Ciao! Buon Giorno! Our time in Italy has been absolutely amazing! These past few days have been most of the team’s absolute favorite thus far. We spent three nights and two days in a campground in Pozzouli, a suburb of Napoli. Actually, Paul came to the very same town on his way to Rome in Acts. Acts 28:13-14 to be exact. Also, the campground was in the middle of a volcano . “Volcano Solfatara” due to the sulfuric gases coming out of holes in the ground. Luckily, it did not smell like rotten eggs. Most of the time…
During our time in Napoli, we partnered up with a local church: Chiesa Christiana Evangelic. On our first day, we split up into two groups. One group picked up trash in a square with some of the church members and then performed songs in a market while the other group also performed songs, dramas, and shared testimonies in another part of the city. We then all met up for lunch at the church. Several of the members helped in preparing us our first authentic, Italian meal. They served us homemade pasta with sauce and then finished with meat, cheese, and a salad. Our lunch was around two o’clock in the afternoon and lasted at least an hour and a half, typical Italian style. Thus, we had a time of prayer before heading out to an open air service in the very square that we cleaned up earlier that morning. The church we were with does these every other weekend and we helped them this time. We performed a number of songs as well as a drama and Arthur Fillingam spoke to the crowd. After the fact, we all went and talked with either children or adults about the love of God and the salvation found in Jesus. Then we were treated to Napolitan Focaccia pizza, the best pizza in all of Italy according to the Italians, and also a splendid dessert of nutella filled croissants. The team was exhausted after working so hard the entire day and evangelizing.
The following morning was Sunday and we attended church with the wonderful people whom we had been serving alongside with. The pastor as well as another member knew English, so we were able to hear the service in English. Several of the songs sung were ones that the team knew from home. Thus, we were worshipping our Heavenly Father in different languages and had a little taste of Heaven and the future glory that is praising our Father as one. After the church service and lunch, some of the youth of the church began taking us on a walking tour of the center of Naples. The team enjoyed it so much. They saw several cathedrals as well as the palace for the kings of Napoli. They were able to see how prevalent the saint worship associated with Catholicism is here and how important sharing that Jesus is the only way to God is. After quite a few hours of walking, eating, laughing, and staring at the wonder of this beautiful city, it was time to head back. We had another open air service to attend! This night, the team performed a different drama and Rachel Edney shared with the crowd the importance of having a personal relationship with God our Father. Once again, when the service was finished we split up into different groups to go talk with either children, teenagers, or adults. Some of the team even started a soccer game with the kids. It was the night of the World Cup after all. We had to celebrate somehow. Afterwards, we headed back to the church for the last time to enjoy a delicious dinner cooked by the pastor’s wife. It was a magnificent time spent in fellowship and laughter. The team was so thankful for all the church had done that some of the members had prepared a song to sing just before we had to leave. The entire team joined in, even though it wasn’t planned that way. The church members present truly enjoyed it and were so thankful. We then headed back to sleep at our campground one last time before waking up, packing out, and traveling to the beautiful town of Minori along the Amalfi Coast. We shall be spending the next five nights here, sleeping under lemon trees before going and evangelizing to the people of this town and the neighboring ones. Until next time! Team Italia!
“During my time in Italy, I have grown closer to God and have had a great time evangelizing and fellowshipping with the Italians. So far, this trip has been an exciting experience and I hope the rest of the trip will be even better.” – Joe Ruffner
“When I got to Italy, I thought that it would be hard. It was hard but God helped me through it. And when I pray to him, He answers them. And He helps me when we do evangelism. I am so thankful to go to Italy even though it is hard. But it is worth it. I will always try to keep God in my heart every time it gets hard. I will pray to Him.” – Tanya Jensen
“What a glorious and powerful Gospel we have to proclaim! Italy is a country full of people with religion but lacking in people with real faith and love for Christ. The church in Naples has recognized the condition of their state and have actively worked to transform their community. We had the chance to join this church in an open air presentation of songs, the Gospel, and the love of Jesus. It filled my heart with joy to share about the personal relationship anyone can have with God because of Christ’s blood. I pray that God will open the hearts of those who listened and draw them into the holy place to commune with the Creator of the universe.” – Rachel Edney