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 :-)