Christian Missionaries

Monday, December 26, 2005

A few photos from the past few days :-)

Marco and I as Kings in the nativity play

Yes we are just wearing blankets. It was sooo bright that day but also freezing with a chill wind. We were instructed to wait outside the warm church for 20 mins till it was our part to come in on the camels :-)

Marco, Sofia & Cinzia giving us a "faces of the Ponchio" impression on Christmas Eve, prior to going for a family meal.

Christmas morning and father christmas had left us HUGE stockings full of goodies!

Sofia very impressed and excited (almost as much as Marco)!

Andrea helping Sofia with her musical instruments at Marco's parents house.

Marco with The King of breakfast food in a 3kg jar.

Andrea openning pressies and below, eating a traditional Christmas lunch of pasta in squid ink sauce!!

Filippo (Cinzia's dad) very happy with his christmas present.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from Sofia, Cinzia, Andrea, The bump, Marco and me :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ciao a tutti!!! (Hello everyone)

As Tchad wrote, we have been to the cinema last night and it was a very nice time togheter. The Movie was just great and after we shared togheter in the car how wondeful was the messagge of the cross!! I did not like the Italian voice the Lion has in the italian version... It was a little bit strange and not very serious but the lion himself was Great and full of Majesty as our Lord Jesus!

We decided to have an easy week from next week even becouse after this time we will start the outreach in some of the school here, sharing the gospel with the studend and distributioing the magazine "Book of hope", in lots of classroom. Please keep this in your prayer so the Lord can touch in a special way the hearts of lots of students.

The Lifeshape study was very good for some of the people who came during the last 5 weeks. We finished it and some of them asked us to do it again, and we know that it will be good to do again but we need to ask God when it will be the best time to do.

Sofia is becoming more and more indipendent! She is trying to do lots of things by herself without our help,and everytime it is a mess all around!! We give thanks to the Lord for her and for her smile that make all of us happy.

Cinzia is doing very well, she goes to the swimming pool with Andrea 3 time a week and she is happy to see the result on her body! She trying to learn better to play the guitar and lead worship... I belive that God is working on her life and He is making her good worship leader!

WE are sorry if some of you did not received our Christmas card... but you can be sure that our desire is that all of you wonderful people have a very merry Christmas and a great new year full of the blessing of our Lord Jesus in each one!
of you!

I will try to keep you update more often... we are building a web side to improve our comunicaton with all of you!

We love you and we send you all our love in Christ!

Friday, December 23, 2005

A few things struck me about the film (in no particular order), about biblical connections.

Lucy the youngest and purest is the first through the wardrobe into Narnia.
Its about having the faith of a child.
Aslan's death and resurection.
Aslan's death was to save Edmund (forgiveness of sins).
Giving in to the temptation of gluttony. The more Edmund ate the more he wanted.
Edmund was also tempted by the witch by power - to become a prince.
Aslan was mocked before death.
Lucy and Susan followed and mourned Aslan's death.
The table broke (like the curtain in the temple) in two.

I'm sure that there will be stacks of people over analysing the film. I though that it was an excellent passing on of the message of Christ. I don't think C.S.Lewis ever meant it to be a very exact copy of scripture. I think it was meant to be a children's story that showed off Jesus.

Other things that struck me.

I didn't see any blood.
Death was only inferred (I guess it is a Disney film)
Some of the demonic creatures were v v similar to Lord of the Rings.
I always remember the professor saying profound things but he doesn't in the film.
The thawing of everything just happened I remember it from the books and animated version as a very long slow process. With the witch's sleigh getting slower and slower.
I remember the witch as being terrified of Aslan but in the film she wasn't.

Other interesting things (I think are accurate).

Isn't it the same director as the Shrek movies?
The same producer as Rain Man?
Didn't J.R.R.Tolkein lead C.S.Lewis to the Lord?

Thats it the novelty of wireless is wearing off and I'm v tired - goodnight.
Hooray we have wireless internet in each of the buildings! No more sitting in the office which is colder than outside (which is v v cold). I am now sat on our bed typing this - fantastic!

Just got back from seeing The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, thought it was excellent. More thoughts at a later point. Cinema was interesting in that the film started later than advertised. They mopped the floors once we had taken our seats. Everybody sat together and didn't spread out. There were no adverts (I thought the start of the film was advertising a different film!). There was a break 1/2 way (ish) through the film, it just stopped and the lights came on suddenly full glare. People kept their mobiles on (every person in Italy has at least two!)

