Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Mission

When Dot’s daughter was six she wanted to be a missionary to Italy.  
Dot incorrectly told her, “Italy doesn’t need missionaries.”
The World Factbook reports Italy is 80% Christian. 
However, just 5% are considered devout:    
4.3% Roman Catholic
0.7% evangelical Christian.
In 2011 the Pope placed Italy on the Catholic unreached list.
Most Italians don’t believe they have a need for God. Dot’s going to share God’s love and grace with those hurting from divorce. 
The Jonathan Project reports that there are only two Deaf ministries in Italy.  The team plans to learn Italian Sign Language (LIS) and to start a Deaf ministry.
In fair Verona Shakespeare set the scene for Romeo and Juliet.
In this same city God has called me to serve on this team.
Some facts about Verona:
Prostitution is legal
Abortion is free
In this region the number of devout Catholics drop to 3% and evangelical Christians drop to just 0.045% of the region’s population.  This would be comparable to just 120 evangelical Christians living in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Support this Mission to Italy

This blog is about me and my mission to Italy.  It's been taking some time to raise the funds and I am almost ready to go.  

Ways to financially support this mission.
1 – Write a check and mail.
Make it out to:  Team Expansion  
(Don't put my name on the check or the IRS says it can't be tax deductible)
Mail it to my forwarding agent at:
Team Expansion
255 Zook Lane
Burlington, IN  46915

2 - Online giving from your bank
If your bank account has an online bill pay, you can set up a check to be sent to my forwarding agent’s address. Have the check written to 'Team Expansion' and send to:
Team Expansion

255 Zook LaneBurlington, IN 46915

3 – Online giving from the Team Expansion website

Click the online link on the right side of page.
Select donation amount - select Other and type in the amount you are donating.
If you are committing to monthly support say YES to a recurring donation.
If it is a one time donation say NO.
There are 2 ways to do it here 
A) Select Credit Card and fill out your credit/debit card information.
B) Select Check and fill out your checking account information.
Then fill out your personal information. This is so we know who to thank and who to send yearly statements concerning your giving for tax purposes.
For my account to be credited with your online giving, please put 'Dot Elliott – Italy' in the Missionary/Project Name.
Click the Review and Submit button at the bottom and then confirm on the next page.
Thank you for your support!!

Dot Elliott
Missionary to Verona, Italy

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Matter of Perspective

Growing up I was the youngest of three girls.  When I was around four years old my mommy taught art classes for the neighborhood kids.  She taught my sisters and their friends.  I was there, but I wasn't really old enough to be painting.  But, I remember my mommy telling the kids to look at the tree and paint exactly what they saw.  She would say each painting would be different even though they would all be painting the same tree.  It was a matter of perspective.

My daddy and mommy had taken an old run down house and remodeled it into a wonderful home for our family.  They bought each of us our own hammer and  taught us all how to use it correctly.   Then they allowed us to help nail down the sub flooring in our bedroom.  They wanted us to feel a real part in the building of the house.  My daddy knew he would be able to hide our mistakes - dents in the wood as well as the bent nails.  It would all be covered up with flooring.  It was a matter of perspective.

As we were getting ready to put on the wood siding on the house they taught us how to paint.  They showed us how to use long strokes with the brush with plenty of paint.  Then when one side was dry we would turn them over and paint the back side and all the edges.  I remember a friend of my daddy was there one time and laughed at us for wasting so much paint on the back side.  'No one sees that side!'  My wise daddy said he was sealing the wood because he didn't want to have to repaint for a long time!  It was a matter of perspective.

When I was six years old my family went on a trip to New York City.  I remember seeing the little cars below the Empire State Building and asking my mommy if I could play with them when we got back to the bottom.  To me, as a child, the tiny toy cars were moving on their own.  I knew I would have a lot of fun with them if I could just get my hands on them!  My mommy had to explain to me they were full size cars with people driving them.  It was because we were so very high above them that they appeared to be small.  It was a matter of perspective.

