Hello all: Time with family in the States was a blessing to see all the kids and grand kids together. This time sadly came to an end on February 9 when I made the trek back to Sicily. It was nice to talk with people and get together with supporters to share with them what’s been going on.
That time was spent in preparation for the transition from Italy for Christ to Act Now Ministries. I am proud to say the transition is now complete: the non-profit Act Now Ministries is now official in the legal sense; however, there are still some loose ends to be tied up.
We have been participating in Bible Study every Tuesday and Thursday where we talk about the Bible and its message, as well as provide free bibles for refugees. This group is led by Pastor Vallen Prest, who comes here once a year to teach and preach.
Refugeebible.com will be here in April for ministry purposes. I am happy to say with their help we were able to purchase 4,000 bibles, bringing the to-date total up to 10,100 bibles!
For Valentine’s Day, we held a luncheon for the poor in Sicily. One thing I noticed was how grateful they were and how much they ate. Here I was, face to face with the dire need for the Sicilian poor, and I realized these people would probably not be eating again for a couple of days.
Myself and Pastor Godwin, who is himself a Nigerian refugee, traveled to Palermo to pick up a few thousand pounds of food for the needy from the pantry: pasta, sauce, canned goods, and rice. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get milk or cheese and haven’t been able to do so since October. That’s because those staples are going to the earthquake relief efforts in northern Italy.
At this time, Pastor Godwin got very sick so I took him to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with influenza – a very real and dangerous threat in this area. He had no money to pay so I gladly did. He has done so much for us and I wanted to repay his efforts.
In the mean time, I visited with two pastors from Michigan – Heritage Church Pastor Jeff Forester and Pastor Chad Asman. They came to see the ministry here with the intent to be local partners with us so they can help us here with the ministry a couple of times a year. We hosted them for four days, during which time they were able to visit and converse with the refugees. They went with me an hour away to unload a long haul truck (40 feet x 8 x 8) from Austria containing clothes for the Sicilian poor. We also received 10 orthopedic beds that we were able to donate to a couple of retirement homes.
Typically, in order for such a facility to get an electric bed like this, they must wait a year or so. A friend of mine paid $4,000 to have the beds shipped from Austria. No one made any money off this venture, but we made many elderly people happy and comfortable.
The Michigan pastors thoroughly enjoyed their visit and loved Sicily. The decision was made – they went back as new global partners with us!
We want to thank you for your support and soon we will let you know about the continued transition from Italy for Christ to Act Now Ministries. God Bless you all!