Marco commented on how he found it weird the first time he watched a film in England and found that there were no breaks.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Been a chilled few days in the sense of physical labour. It has been the worst storm in memory here a few days ago. Rain by the bathtub load and a wind like we had in the UK in ’87. It’s been good to rest up for what God is going to do next. Raul and I managed to watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended editions) in a day and a half which was fantastic and amazing considering how many times we were without electricity. We have also watched “20, 30, 40” A Chinese award winning film. We watched it dubbed in Italian with Italian subtitles (out of sync big time) I had a hard time following the story. To be fair if it was in English I think it would be a bit difficult to follow. However, it is a strangely compelling film.

Thought I’d bore people by telling them what books I’ve been reading in the last couple of months. I read a few autobiographies: John Simpson’s A Mad World, Michael J Fox’s Lucky Man, John Sergeant’s Give Me Ten Seconds, Martin Bell’s In Harm’s Way, Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About The Bike, Danny Wallace’s Yes Man, Stephen Clarke’s A Year In The Merde and I’m currently reading Mediterranean – Portrait of a Sea by Ernle Bradford which is fascinating. Probably because it mentions Sicily so much (lots of invasions – Greeks, Phoenicians, Persians etc).

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated courtesy of Andrea – it is fantastic and has a whole load of pressies under it. Very exciting! Andrea and I have got Sofia a kitchen bin among other things as she has an incredible curiosity about going inside and rummaging in the one in the kitchen. Hopefully, if she has one in her room it will satisfy her curiosity (probably not).

At church on Sunday, Marco and I were two of the kings taking gifts to Jesus in the nativity play. Scripted by Andrea and Cinzia (who cunningly left themselves out) it was a lot of fun. I was the English king that it famous in the nativity play, whilst Marco was the African king. So only a little bizarre. The church was packed which was fantastic. If I can find any photos I’ll post them with this when I post this online.

Cluster on Saturday was fun – we had a grand total of nine of us for our penultimate one of the year. We are having Christmas Eve off, as here it is the family time and it seems like the real celebration time of Christmas, and we will have a fun New Year’s Eve get together again. The tradition among the evangelical churches here is to pray for an hour before the New Year starts and we’ll do the same, probably.

Having used some candles outside the church for a prayer time a week ago, somebody remarked to Cinzia as to whether we were moving towards Catholicism (undoubtedly said with scorn and distaste).

Tomorrow we are concluding our lifeshapes teaching with the Pentagon and on Friday we will have our last "official" prayer time for a week. As we will (probably at time of going to print) take the week off between Christmas and New Year. Church here will be on Saturday as Italians don't go to church on Christmas Day (which is on Sunday this year).

We are all quite worn out it is amazing how busy we have been! Please pray for us over this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Okay big update time! Hooray! Apologies for the delay in getting this done.

First of all, a week ago was Andrea’s birthday and so was a time of celebration. It was also the start of us moving our 6pm prayers into the church here and praying for the church.

In the past few prayer times we’ve really started to see and feel the Holy Spirit at work. I think that every time that we’ve done prayers since we have been here we have felt the presence of the Lord, but it feels like the gas has seriously gone up a notch. I’ve been feeling like I don’t want the prayer times (9am UP, 2pm IN, 6pm OUT) to finish. Normally I am thinking about what else we need to do once we are nearing the end of our 30 min (ish) slot. So praise God for He is awesome.

A couple of days ago we were having our OUT prayer time and God spoke to Cinzia about the church here. I’ll ask her to post when she gets the chance.

Faithfully from the church nearly every single evening we have had a lady called Antonella who has came to pray. Please pray for her and email us any words or pictures that you may have.

Four weeks ago we started our Huddle (discipleship group) and talked to the six people that we felt that God had opened up the door for us to invest time in. This has gone great and we have set on Wednesday night as our Huddle night. Please pray for us as we do this and also pray for the guys that we are discipling – Dario & Melinda, Turi, Graziella, Allessandro & Anna. These guys are all amazing. It is great just hanging out with them as a group once a week, sharing Jesus and food together. We started with worship and prayer this week and the Holy Spirit was really present. I had a picture during the worship which I think was from God.

There were two locations in the picture. The first was down at the sea in Catania where Andrea and I have been swimming many times. I saw a heavy swell on the water. Swimming were many horses, well I could see their heads anyway). They were in lines of ten, two abreast. I could only see their heads which seemed very close together. The first group (20 in each group) were red, followed by black, blue and red again. Behind them were more but it was gloomy and difficult to see. There was steam coming from the nostrils and their eyes had no life in them. The sun was shining but there were black clouds skimming very fast across the sky (as though on time lapse photography). There were two men fishing (one a boy) and even though the horses were right next to their floats and lines they did not see them. The water had an oily sheen to it. There seems to be no noise but in fact there is a very high pitched whistling which causes discomfort and seems to be coming from across the water.