On that same trip we went to the World's Fair.  My sisters were allowed to go into another room and my daddy, mommy, and I were amazed that we were able to see them wave to us on the television where we were.  Videotaping was being introduced to the world.  Before that, things could be filmed, but then the film had to be developed before being able to be seen on a TV.  It was a matter of perspective.

They also were introducing the concept of the Video Phone.  They said someday in the future people could call someone on the phone and they would be able to see them while they were talking!  I remember my mommy saying that if that happened she would always have to comb her hair before she answered the phone!  It was a matter of perspective.

As I remember these things of my childhood the perspectives my parents taught me have come to life.  When I was in my twenties I began oil painting and recalled the early teachings of my mom - 'paint what you see'.  I've even recalled those words when decorating a cake to the specifications of a friend.

They helped me to see I was a valuable part of the project - nailing down sub flooring.  They taught me to not take short cuts - paint even the back side.  (Side note - the paint never peeled and the new owners painted the siding just to change the color!)

They helped me to see sometimes things appeared small, but once I got to that place it would be normal.

I remember when my daddy got his first video camera.  He was so excited to be able to videotape grandchildren and watch them easily from his TV.

As I'm getting ready to move across the ocean I thank God for the technological advances with the  'video phone' from long ago, because in January, I'll officially become a grandma. There are many options through the internet with Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangout!  I'll be able to 'see' the baby in real time.  I'm sure I'll check my hair before answering!

I think about how many times we don't understand the situations around us.  It might not make sense to others.  But if we have listened to our Father and then trust in Him, and allowed Him to guide us through the learning process, we will see the right perspective - His perspective!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The experience on Pike's Peak

I'll always remember the experience I had at the top of Pike's Peak!

While training to become missionaries in Colorado, a friend and I took the last cog of the day to the top of the mountain.  It took less than an hour and a half to go the 9 miles to the top.  We were able to sit, enjoyed the scenery, and took pictures.  As the cog got closer to the top, we had to put on our coats.  As we arrived they told us we the cog would leave in 30 minutes.  There wasn’t another cog until morning and it was a very long way down.  The air was thin and it was hard to breath, but we walked around, played in the snow, and enjoyed the view.  Then we went inside the Summit House, and there found two friends from the training center.

Our friends had had a goal to hike to the top, but it was a much longer journey than they thought it would be.  They had left the training center the afternoon before to start on their trek up the mountain.  That part was relatively easy and they made it halfway to a base camp as they had planned.  The next morning they set out expecting to be able to reach the top, enjoy the view and hike back down to the base camp by evening.

So to see them right before 6 PM at the top of the mountain exhausted, out of breath, repeating the phrase – ‘that was the hardest thing we’ve ever done’, but still feeling blessed by the experience was a sight that is still crystal clear in my memory.  Their climb was breathtaking, figuratively as well as literally.  They took pictures, but started having trouble breathing in the thin air.  When they ran out of water and still had quite a ways to go the hike became scary for them.  But, they kept climbing, little by little, rock by rock, boulder by boulder.  They made it just at the right time!  If it had taken them any longer they would have not had a shelter at the top or a cog ride back down to the halfway camp.  They trusted God and persevered!

They are now in language studies on the mission field.  May they persevere with this journey as well.

My journey to Italy has been a lot like their trip up the mountain.  I had a plan and set out on the journey.  At first it was challenging, but still kind of easy.  When I finished the fundraising for the start up I was so excited and knew I’d be ‘up the mountain’ of fundraising the monthly support I needed and be on the field soon.  There have been a lot of challenges along the way.  The view has been breathtaking.  I know I’m nearing the top of the ‘mountain’.  It is getting hard to breath, the ‘water’ supply I had is gone, but I see the goal and I will reach the summit just in time, in God’s time.  I know with God all things are possible!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

US and Italy

I haven't posted much lately.  I think of things to write, but at inopportune times.  Then, when I can sit down to write I don't remember what I wanted to say.

