Friday, September 2, 2016


Where do I start!?  So much has happened since my last post! 

June 28 we left England and arrived in Naples.  We were so glad to finally be here and begin this new adventure.  We enjoyed catching up with Emiliano, our host and friend at the B&B. We also met up with a new friend, Luca, who works at the small Christian bookshop in Naples.  What a joy to fellowship over an espresso and hear about his ministry and heart for the people in this area.  

Marketplace Naples

Meeting Luca

Reuniting with Emiliano

July 1, we took the train up to Caserta and were met at the station by Benedetto, our host of the B&B there.  We stayed with them for a week while we were looking for a place to land in Caiazzo.  He and his wife, Nancy, are absolutely wonderful people and we have become good friends.  He speaks pretty good English and they were such a blessing in helping us take care of so many details.  He went out of his way many times to drive us places and interpret for us.

B&B Montalbano Caserta
Benedetto and Nancy, our hosts and new friends

Steve’s cousins were incredible at helping us find an apartment in Caiazzo.  It would take way too long to go into detail, but there were many amazing little parts of the story that made us aware of how much the Lord was in control and guiding every step.

We moved into a really great apartment July 11 in Caiazzo and were so glad to finally have a place to call home and unpack our suitcases! The apartment came fully furnished so we haven’t had to buy much at all to begin living here.  The first 3 weeks, we had no electricity or hot water.  Things work slowly here in southern Italy!  So it was kind of like being in a camping cabin with candles, flashlights and the propane stove for heating water.  The good thing about no electricity was the fact that we had to go out to eat and hang out at coffee bars or cafes while we were recharging our phones and tablets.  This forced us to get to know the people working in these places and begin to build relationships.

moving into our apartment

Front door to our building

our street...via Latina
view from our apartment

Emma the sweet owner of our apartment

We have a favorite place where we go for coffee almost every day and the owners have been very good to us.  Fabiola studied languages in college and speaks very good English.  She has helped us over and over and we have hired her to teach us Italian starting in a couple of weeks.  We know the Lord put her in our life for many reasons. 


Borgo Antico Caffe

We are slowly learning to communicate in Italian to the people we see every day.  It is a good feeling to be walking around town and hear someone call out your name and wave to you!  They are mostly very patient and gracious to us and try to understand what we are saying to them.  Some are even wanting us to help them learn to say things in English!

Our favorite pizza place..Ferie, Christina and Luciano

Alessandro...he has a store that is like a general mercantile..a little of everything

Great family that have a pannini/sandwich shop...Guiseppe, Francesco, Nunzia and Maria

The town is ancient and small…about 5200 people live here.  The old part (where we live) dates before the Romans came and it sits high up on the top of a steep hill.  There is an incredible amount of history here and we are learning more all the time.  Most of the people are not too concerned about  becoming more modern.  In many ways, they still carry on their lives the same way as they have for generations….simply and unhurried. It is an easy and uncomplicated lifestyle.

good water flows out of the mountains and people can get it for free

We have met many of Steve’s family and there are more that we haven’t met yet!  They are very good to us and have taken us in as if we were long lost relatives who came back home after years of being away.  We feel very blessed to be so welcomed by them.

Antonio Tessitore is a professor in Rome.  He took us to the library of  town records and we found out he and Steve have the same great, great grandfather.

So far, our time has been spent in fixing up the apartment and getting to know the people and the ways of the culture.  It is more different than we thought it would be and there have been times when we have been discouraged and very lonely. We are hopeful that the language lessons will help us begin to communicate better soon and we will be able to develop deeper friendships. That is our prayer and desire. 

revamping an old buffet into kitchen cabinets and a bookshelf

Cleaning the propane stove

Thanks so much for all of your love and prayers and support.  This is truly a walk of faith we are on and we are so thankful that we are not alone in it.  The Lord is continually directing and encouraging us every day and we are so very thankful for all of you!  We are amazed.

Jeremiah 32:17 
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.