The other part was up at a large roundabout on the edge of Mascalucia (where we are living) there is a road that comes down from Nicolosi and coming down that road to the roundabout were huge white horses. They are three abreast and as they get to the roundabout they go around it anticlockwise and take three different exits. As they take those exits the first, third and seventh rows of horses suddenly have shimmering cold cloth abreast their backs. People are lining the streets in fear and awe but do not say anything. The roads are totally clear apart from the horses. There is no sound at all except for hooves which are at a steady single beat. The sky is very clear and bright but there doesn’t appear to be a sun just light everywhere. There are no shadows.

I had a vision along similar lines when we did an outreach in Frascati (check out the bottom bit of the July 05 Archive).

This might all be my weird imagination but it was all there in a flash during the worship that I don’t think that that is the case. Any thoughts please post or email me.

A month ago we started a Saturday evening cluster and have about 20 – 25 people each week. We play games eat food and share a bit of Jesus. Please, please pray for this. We want to feel like God is moving more and more in this time and want to have people coming for the God input rather than just for playing games. I do feel like we are moving in the right direction in this. In time we are praying that these guys will want to go into small groups and be discipled there. We want to give thanks that every Saturday evening we leave an offering box in the hallway and every time we open it we have more money than what it cost for us to provide the food and drinks – amazing! One particular thing that we would like prayer for is how to tell people that they need to keep their children in a different

Other amazing gifts of provision from God have been a table football and a table tennis table. Two things that we had been praying for a while for, then one evening God gave us the money to purchase a second hand table football and we were given the table tennis table for free.

But perhaps the best God provision has been the car. We have 100€ each month for fuel for the car. At the beginning of November we used the car a lot in the first few days and had to put fuel in. The car has two tanks one for gas (GPL) and one for petrol. The gauge for the gas is broken. We generally run the car off gas as it is a tad cheaper (though still expensive at about 10p a mile). In my wisdom when filling up I put in 25€ in the gas and 25€ in the petrol. That meant that it was the end of the first week of November and we had used up 75€ of our 100€ (having put in 25€ on the first day of the month). We prayed and asked God to provide. Exactly one month later the gas in the car ran out. The gas tank holds enough to go for about 230km. We did 1230km on that one tank of gas. We even were able to give that last 25€ of gas money to somebody else that needed it! How cool is that?

Apart from all of that we have been teaching Lifeshapes to the church here, we’ve had Sam (Andrea’s brother) here for ten days seeking the Lord and helping us out loads. We went up Etna with him on the cable car and then hiked for an hour and a half up and were still another few hours from the top. It is huge! It covers 400square miles at its base!!

Going up the cable car nice and clear coming down a different story.

Various views from above the cable car reach. Truly amazing.

We’ve had a constant stream of people staying. First we had an English vicar from Exeter with a heart for Sicily (he comes every year) for 2 weeks, then we had Aisha, a French lady on retreat for a further two weeks, and now we have Raul (who was in Sheffield at St Tom’s for 3 months last year), who has been with us for a week and has a further week. He’s here having fellowship and being an extra pair of hands in all of the work here.

Two evenings ago (Sunday) we went and shared the vision in a nearby church where we have relationships with some of the Gen X guys. It was great with amazing worship – without instruments as all had been stolen a couple of days before. We shared a lot about provision and faith so it fitted in nicely – lol!

Our last two pictures are of the beautiful princess Sofia and her Godly parents :-)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hello everyone,
We would like to let you know that we are still ALIVE!! we are very sorry for such of bad comunication, but it is just becouse we did not have so much time to spend with the pc.
We really love you and we always think and pray for you!! I puted some of the Sofia's photo to show you how fast she is growing.... She is just wonderful, but in the same time she is a little terrorist, and we are trying to improve our SECURITY here!!:-). Praise God we are very well and it has been a gret time since we arrived here. God is in everything we are doing and this is making everything more easy for us. As Tchad wrote we started a small group to help others to go more deep with the Lord and even if we are just at the begining, it seems that the Lord is working in their lives... and in our too!! Praise HIM! On Saturday night we are having a fun and food night for the youth and it is wondeful to see how God is blessing our time togheter.
We are trying to have a web site where we will be able to keep better our cominication with all of you and where you will be able to see more how what is going on here.
I would like to ask you to keep us in your prayer...... Pray for more of God's love and passion in our lives...Pray for more of His precence in this place and in the lives of the people that He puted near us....pray for more of His Spirit in us... For more of His Glory in the church here...and pray for our finances . Thank you already for all your prayer and love!! May the Lord Jesus bless you reachly everyday.
With lots of love marco cinzia and sofia