Hello again, and welcome to this newest update from the Addison/Maggie/Elinor Lucchi family! Speaking of which…
A New Lucchi!
In September, Elinor Lucchi was born. Maggie and I have been blessed with a wonderful new member of our family… and, the opportunity to learn how to function with much less sleep. All in all, things have been going quite well. Most importantly, here are some photos of beautiful Elinor! I have especially been enjoying her frequency of smiles of late; something that the pediatrician said is unusual for her age. She’s also started making lots of happy sounds, being awake more often, and making plenty of eye contact. She’s been able to meet many people, between guests and family visits! Above Elinor’s diaper changing station, we have a liturgy framed from the book Every Moment Holy: “A Liturgy for the Changing of Diapers”. Here is the ending of that liturgy:
“So take this unremarkable act of necessary service, O Christ, and in your economy let it be multiplied into the greater outworking of worship and of faith, a true investment in the incremental advance of your kingdom across generations. Open my eyes so that I might see this act for what it is. From the fixed vantage of eternity, O Lord–how the changing of a diaper might sit upstream of the changing of a heart; how the changing of a heart might sit upstream of the changing of the world. Amen.”
Delays & Changes
In our last update, I shared our prayer request for the (then) upcoming MNU-sponsored study abroad trip to the Czech Republic. Despite our hopes for the trip, though, God had other plans–as the trip was cancelled, due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. This was a wise decision, and fortunately it occurred before purchasing flights or lodging–as the Czech Republic was and still is closed to American travelers.
While we had to mourn the cancellation of that trip–just like we had to mourn the previous cancellation of our planned Czech teaching trip in May–we are confident that God will have us return to the country in his timing. We have no specific expectations of when this will be, but we are hoping to visit the Czech Republic in the summer of 2021 (if not sooner).
Additionally, Maggie started working for All Nations KC this summer! She participated in All Nations’ 3-week intensive Church Planting Experience, and she has since continued working as Administrative Specialist for ANK. It has already been a blessing to get to be more embedded in what All Nations is doing, and to have the opportunity to get to know the All Nations team and missionaries. Also, this has provided more opportunities for…
Our Call to Hospitality
I mentioned in my last post that we have been called to hospitality. Hospitality has been a recurring theme for us, and one that has appeared through personal readings (i.e. The Gospel Comes With a Housekey), church (current theme of “extending the table”), conferences, conversations, and more. While much of 2020 has been a time of preparation and waiting, God has provided more and more opportunities to provide hospitality this fall. We have been able to host people (several missionaries through All Nations, for example) in our home for short and extended periods of time, and also to start…
Monday Night Dinners!
On Monday nights, we have started hosting an open dinner at our home. Every Monday night, we or a friend / family member makes dinner, and we simply enjoy dinner, conversation, and the telling of a story from the Bible together. While most of our meetings thus far have only had a few extra people each time, we recently had the opportunity to invite some new friends (who are visiting KC for ministry training) into our Monday night gatherings. The past two weeks, we have told and discussed Jesus’ parables, played games and music together, and enjoyed exchanging stories. We trust that God will continue to bring the right people at the right times to these gatherings. In fact, if you are reading this post, you are invited to Monday night dinners at 5:30pm; feel free to message me for more details!
Our Call to Global Ministry
Maggie and I also still have a call to global ministry–however, we recognize that God desires for us to do ministry (loving people, serving Him, spreading the Gospel through our lives, work, and words) wherever He has us. Currently, He has us in KC–thus, we are trying to focus on our KC-based callings and community. We also have a heart for the Czech Republic, though–and, I still see that country as home. When I was just 10-13 years old, God started tying that country to my story, and now our story. Maggie and I have each visited the Czech Republic many times in total over the last several years, to help our brother and sister Keifer and Caity with their work there. Now, we believe God is calling us towards (eventually) spending a more extended time teaching and doing ministry in the country: perhaps 1 month a year (using our time off from work), or, perhaps, summers. We are praying through possibilities and waiting until God 1) provides clear direction and 2) provides the right opportunities.