Trying to raise up friends to support a mission, selling off most of my things, depending on God for how needs will be met…AKA:  Fundraising … is a tough experience.  I'm sure if the funds came easily I might not realize the money is coming by the grace of God.  The funds and commitments are growing … little by little, bit by bit.  So close, yet so far. (If people plan on giving when I go, please let me know so the amount being committed can be recorded.)

People are starting to see the need of the Italians.  A need that shouldn't be there, but is.  Didn't they have the apostle Paul, Aquilla and Pricilla in the first century.  The Gospel spread throughout Italy and beyond.  Why do so few there know Him now?  Just 5% are devout believers in God.  That number drops down in Verona.

I believe it is like here in the US, but they are just a few decades ahead of us.  The US was built on Christian values and principles.  But, we started tolerating differences for the few who didn't believe in God.  'You don't want to offend anyone!'  Really?  How did the Pharisees like being called a 'brood of vipers' by Jesus?  They didn't like it at all.  They were offended.  But, Jesus was calling them out for their hypocrisy.  Hold onto Godly principles and the Truth.

The Italians had Christianity, but then they started allowing Satan's lies to deceive them.  A loved one died…someone who hadn't lived right.  God wouldn't want him to go to hell, would He?  No!  So Satan lured them into a sense of being able to pay for the sins of those who went before them.  Slowly their beliefs changed to the point of 'why do we need God anyway?'  All we need is the money to buy our way into heaven.  To finally, 'why pay for heaven?  Life is just the here and now anyway.'  Jesus is the Way to the Father in heaven, He is the Truth.

With God, all things are possible, right?  I'm not saying I should just sit back and twiddle my thumbs, but I need to do my part so God can work on the hearts of the people in the US to send me as well as the people I will share with in the future in Italy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Letting Go of Pool Balls...

Letting Go …

A simple set of pool balls.  A few years ago I bought them new along with a couple of cue sticks when I had been given an inexpensive pool table.  I spent the money so I could play a game that I could play alone.  I enjoy the angles of pool.  Due to reasons I had agreed to, I had to put the pool table on its edge up against the wall.  I thought it would only be a short time, but time passed.  When I could finally get the pool table back out, it had been ruined and I had to throw it away.  I still had the cue sticks and the pool balls, but no table.

Since I was having fundraising garage sales it made sense to put the cue sticks and the pool balls in the sale.  But, any time someone looked at them and asked what I wanted for them I would say a high price so they wouldn’t buy them.  One gal offered me just a couple of dollars.  She wanted to glue them together for decoration!  I couldn’t let them go for that!  They were barely used and needed used for their intended use!  A guy came in a offered me a decent price for the cue sticks.  He said he had a friend with a pool table and he could use a couple good cue sticks.  After several people asked about them and no one wanted my price for them, I started thinking, “Why am I so stubborn about the pool balls? I don’t have a pool table, the cue sticks are gone now, so why am I wanting to hold on to the pool balls?”

Late on a Saturday a couple came to the garage sale and were excited when they saw the pool balls.  They asked me what I wanted for them.  I asked what they intended doing with them.  They explained they play competition pool and are always looking for good pool balls.  They offered a reasonable price and I agreed.

My sadness with those pool balls made me start to think about what God must think of us.  God made us with a purpose, but He also gave us free will.  How disappointed does He get with us when we don’t use our talents and our lives to bring Him glory?  He doesn’t want any to perish.  He paid the ultimate price for our redemption!  We shouldn’t just take our abilities and glue them together, put up on a shelf, to just be admired.  Use your life for Him!

I let the pool balls go to people who would use them for their intended purpose.  May I be used for His glory!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fundraising statistics

Some statistics to share.

It took 17 months to raise 100% of the start up funds.
It took 14 months to raise the first 25% monthly support.

It has taken just 4 months to get to 50%!!

Sto ladando Dio!

(I'm praising God!)

May He continue to help me share this mission and gain new partners. 

Praying I'm able to get be in Italy in December!