Our day on Monday, July 8 started at 5 am! Fountainview was scheduled to film from 6-8am in front of the coliseum. Our hotel was about 5 miles from their recording site so we decided to run down to it to get our exercise. What a challenging experience to dodge traffic, people and structures through such a busy city! Our angels were with us though and we showed up there in time to get quite a few pictures of them recording and observe the onlookers. Many people show up during their filming sessions to listen, watch and take pictures. Some of them receive a free CD or DVD of Fountainview music which enables them to receive an ongoing memory and blessing from their experience. It's a great way for them to be a light wherever they go. It's fun being a part of that process and connecting with people of all languages and cultures :-)
While in Rome with Fountainview, we visited the Vatican City. The wealth of the Catholic church is astounding! I am so glad our salvation does not depend on that :-) We stood in line for over an hour to enter St Peter's Basilica. It occurred to me while touring through that enormous structure that we are all equal in God's eyes and that HE is the One and only TRUE GOD and He is way bigger than anything that man can construct! There is no person on this earth that can replace Him! IT was however, a interesting experience to see the incredible works of art by Michealangelo. So overwhelming and awe inspiring to think that something like that was humanly possible!!! He didn't really want to do the job of the artwork in the Basilica, but apparently the pope made him. In spite of him being forced to do it, he did an absolutely amazing job! We hiked up the spiral staircases of hundreds of steps all the way to the top of the highest dome and looked out over the entire city of Rome and the Vatican! Wow!!!!
Then we headed over to the Mamertine Prison where Paul and Peter were held. Fountainview did some recording there as well in the prison and right above some ruins of ancient Rome. It is meaningful to spend time in a place where some of the Bible stories took place. There are still quite a few ruins of the city wall still in place and there's a whole area that archeologists have dug out of the ancient parts of the city. To think that all that was there even before Jesus walked the earth is mind boggling to be!!!
Our time in Rome was a whirlwind of racing through the city streets, riding subways, trains and buses and taking lots of pictures! We also needed to find a laudromat while there since we were running out of clean clothes again. It took 4 subway rides and some asking around to finally find one that was about to close in 45 min. We pled with the guy to let us start our laundry still. He agreed and we were able to get it all washed and dried and folded before racing over to the church where FV was staying to deliver Tiffany's to her by 11pm at night. We were hoping and praying that the doors of the church would still be open. Thankfully they were still up and just settling in for the night after a VERY LONG day of filming. There had been another thunder storm which delayed their whole schedule of filming by about 3 hours so they had filmed right up until dark. Getting up at 5am and then not getting bed until 11pm is quite a rigorous schedule to keep. But in spite of that, the students' spirits were still high! Wow! They are such troopers! We then took a subway back to our hotel and got to bed by 12:30am. Next morning we arose at 6:30am to pack up and catch subways to a bus that would take us over the beautiful Italian mountains with small villages throughout to a a place where we had reserved a camper van to rent.
When the guy finally brought it out to show us the van, we were shocked to say the least! What an ugly old jalopy! We had no idea that it would be this way! The pictures they show online are much nicer than what we ended up with. To top it off, this company is based in the UK so the steering wheel is on the right side. Niether Bryan nor I have ever driven that way on right sided streets. So, at first, I said... No way!!! I'm not riding or driving in this vehicle!!! It's not what we agreed on and it's not safe. One other thing that is not ideal is what is painted on it. Words like "wicked" and other phrases conotating meanings hat I do not want to read, let along spread them around for others to read. But we don't really have a choice to get anything else because we will lose all the money we spent and there are no other vehicles available that could be one way rentals. So we had our first night camping in it and we have decided to try to live with it. Please pray that it will get better. Because it has been very scary riding in it and it's embarrassing to have people staring at us all the time :-) Thanks friends!