One such opportunity exists in a building currently being fundraised in the Czech Republic through the Out of Ashes project. Please read the linked page, written by Keifer Lucchi, for more information on this project and how to give towards it. It is amazing to see how God has already connected the dots in many people’s callings through this one project! I look forward to seeing how it develops, and how God uses this house to build His kingdom.
Reflection: Community, Calling, & Home
Tying together some of these points, I’d like to share some reflections from a recent virtual conference Maggie and I attended through the Rabbit Room: Hutchmoot Homebound. While a plethora of content was shared through the conference (and still is being shared–the sessions are still available online for attendees, and we’re currently working through them), one of my key takeaways thus far relates to Home.
In multiple sessions, presenters discussed (in their own ways) the tension between our call to make a home now, where we are, and the reality that our true home is “not yet”. As the Church, I believe we are called to care for our communities, our homes, and our world–all the while recognizing that our longing “to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from” will continue until Jesus’ return (Lewis, Till We Have Faces). We are currently in a time of displacement–neither home nor fully not home–waiting until Christ returns to make all things new, but also knowing we have a distinct calling to build His kingdom here in the meantime.
We are simultaneously called, then, towards an eternal mindset and a focus on the everyday. If we really do have an eternal mindset, we must care about the everyday and our communities here, just as Jesus did during his time here on earth. The spiritual and the physical are intimately connected–and, it is important that we recognize Christ and his work in the day-to-day realities of our work, rest, home, and community. Hospitality and community, then, are essential to our callings as believers–as we are called to spread the Gospel both through our words and through the way we live our lives. We are called to spread the Gospel, ultimately, through the way we love God and love each other. The tangible applications of this mean a care for our world, a focus on serving our communities, and an inviting in of the “other”; just as Christ invites us in.
Yesterday, at Monday night dinner, we told and discussed the Parable of the Talents together. Within this story, the master, before leaving on a long journey, entrusts “talents” to his three servants–5, 2, or 1, according to each of their abilities. When he returns from his journey, he finds that the first two servants have multiplied the talents they were entrusted with; and, he calls them faithful and entrusts them with even more. However, to the servant entrusted with the 1 talent, who buries it in the ground instead of investing it for multiplication, he calls him slothful and lazy.
While there are many potential applications and much truth present in this story, one lesson we discussed is the fact that we are all called towards something, even if we feel we are the servant who was only entrusted with the 1 talent. We are all responsible for investing the opportunities, gifts, skills, and resources we have been given for kingdom multiplication–we all have a calling, which only we can fill in the communities we have been called to. To quote Andrew Peterson:
“You know and understand things about the heart of God that only YOU can teach. …Your story, then, is yours and no one else’s. Jesus said, “in my Father’s house are many rooms”. Could it be that those rooms are inner chambers in the heart of God, each of which has an individual’s name on it? If this is true, and I’d like to believe it is, then all I have to do is tell about my Lord and my God. Because I know him intimately, uniquely, it may be a revelation, in a sense, of the secret things of the Father. This is part of my calling—to make known the heart of God. And because he holds a special place in his heart for me and me alone (just as he holds a special place for you), my story stands a chance to be edifying to my sisters and brothers, just as your story, your insight, your revelation of God’s heart, is something the rest of us need.”
- Pray for Elinor, as she is growing and learning, and for Maggie and I, as we are growing and learning with her. Pray that we will recognize our need and reliance upon God as parents, and that we will walk in the Spirit in our daily interactions with Elinor and each other.
- Pray for God to connect us with the right people, as we are seeking to serve through hospitality and build local Christ-centered community.
- Pray for the “Out of Ashes” project–that the funds will be raise in God’s timing, in the right way. And, that through this project, many lives will be impacted for the Kingdom–that many people may come to know Jesus and draw closer to Him.
- Pray for Maggie and I as we discern the specific ways that God wants us to serve, both at present and in the future. Pray for discernment as we consider timing, and as we weed out the elements and activities of our lives that our still ours–the things we haven’t given fully to God.
- Pray that the Sower will sow seeds, as he is faithful to do, through our work, our teaching, our service, our relationship building, our parenting, etc. Pray that His will will be accomplished, not ours, and that we will be faithful to simply listen, follow, and wait when needed. Pray that Christ will be and remain our vision for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.