juggle our commitments and responsibilities. Our home church in our area, the one we’re serving as interim pastors, and those we assist from afar. Plus, the various people we mentor, home duties, blogging, translating this blog, and making a website for the new church. It sometimes seems like too many balls to keep in the air!
  • Wisdom & guidance
    To properly lead the new church we’ve taken on, and so they can walk on their own. And for the people we mentor and counsel.
  • New leaders
    For the Lord to send a couple to take over the pastorate of our new church.
  • Energy & finance
    And last but not least, energy to keep up with it all. And that the Lord will abundantly stretch our finances for our upcoming travel plans.

To better understand our involvement in these areas, read Our Towns.

No, things don’t always work according to plan. But we can be sure that when God brings new things and sets our plans aside it’s because he’s got better things in mind.

It’ll be interesting to see how God works everything out. And to see the good that he has in store for everyone involved. When we trust in his leading and guidance, we can always rely on him to work things out in the best possible way.

Thanks for sharing our journey and for continuing to pray for us, for Italy, and the continuing work here. We appreciate it!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB

Images: Notepad by Darkmoon Art | Plane by Schauhi.

8 replies on “A Personal and Ministry Update”

Oh, Sheila, I feel the tension for you that all this adds. But God has given you great wisdom and experience–it’s why you’re needed in so many places. But I hear, too, the longing to go back to the US to see family–it has been a long time. And the new responsibilities of the church where you’re helping out as interim pastors. And visiting those you’ve grown to love God just keeps growing your heart as He provides opportunities for you two to be used by Him. I’m definitely praying for all these things–and for a sense of His shalom to show you how you can work through this in a way that honors Him and gives you the strength, finances, and wisdom you need for all of it


Thanks so much Dayle. We really need the prayer! We are enjoying working with these people. But at the same time, it’s tiring. We just hope we will be able to bring them to a good point of stability. God can do it; without him we can do nothing!


I will be praying Sheila. This certainly sounds like a long and daunting list of requests to me but fortunately, not to our great and almighty God. May God supply you with His strength, wisdom courage and finances! Bless you guys as you continue being faithful in the not so retiring. retirement years!


Thanks Pastor Pete, It does seem like a lot, but actually we’re enjoying it. It’s a blessing to be able to serve. And it’s certainly not daunting to the Lord! Thanks for your prayers. He is our strength, wisdom, and supply!! And I love how you put it – our not so retiring retirement years! But then, I think you have some experience with that too!!

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Thanks JD, especially for your prayers. We especially appreciate it because there is a lack of young men willing to go into the ministry here. Sadly, this church is only one of many who need people to step in and fill the gap. Pray that more young people will see the need to serve God and his people in these ways! And yes God knows. We trust him to work all things out.


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