“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision’” —Nehemiah 2:17
Open Doors in the Public School in Caltanissetta
My work as a teacher in public school gives me many opportunities to witness in many different ways and to many people: teachers, parents, and students.
In the month of November, a history teacher asked me if I was available to answer questions about the Protestant Reformation for one hour in her class (7th graders). They were studying that period of history and she felt that I was the right person to answer their theological questions. On the 18th of November, I spent one full hour answering the many questions that twenty-five children asked about the church, salvation by sola fide, the difference between the Roman Catholic view of the sacraments and the evangelical understanding and, most importantly, about the death of Christ as a penal substitute for sinners. It was an exciting and very encouraging time for the preaching of the Gospel in the public school. The hour flew by and, since many questions remained unanswered, the teacher asked me if I would come back for an extra hour. Of course, I agreed! The second opportunity happened a week later and it was as wonderful as the first, except that two more teachers joined us to listen to my answers for the entire hour. Praise the Lord!
New Members in the Church Caltanissetta
On the 15th of December, we added four new members to the church in Caltanissetta. Tina, Pina, Santo, Pina, and Marco (from left to right in the picture) have been welcomed by the church after a time of instruction and careful observation. Two of them came from a very distressing experience in another evangelical church that has left many scars on their souls. We consider it a privilege to be a house of refuge and a hospital for every kind of sinner that has been called and saved by the Lord. It is always our desire to mend and rebuild lives devastated by sin and by hypocritical religiosity. The Lord is building his Church!
New Evangelistic Tool for Comiso
Our church’s increasing involvement in the mission work and benevolent ministry in Comiso has created a need. The work required that we travel weekly in a rented vehicle in order to collect and transport food from Catania to Comiso. There was also the weekly need of picking up and transporting elderly people to the church. These needs convinced us that it was necessary to buy a minibus. Therefore we decided to do three things: (1) We prayed to God. (2) We asked for help from sister churches and individual Christians; and finally, we collected a special offering in our own church. As a result of God’s grace and the generosity of His people, we were able to buy a very good FIAT Ducato minibus with nine seats. It will soon be customized with the name of the church and the charity that we are operating in Comiso. It was amazing to see how the Lord provided exactly the amount necessary to cover all the expenses—insurance and taxes included. God is faithful!
Church Planting in Comiso
The church plant in Comiso is proceeding very well. The people continue to attend faithfully and, in spite of severe trials and health issues for some of them, they persevere and show great desire to be instructed and led in the ways of the Lord. God is almighty and will preserve his elect!
On the 21st of December, we distributed food to 80 families in Comiso and organized a little reunion to distribute Christmas cake (panettone), Gospel tracts, and to preach a brief Gospel message. Not many came to the meeting (only ten), but those who came received the sermon and the gifts and stayed long enough to have good conversations. Of course, all were invited to come to the church’s regular meetings. Among the families that attended some came from Albania, Tunisia, Morocco, and Nigeria. They were Muslims, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and pagans. It was a good opportunity to do good and this ministry open for us a wide door for the preaching of the Gospel. The Lord provides!
Alfa & Omega
This year Alfa & Omega has published five new books: A Hidden Life of Prayer (D. Macintyre), Free Grace and Dying Love (S. Spurgeon & C. Ray), The Art of Prophesying (W. Perkins), To Be Continued? (S. Waldron), and Joshua (D.R. Davis). We also reprinted some books that we had previously published. It is sad to see that in the churches there is a decrease in interest in books because many believers prefer to spend their time and money on things less profitable for their spiritual health. At this moment another important book is being printed, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (J. Murray). We are also nearly ready to print another of John MacArthur’s commentaries Matthew 16-23 and are working on Matthew 24-28 in the same series. We are also working on a book of 15 sermons and discourses by Jonathan Edwards on the glory of God proclaimed. Finally, we are translating What Is a Reformed Church (M. Watts). We hope to publish these works as soon as possible.
We want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very blessed new year. We thank you for your friendship, help, and support. We covet your prayers for God’s preservation and empowerment so that we might be faithful and capable servants in His kingdom.
From the church in Caltanissetta,
Yours in Christ,