The Lord allowed us to have a great opportunity in sharing His Word from the end of May until Marc Eckel left the island at the end of June. All began when our friend Jeff Outland from Woodside Bible Church, our church, contacted us saying that he was coming on the 25th of May, and Marc was scheduled to arrive on the 26th.
Castelvetrano, Naval Base Sigonella, Castelbuono, Ragusa, Siracusa, Nicosia…these are the names of the towns where we were present the entire month of June with splatexperience and our friend Marc Eckel. God is great!
Matthew 28:19-20, and the words of the apostle Paul sounded in our hearts as a reminder: For me (us) to live is Christ. That is our call that He will be evident in our lives. Thank you for praying for an awesome month of ministry with splatexperience.com. Your prayers accompanied us for every km that we traveled, around 5,000 km in all or 3,000 miles.
Jeff Outland was a great asset to us as we started traveling all over Sicily. Thank you Terri for sending him to us. Why do we thank you for your prayers? All of this could not have happened without your prayers, faithful giving, and never ending encouragement to us.
Castelvetrano was a great opportunity where we were able to share on four different occasions. Our first meeting happened only just half hour after we arrived there. We were asked how long we needed to set up because the evening service was ending and the church was full of refugees from Africa. We had travelled four hours through four of the nine different provinces in Sicily.
We were swarmed with people from Eritrea, Somalia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Libya, Ivory Coast and many more. Marc shared with many of them about God’s love. Castelvetrano is known as the hotbed of the Mafia, but we were never in any danger of any kind. In the city, we shared in two major squares and the people responded very well to the sharing and preaching of His Word. At the end of June, 36 people were baptized from this group. You can praise The Lord with us.
Please pray for these people that come here for a better life, we are trying to find thousands of Bibles for them in English. This is a need that needs to be filled soon; we expect to have close to half million of refugees by the end of the year.
At the Naval Base Sigonella, where there is a large American presence, Giuseppe was asked to preach to fill the pulpit on the 7th of June. At the same time, Marc did one of his paintings, which was well received. It was a blessed opportunity to serve our troops that are living overseas.
After six years, splat returned to my hometown of Castelbuono for two paintings, and Pastor Kurt and I preached to a large crowd of people in attendance. It was good also to see that people remembered me from years past when I started my walk and talk about The Son of God My Savior.
While in Castelbuono, Marc started writing my book that will be available soon on Kindle. The Man in the Black Cape: A short story/testimony type booklet that will be used in both English and Italian to distribute to others so that they will know Jesus Christ, my personal Savior. The proceeds from the Kindle sales will go to the printing of this short testimony in Italian to give free to all. We will let you know when this becomes available for you to purchase.
Ragusa was not supposed to happen, but if He opens the door, you better run through it. Pastor Christian Gimenez from Argentina invited us by phone without even knowing who we were. Here we faced many difficulties, but the results were many blessings. Here we started with a small group in attendance on the first night to be blown away on the second night by way too many to keep count. Have you ever seen paint dry? We did. We stayed on location till two in the morning after we started the evening at 8 pm. We were swarmed with people asking what we had done there that evening. We are talking thousands and thousands of people stopping to ask and take photos with us. God is amazing.
Syracuse is the place where the apostle Paul landed after stopping in Malta. Near Apollo’s temple we preached His Word. Pastor Carmelo and the Syracuse church did an awesome job for two nights of evangelism where we met a lot of tourists from different countries. Jesus instructed us to carry the Gospel to every nation. On the second night in Syracuse, Giuseppe preached on The Grace of God, which is a costly Grace made possible only with His Sacrifice, then the Church left the building to share with us His Love to those who came to participate in the event.
Nicosia is a small town like Castelbuono in the middle of Sicily. In 1975, we held one of our first open air meetings in Castelbuono, and after 39 years I was able to visit again and share His Word. The local church secured a place where we could do splat. Here we did four paintings, one for Club Beyond, a youth group from the Naval Base serving the local church in Nicosia. Two more paintings done in front of The Hall of Justice, so fitting to talk about of the one that could be either their Savior or their Judge. Marc has a sweet tooth, so we went to find a gelateria, a bar that sells ice cream, called gelato in Italy. Here I met someone from Castlebuono, and you know that I can talk a bit, for me an occasion to present the Gospel. The owner asked us why we couldn’t do a painting in front of her ice cream/pastry shop, but we did not have another authorization for that square. Two minutes later Marc and I are sitting in the Mayor’s office, papers written for another painting the following Monday night, what????
We went for a gelato, He broke down the doors, and we walk through them. We did splat again in Nicosia; now the painting is on display at City Hall. The Mayor asked us to come back next year. You should have been present seeing the Mayor making plans for next year already. At this time he is not a follower of Christ, but God is still in the business of miracles. Pray for him.
All of this only because you were obedient to Him in keeping us before the throne and because we were obedient to Him. The Harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few, but His call remains the same. Let’s go fishing (really), for souls.
P.S. While we were in Castelbuono, I was introduced to a young man named Mirco, who is a friend of one of our friends, and I was asked to talk with him a bit more concerning the importance of accepting Christ as his Savior. This took place around 6 p.m. the evening of our event in the town square. We did the event, preached our message, loaded up our van and went on to Nicosia. Around 1 a.m. I received a phone call from our friend Salvo, who was unable to contain his joy and just had to call me to let me know that Mirco had prayed to accept the Lord! PTL! Keep him and Salvo in your prayers as he begins his new walk with Christ, and with Salvo, as he disciples him along the way.
Truly His Word became real in each place that we visited with His message. Thank you!
Giuseppe & Pennie Collesano and
Italy for Christ
1301 Shiloh Road, Suite 1820
Kennesaw, GA 30144-7170