We thank the Lord for your love and prayers for us. Sometimes, we feel tired. But as the great evangelist George Whitefield once said, “I have been tired in the battle, but I’m not tired of the battle,” so we too, by the grace of God, continue to press on and have good reasons to believe that the Lord will bring to completion the work he began in us.
One of our dearest sisters (the wife of one of the deacons) has been very sick in the past month or so. The health issues have to do with her heart, kidneys and diabetes. Even though she is slowly recovering, she is still in need to be cared for and she especially needs the prayers of the people of God. Besides this, we are seeing several elderly brothers and sisters of the church experiencing a decay in health. One of them was among the founders of the church and has lived alone for many years as a widower. All of his children have moved away from Caltanissetta, and he is wondering if the time has now come for him to move closer to one of his daughters.
One man, who is 40 years old, had to stop attending his former because that small congregation decided to move toward very liberal position on sexual ethics and social justice issues. After several meetings with his former pastor he spent time alone and in prayer and fed his soul with the online sermons preached in our church. Then, one Lord’s Day, he showed up at the church and asked to speak with me. I saw in him a broken heart. He confessed ways in which he was convicted by the preaching of the Word and asked for advice and counsel about ways to mend his own marriage. We have good reasons to believe that his repentance is genuine and we are trying to help him through what is for him a difficult time.
It seems that the Lord is opening a new opportunity for ministry in a town that is 30 minutes far from Palermo. The past Lord’s Day I had a “Cornelius House”-like experience when I went to visit a private house and I found 15 people who invited me to speak to them about the Gospel. I spoke impromptu about the reasons why we can be sure that the Bible is the Word of God and why we must accept the principle of “Sola Scriptura”. They listened very attentively for almost one hour and asked very appropriate questions. Even a little boy of 7 listened carefully all the time. They asked me to return and fixed a new meeting a week later.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with three men who are interested in the Christian ministry and would like to have fellowship with us. One of them is an Italian who is completing his studies in a Reformed Seminary in the U.S. and would like to come back to Italy to serve as a church planter. Another one is young man from Sardinia who needs theological training. And the third is a German young man of 21 who is studying theology in a German Reformed Seminary and is member of a Reformed Baptist church. This third man came toward the end of August to spend do a six-week internship with us because he is thinking he will eventually minister in a culturally Roman Catholic nation. He seems to be a godly and mature Christian and we had a very good time together. I’m trying to show him what it means to be “in the trenches” for the Gospel’s work. It seems to me that this is the most urgent lesson that some seminary students have to learn!
I hope that you will join us in thanking the Lord for his faithfulness and gracious work for us and that this news may prompt your payers for us.