Family Update July 2015

Our boys are such a meaningful part of our lives. Without a doubt, God has blessed us with them to love, care for and point to Jesus. They’re also a crucial part of our calling. They pray with us for you, our students and the mission. Often, they meet students on campus, at conferences or even when we have students over our home. So, here is an update about the kiddos.

Gianluca, our older son (4 in 8/2015), is doing surprisingly well in his summer program for kids with autism. We were concerned it would be a tantrum-filled transition, but thanks to your prayers, Gianluca is enjoying his class. Overall, although he has a long way to go, he has certainly progressed. This last month, for example, Gianluca correctly answered the question, “What is your name?” He still parrots questions, but this is a step in the right direction. Technically, he is “non-verbal,” which means he can’t have conversations. Mostly, he’s just self-directed, doing his own thing without regard for people. We’re praying that we’ll soon be able to have basic, give-and-take conversations with our son.

We’ve also started Gianluca on a gluten-free/casein-free diet, which could help certain autistic children develop. Another hurdle we’re crossing is determining whether Gianluca also has ADHD. His pediatrician wants to monitor his attentiveness and physical activity, which has always been obsessively high.  Please pray with us that Gianluca would develop greatly through his private weekly speech and occupational therapy, as well as through his special-needs schooling.

Gabriel, our younger son (2 in 3/2015), is a riot. From morning to evening, he is as silly as can be, always trying to find new things to do with mommy, daddy or Gianluca. This week, he prayed a bedtime prayer for the first time. It was wonderful: “Dear God. Thank you Jesus. Amen.” Gabriel is a highly social tot, and he easily makes friends. One of his best friends from church, Emery, and he recently pretended to go shopping and actually tried leaving the apartment! Gabriel also has a huge heart. He will make sure to kiss your boo-boo and ask how you’re doing.

Seeing how drastically different our boys are is so rewarding, and it points to the creativity of our great God! Parenting is difficult in many ways, too. We don’t always feel we meet the job requirements, but we’re learning. Please pray we keep raising our boys to love Jesus. Pray we raise them in the right ways. Thank you so much for not only caring about the mission but about our family, as well!

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