My dream telling me to go, was as clear as day. And if you know me, which I'm assuming most of the people reading this do not, but soon will; I have a lot of dreams, and a lot of them very definitive dreams. That is a communication with God that I will try to never take for granted and learn as much as possible to really see His heart with clarity, the way He see's us.

So here I am, a month later from making the declaration of going on a mission trip to Italy. The scary thing I never thought to think about was the fact that people would question the validity of the trip. In my mind I did just the same. Which is why I tossed and turned about my passion for travel mixed with missions. God doesn't take the joy out of the things you love, He just happens to weave them into the things that need to get done for the kingdom. *Epiphany Moment!*

I have already started on my support letters, sending them out via Facebook as that is sometimes the quickest means to people because it alerts them on their phones if that's how they have set it up. I have gotten some blessings from friends and little or big donations make no difference to me. I know that if God wants me there, it will happen. Money aside, I'm praying that people will have their eyes open to the importance of souls and eternity in any country. Because it's Italy doesn't mean that there is a thriving scene of knowing who God is. People in America can sit in a pew every Sunday and Wednesday and never know what a personal relationship is with God. We've heard it before, people claiming Christianity and then spewing forth hate on anyone who is gay, black, white, the President, disabled people, homeless people, you name it.

I know for a fact that God is love. John 3:16 "For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." How many parents do you know that could sacrifice their child if that meant saving many more than just the one?

1 John 3:1 "See what kind of love the Father has give to us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him."
Being dead to yourself, means being alive in Christ. Which means seeing how His heart beats and that it beats for all!

Who are we to critique who needs God's love?! Who are we to withhold the amazing gift that we were offered to hear day in and day out, from other people?! This my friends is one of those Oprah's Favorite Things episode. This my friends we do not withhold. This gift that seems like a one-time thing, is an eternal gift. We do not use it sparingly, we use it to it's full advantage. We get the miles used up and we recharge to go again! This is a gift to us from God who allowed His Son to die for our selfish needs, the  very needs we hold clasped to our chest not sharing.

So, to be challenged to think of whether or not people should hear the gospel in a predominantly Roman Catholic society is a challenge I need as well as all of us.

Let me give you a definition of a Catholicism: Catholicism is largely centered around the doctrine that God's grace is conveyed through seven sacraments, but especially through the sacrament of eucharist (communion) celebrated at mass. The other six sacraments are baptism, confirmation, penance, holy orders, matrimony, and anointing of the sick.

This is not to be confused that all Roman Catholic churches are operated with the same mentality. You may have priests within the church that want to shake things up, but who's to say they have suceded or aren't being stopped by the traditions of the church?
I also do not disagree with any of the things the church stands for, but if you look closely, where does it state that developing a PERSONAL relationship with Christ is tops? I also am not saying that people who have grown up in this do not have a personal relationship with the Father. I have seen some that do, and it's such a beautiful sight to see and something I wish to see in younger Catholic Christians. The importance of grace is wonderful, but understanding God's grace and continuing to act in sin with the knowledge in the back of your head that God will grant you grace, is a lousy way of showing your love to Him.

People treat God like using a credit card, knowing the fees will build up if you don't have the money to even pay the minimum. And if it get's too bad, there is the option of filing bankruptcy. Why wait to get to that point when you know what it is to prevent you from such debt... Not buying what you can't afford or having the money for it.

With all that being said, I am not apologetic for wanting to go on this trip. For wanting to teach English, for wanting to learn Italian, for wanting to build relationships with the people there. In turn, being able to explain what building a relationship looks like. In the years that I've heard my parents say over and over, that God has placed our family on this Earth to build bridges and be bridge crossers, I see that it is coming into fruition. My job of building bridges is building relationships for understanding one another. And as much as this trip is about teaching the importance of a built relationship, it's just as important for me to learn about the religion of Catholicism.

Keep an open mind and learn from others, but know who my foundation is in and what it rests on. The word of God.


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