Friday, January 25, 2013

Waiting for the Pieces

I had been waiting to write this until I had more information. More awareness on what was going to happen. More knowledge of what I would be doing, what the schedule would be, and so forth. I should know by now that God usually doesn't give us all of the information. I'm still waiting on that spreadsheet of the next 20 years, in fact. More often than not, the "more" comes when we keep going forward while leaving the space for Him to fill. So, much overdue, here is the far as I know...

As many of you know, I was planning on heading back to Italy to rejoin the organization Operation Mobilization for the second School of Arts in Missions as a member of staff - playing the role of Assistant Dance Mentor and Student Life Coordinator. The invitation unofficially came about two weeks into the school last year, and officially came mid-July of 2012. Many letters were sent and much enthusiasm surrounded it all. In addition to this excitement, I met and began an intentional relationship with one of the Italian volunteers who had been helping at the school about two and a half weeks prior to the end of the school. Marco came out to visit and had a - ahem - rather serious conversation with my parents before he left. All this to say, things were looking great for the "plan" to head back to Italy. 

Mid-October, I received a telephone call from Mat Carson, the visionary behind the school and the one who had invited me on this adventure many months ago. He informed me that the core group of OM Arts staff had met and as a unified body decided to postpone the school for another year. I don't know if deep down God had been preparing me to receive this news without my own realization or if He just poured out abundant peace in that moment, but I was not at all surprised upon hearing the news. Not that I expected it or was thinking it would happen, I just wasn't surprised.

So, with much prayer, discussion, and tears, I made the decision to continue my journey in Italy. Ultimately, I decided to stay in California about two weeks longer than I originally had planned, and head to Italy on January 25, 2013. I will be spending about three weeks with Marco and his family in their home town, before we both return to Torre Pellice (the town where the school was held last year). I will be living with a woman named Jill McAfee who leads worship all over Europe for many of the OM international conferences and she often lead worship for us at the school last year. Not too long before receiving the news about the school this year, her roommate moved out leaving her in need of a roommate and me in need of a place to live. God fielded that one (of course) in a way I don't think either of us imagined it happening.

Over the last few months since receiving this news and adjusting to the idea of a new "plan" things have been moving right along. Dancing, teaching, visiting, and has not really slowed down at all. And all of a sudden I am now sitting at the airport in San Francisco awaiting the signal to board flight 284 to London/ Heathrow airport continuing on to Milan/Malpensa. I think back to this time last year and I was in almost the exact same spot give or take a week. I thought that this year would be the same. There will be familiar faces and places, but overall, the picture has changed. I'm still not sure where the final pieces are.

Which is sort of why this update to all of you wonderful friends and supporters has been so overdue. I've been waiting. Waiting until I knew more, until I had more details or facts or seemingly logical plans to share. But what I've learned is God doesn't work in spreadsheets or 5-year plans. He is the Master of awesome ideas and big dreams, and He asks for our trust. And when we really decide to invest our trust in Him I think we sometimes expect a big life-plan reveal. What I got this time was, "I trust you with decision Lauren, and whatever you decide, I'm with you!" Hold the phone...God trusts ME???? With a big decision??? I don't know how I feel about that...

We have to make decisions though, don't we? If we have any hope of living life to the fullest extent that God intended, we have to make those decisions and take those steps. It's kind of boring otherwise...

With all of this, I promise to keep the updates more regular and active. I promise to be upfront with everything that is happening and include all of you friends and loved ones in on the puzzle picture as it unfolds. I would just ask for your prayer for my ears, eyes and heart to be wide open to the Father's incredible love as it is poured out in the unveiling of my life.

For now, I will be joining with Marco and his friend David as they start a sports ministry program in Torre Pellice (just outside of Bobbio). I will be involved in bringing dance into the weekly sports camps they run for local youth as well as into more long term youth programs they are planning right now. A blessing of having more of a free schedule is that I will be more available to invest in the culture and adapting to a new way of life. I will go with another missionary couple to language classes, which will allow me to communicate with the students I will be interacting with on a regular basis. Also, I have stayed connected with a woman in the area who owns her own dance studio and she has suggested monthly collaborations that would take place at her studio. Mostly, I want to be available for Him to move. I want to be His hands and feet and dance like crazy for the glory of His Name!

I don't have a direct account for financial support, but if you do feel led to support in this way, here are the steps...

go to

click on "donate" on the top menu bar (right side) and scroll down to click on "single donation"

on the first line of the "single donation" page under "giving to fca by credit card" scroll to choose the option "individual staff person"

underneath this line, enter "Europe, David Guehring"

fill out the rest of the information on the page

click "submit"

email David Guehring at and tell him their name, how much their contribution was for and that it should go to Lauren Cosentino

Thank you everyone for your gracious support...I love you and will keep sharing as He keeps revealing...

In His Steps,