Jer 32:17  "Ah, Signore, SIGNORE! Ecco, tu hai fatto il cielo e la terra con la tua gran potenza e con il tuo braccio steso; non c'è nulla di troppo difficile per te; 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Next Chapter

Sorry it has been so long since an update.  We have been in transition ever since we returned and finally now we are able to take the time to share with you what is next for us.
Our time in Italy was absolutely awesome!  The country of Italy and the Italian people are beautiful. Seeing the ancient towns and ruins, the countryside, the spectacular views of the sea, the food, the mountains, vineyards and orchards, art and music….we loved it all.  But especially the people.  They are for the most part warm, friendly, laid back and fun-loving. This was especially true in the south.

Corniglia...on the west coast in the Cinque Terra

Because we are not able to renew our visa for ministry in England, the main purpose of this trip was to meet Steve’s family, pursue citizenship and also see if the Lord would use us to minister in Italy when we leave here.  We absolutely loved the family!!  They opened their arms to us and welcomed us as family who hadn’t seen each other for years!  Only one out of the 30 or so there could speak much English.  And she was very busy translating for all of us trying to communicate excitedly to one another! Thankfully, some of us had Google Translate on our phones and we had lots of fun and laughs using it…and also our hands and gestures to make ourselves understood.  It was a wonderful visit and we are anxious to see them again.

A few of the Tessitore clan!


using Google Translate!

We loved Rome…the ancient ruins, fountains, piazzas, magnificent buildings and art..and of course the food.  Since the cheapest thing on the menu was usually pizza, we ate A LOT of pizza!  And you haven’t had pizza until you have had it the way they make it.  Incredible.


fountain in Piazza Navona Rome

We spent a week in the north near Venice where there are 4 Calvary Chapels.  On Sunday, we went to the one in Padova and then on Wednesday we spent the day with the pastor and his family in Treviso and also went to the home fellowship that evening.  The people are wonderful and love the Lord and learning the Word.  It was a moving experience to be worshiping with people who were singing the same songs we know but in a different language.  The Spirit is the same all over the world. 



Bible study in Treviso

From there, we went up into Germany and were blessed to stay a few days with long-time, dear friends in Ansbach.  That was a special, sweet time to catch up and hang out with the Barrows.  We ended our trip with a conference in Siegen where we had some wonderful teaching and encouragement. A very lovely family from the church graciously opened their home to us for 4 days and made us feel like such special guests. 

Gary and Tina


2016 Germany conference

Toby , Danielle and kids

In everything, the Lord directed and blessed us more then we could have imagined.  Our eyes were opened to more of the world and how many people there are who have lost their way and seem to be without hope and without God in their lives.  We were thankful for the several opportunities we had to share the hope we have in Christ even with those who had limited understanding of English.

Andrea in Casola

John in Rome

Emiliano in Naples

When we returned to England, we had to immediately move out of the ministry house…which was very exhausting.  But all went well, and we are now staying in the guest house of friends from church.  They are trying to get it on the market to sell, so Steve has been helping out around here to get things looking good for them.

Next chapter
There are so many needs and so many areas that we could step into for ministry, but we want to be sure that is where the Lord is leading.  After a lot of prayer and waiting for direction, we have decided that the priority for us is to pursue Italian citizenship.  Having EU passports will help tremendously in the future since we will no longer have to worry about visa issues anywhere in Europe, including the UK.  It seems the best way to get this done is to actually live in Caiazzo, the town where Steve’s family is.  They have been there for generations and know just about everyone.  That should be a huge help in getting the proper documents and paperwork done. 

Caiazzo northeast of Naples


Also, our desire is to see if the Lord would use us to help open doors for ministry in the south where there is a very great need.  Finding a Bible teaching church south of Rome is almost impossible and we are praying that the Lord will help us meet up with someone else who has a vision to reach that area with the truth of God’s grace…and also speaks the language.

We are spending our last few weeks here getting together with people we have been ministering to and also working on learning the Italian language.

We don’t have final plans yet as to exactly when we will be leaving here but we will let you know when we do.  We are so thankful for all your prayers, love, encouragement and support.  This is another huge step of faith and we are excited to see what the Lord will do. Our faith is in our Lord and we are confident that, as in the past, we are in His hands and He will continue to lead us one step at a time. 

Isa 30:21  Quando andrete a destra o quando andrete a sinistra, le tue orecchie udranno dietro a te una voce che dirà: "Questa è la via; camminate per essa!" 

Isa 30:21  Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.