This week I received my Ethiopian Visa in the mail, bought a bike and started my new job at Newicks.  God's timing is perfect! Thank you all for your prayers. The Visa is all set and I'm ready to go to Ethiopia for a year! The bike needs some work, but I'm hoping to take care of that tomorrow. And the job... well the job is exhausting, but so good.

Newicks is a seafood restaurant in Dover, about six miles from where I live (about a half hour bike-ride). I worked there this past Friday and Saturday as a prep-cook, which was crazy. We served 1,500 people on Friday night alone! Next week I'll be starting on the front line which basically consists of 30 frialators and a few ovens. This is the largest scale kitchen I've ever worked in and I've worked in a six different industrial kitchens in my life. So I'm looking forward to having some fun this summer. The 11 hr days will be challenging though. But fortunately that gives me 3 days off every week to enjoy some outdoor recreation this summer.

At this job I've been able to do something that I have wanted to do for the past 5 years ever since my first job in a kitchen. And that is to change my name to "Vinny" (Vincent is my middle name).  Because there are two other Steve's in the kitchen at Newicks, I took the plunge and have been introducing myself as Vinny when I meet new co-workers. I love the name! I think it makes me sound tough and brings out the 50% Italian that's in me. Plus, how often do you get the opportunity to change your name? Not often... so I went for it.

Until next week, thanks for the prayers and support.
Grace and Peace,


My roommate and I were talking about the concept of unexpected Grace. It's when God shows up in your life through a circumstance or interaction that totally takes you by surprise. In those moments you know He is a personal god who actually cares about the big and small things that matter and make us human. My roommate and I were talking about this because it seems like it has been a common occurrence for both of us this past week.

So after the whole getting my bag stolen incident (see previous blog), I've been talking with God a lot about my attached to stuff.  I'm finding that with that attachment comes the lack of trust in God to provide for me. The less self sufficient I am, the more I must trust in God.  He's done some cool thing this week to assure me that he is more than able to provide for my needs. The big thing on my mind of late that I'm having a hard time trusting god with is my financial support for my year in Africa. Well, on Monday I get a call from a church wanting me to come speak to share my trip with there congregation. Then I get six support checks in the mail along with some great notes of encouragement.  Both events gave me a wake up call that God will provide. In this week alone, I received $575 of support (I am now 20% funded!). 

Another incident of unexpected grace came last night as I was sorting though my box of electronics finding items for my friends yard sale today. In the box I came across my old MP3 player that has been broken since my summer in Yellowstone, two years ago.  My roommate was in the room and I turned to him and said, "How crazy would it be if this thing started working again?” I think God loves a challenge. I plugged it in and low and behold the light turns on and then starts playing music. I just sat there for like two minuets in complete shock. WOW God! This is especially cool in light of my previous blog entry. What a blessing to now have a “resurrected” MP3 player that is so blatantly a gift from God.

Unexpected grace is a way that God says to me, “Yup Steve, I know you. And I love you. And yes, crap happens and life is not often easy, but I’m here. And I will provide for you. Trust me =^).”  Yes, God did just use an emoticon in what he said to me.


Hey all,
So this past weekend I was hanging out with some friends in Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH celebrating my buddy's birthday. I set my bag down to run around a bit and when I got back to it the bag was gone. My Bible, journal, a few other books, MP3 player, and folder with all my paperwork for Ethiopia was in the bag.  Even though it really stinks that I lost my bag, I'm seeing how God it totally using this circumstance to teach me about my identity. Here's what I mean.

I think I identify myself with my positions too much. I'm proud of the fact that I don't have an ipod like everyone else, I have a much cooler, smaller MP3 player that has a built in radio, (that I hardly ever use), video capacity (that I also hardly ever use) and expandable memory slot (that I don't think I've used even once).  Likewise, I love my Bible that has tons of underlined passages, is warn so thin that I had to reinforce it with duck tape, and contains a map of all the prayer walks I've been on because, frankly it makes me look and feel spiritual. But God wants to be more that an accessory to my life that makes me look cool. God wants to be my life. All this to say I'm way too caught up in these trinkets, and if God has to take them away to reorient my priorities, then so be it.

The cool part of the situation is that I just so happen to take some critical paper-work out of my bag and set it on my desk on Thursday, the day before I lost the bag. I also mailed my VISA application on Thursday which if I hadn't done so, then my passport and many other important documents would have been lost. It's still going to be a pain to replace some of the stuff lost with my bag, but I really think God was protecting me from a much worse situating. And more importantly, teaching me to find my identity in Christ and not my stuff.

Thank you so much for your prayers... I think God is totally in the process of preparing me for this trip on so many levels.
Grace and Peace,


Hey all, 

So, I guess I'm not really good at this whole blogging thing, because it's been like a month since I last posted. But the only way to get better at something is to just do it like with sports, music or anything really. Most of the work in learning an instrument is the time invested in practicing it although some skill is also necessary. And with running, well let’s just say I’m so not a runner, but believe it or not, back in the day when I was on the H.S. Cross Country team I was actually in shape.  

So, in light of all of this, I hens forth make the commitment to write a new blog entry at the beginning of every week (probably on Mondays). This way I will get the practice and you guys will get the updates. 

Speaking of which… things with Ethiopia are coming along quite well. Support is coming in and I am now over 15% funded as of today. I will be sending off my Ethiopian Visa application right after I finish this post. Then I will be calling a few churches to see if I can set up a date to present my trip to them. I did this a few weeks ago at Fusion Community Church (the on-campus Church at UNH that I go to) and it was a blast! It was exciting to be a part of their worship and world focus. After I finished my presentation, the pastor exclaimed, “Well guys, we’re going to Ethiopia!” As of now, I have 16 individuals or families and one church body “coming with me” in their support and I suspect that number will be increasing a lot in the weeks and months to come. 

I invite you all to "come with me" to Ethiopia though your financial support and prayers.  The latter being the most important. Please be praying for:

 - Smooth processing of my visa application
 - Successful church partnerships 
 - Potential summer job at Newicks (more to come next post)
 - Consistency in blogging =^)

Thanks y’all for your interest in this next big exciting season of my life!
Grace and Peace,