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Sicily September Update The Collesanos

Hello again from not so sunny Sicily. We have had so far storms upon storms with lots of rain, lots of damages around the province of Catania.

 

Philippians 3:12-14 a great read for all, to aim for the prize ahead.

 

Since returning from the States it seems that ministry grows and the Lord opens for us new doors of opportunities. Again He blesses us by serving Him in ways not possible to man.

 

I have been in touch with Praying Pelican Mission from Minnesota regarding, their desire is to serve in Sicily amongst the Muslims. They had asked me to help them facilitate this trip at the beginning of September, so set up a trip to deliver bibles and clothes to the refugees. I wish I can make up these stories but only God can make all possible. As I travelled toward Castelvetrano I came upon some refugees that I saw through an iron gate. Few miles ahead I made a U-turn and soon I entered the place where they were staying, to be surrounded by the State Police. Shared that I was there to give bibles to the refugees . Was escorted in by Dionisio, a big hulk like policeman with a big smile to speak to the director of the center. Found out that 500 refugees where there. I left a box of bibles,28 copies, Not Enough. Escorting me out Dionisio asked if he could get a bible, only to find out that all where English language and I had to do something, read on.

 

Met with my friends from Minnesota, we went to a refugee bible study, and they saw the situation in which they live and that we need more help.  As you see from the photos, more are being baptized, are studying the Word, and reaching out to their own. We left to return to Catania with one condition, that what I promised to Dionisio will be remembered. Again I stopped to visit the center, this time with New Testaments and 2016 Christian calendars. Not only did I leave a New Testament for Dionisio, all the detachment of State Police asked for a copy too, and all the Italian workers at the center too!  I was unable to take photos here for security reasons but what a blessing it was. 

 

This as all happened in part because you have been and continue to be a big part of His plan here, thank you.

 

I was again able to visit my mom and my brother in Castelbuono.  God is good, she is 86 year old now .

 

On a visit to the Siracusa church with Sean we witnessed baptisms , God is at Work in the lives of people in Sicily.  The bible studies are going well. Because of our partnership with splatexperience with Marc Eckel, we gave almost 29 copies of his book Reborn to all that attend the study.  It is a great read and great encouragement , I highly recommend it.

As you might remember, I have been mentoring Sean for the last 2 years, God has been faithful in preparing Sean for future ministry.  Not only did he help and preached for me this summer with Marc Eckel , he also delivered his first sermon in the local church here.  I am blessed to have been used of God in Sean’s life, when one life is changed many will follow.  I always say to anyone: you either leave a mark or you leave a stench, it is your decision to obey.

 

Family is doing great in the States.  I will be returning before Christmas to help with Pennie's father estate and to find a place for us, as everything will be put on the market for sale. Also God willing we will set up a non-profit organization to help with the growing ministry here.

 

We hope to visit as many as possible to share how best we can serve with you.  And Always:  We are going fishing (really) for souls.

 

We Can Do It.

 

God bless you,

Giuseppe and Pennie Collesano

Partnering with Italy for Christ

www.italyforchrist.it

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SICILY OUTPOURING TO THE NEEDY

SEPTEMBER 2014
We serve an Awesome God.  This is a statement that needs no explanation.  He uses us even when we think that because our resources are low it cannot be done, He does great things. We can also say that because of our awesome partners that labor with us, yes you, even six thousand miles away, you who are praying, giving and so much more, we can say Thank You for your love toward the Kingdom.

This month was terrific, with lots of opportunities. The singles study, Warriors for Christ is going well with new people attending, remember every three years there is a turnover with people leaving and arriving at the navy base here. They are always eager to learn, to serve, to change the world. 

We just finished a two week outreach in five churches and a couple of refugee camps here with Pastor Vallen Prest from Michigan. With Pastor Prest we were reminded about the need to descend into greatness.  Please read Matthew 18:1-5.  His teaching and preaching showed to the churches that our ultimate goal is to serve, because He came to serve, not to be served.  Another part of the message can be summed up in a couple of words: If you want to live, you have to die, die to self and see others first.  That is the reason why we are here. 

A few weeks back I took a sailor to the airport, he was going on leave, as soon he arrived in the States he contacted me and said: I got on the plane and was able to share the gospel to a couple sitting next to me. Awesome God! He also shared that he realized that once he spent a couple of days at home that our faith his not tested or proved like it is in Europe.  The little fish beyond our car bumpers does not  do the Work that He called us to do.  Let's all go fishing ( really ) for souls.  

I also shared about the need of English bibles for the many refugees that arrive here on a daily basis, so far 120 thousand. With the help of Pastor Prest we have received two thousand bibles, already with one thousand been giving to different camps as you can see from the photos.  Also we collaborating with ELIM mission here to facilitate their outreach with the refugees, the Pipitone family has been a blessing during the arrival of the many that seek a better life. We present them with a better Eternity.  Donations for the bibles at www.refugeebible.com Awesome God!  Not only this, but even the local churches and believers have been motivated by you and us to be a part of this need. Some have donated clothes, food, toiletries and more.  Awesome God!
   If you double click this link you can enjoy their praise for receiving the Bibles. Another way to say thank you. (Sorry it is upside-down)

On the home front , we will be in the States visiting from November till February to be present with you and share how Awesome our God is.  Pennie is already in the States with our daughter Cristina in California where she served in the Navy.  Most of you know that her service dog passed away, Zizi was a great service dog and companion to her.  Please remember Nina in your prayers.

The boys are doing fine , Josh always occupied at Woodside Bible Church serving with the gifts that God has given him.  Benjamin is an asset at Heritage Church playing in the praise band in both churches. What can I say about the grand kids?  They are growing and are delightful to see them on FaceTime , soon face to face.  And I am blessed beyond compare with Pennie, the Love of my life, for 33 years and going to 300. We have an Awesome God!

Also you can participate in reaching the people here by purchasing the book , The Man In the Black Cape; Marc Eckel wrote it as I narrated the story and it is on kindle if you would like to buy it. Here is a little taste of it. “The promise of a rainy day leads one man toward the small Sicilian town of Castelbuono and the story of The Man in the Black Cape. Retracing the steps of this true Italian tale leads to lessons that are life-changing. The final chapter follows the journey of missionary Giuseppe Collesano from religious rebellion to a relationship with Jesus Christ”. With the money from the sale we hope to translate it in Italian to be given away for free to evangelize.

Let's serve together. We love you and thank you for your partnership with us.  Let us know how we can serve you during our visit in the States. You can reach us via email, and phone at 248-247-6844. 

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Bibles for 1/2 million refugees

July was quite busy and filled with His blessings; you can see it from the photos. Uriel , a young sailor that I had the privilege to lead to Christ is back in the States preparing to go and finish is degree in medicine, let's keep the prayers going for his future as a new believer.

As some of you know we are trying to get Bibles for refugees here in Sicily, this will require much prayers and much sacrifice to undertake this project.  Dr. Vallen Prest is in charge of a web page where people can donate toward this project.  He will be here in September preaching and teaching in few churches and visit the refugee camps on the West Coast of Sicily. We expect till the end of the year more than a half million refugees to land here in Sicily.  English bibles are needed for these that arrive here with only the clothes on their back.

 

The bible studies are going great with new people joining in. We just finished the Gospel of Mark, next is Revelation. The markets are going well, the best part is to see the local believers getting into the action, I move away and observe them sharing. As you can see from the photos with a piece of literature or a Gospel they get into action.

We are grateful to ELIM mission to provide the material to reach the people here. In the midst of this, we also celebrated Pennie's birthday at our favorite restaurant on the other side of the volcano. We took a long ride to enjoy the day and discover a pleasant change at the restaurant, new name and new owner, the food was delicious.

This month preached twice around here, once at New Hope Christian Center and once at the Navy Base.  I think I still have an accent and it made some people laugh.  Also in July we fed a few families with food, sometimes we buy food for the needy, sometimes our friend Pastor D'Arrigo gives us lots of food to share with the community.

We also were involved in a Community Relation project with the city of Catania. 70 plus Marines went with us to help clean up a Castle and a Roman bath ruins.

 

Now here we are in August and in Italy the national holiday month is here.  Most people leave for holiday and the towns become very quiet.  Unfortunately so seems our internet goes on holiday, leaving it so very hard to communicate with family and friend back in the states.  And even with the heat of the month we also have Mt. Etna erupting, shakes, heat, and so on.  

 

We just finished a week of VBS at the Navy base Sicily and were also able to help where help was needed.  It is so precious to share with these precious youth.  I handled the kitchen duties while Pennie was in charge of the little ones.  On Friday I donned a more specific role, I became Saul, the persecutor turned persecuted. The theme was The Love of God, and where we can go when circumstances make us feel for His need in our lives. Isn’t it wonderful when we can share the love of our Lord and Savior with everyone He places in our path?

 

By the way, there is always an opportunity to share the Gospel.   We took a couple of days to visit family in my hometown and refresh ourselves. It is very hot and we do not have air conditioning here.  As Always a big thank you for being a part of the building of His Kingdom.  In the words of the Apostle Paul: For me (us) to live is Christ. We pray that you are living it.  Serving together in Sicily and wherever we find ourselves sharing His Good News.  God Bless you.

 

Let's go fishing (really) for fish.

Giuseppe & Pennie, Partnering with Italy for Christ

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Great Happenings in Sicily!!

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Great Happenings in Sicily June 2014

The Lord allowed us to have a great opportunity in sharing His Word from the end of May until the end of June.

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

www.italyforchrist.it

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Man am I busy:)

"Hi guys, a very long Saturday, but a blessed one. I was invited to preach at Pastor Carmelo Cancilla church in Siracusa, a very large building with lots of facilities.  I preached on Thychicus from Eph. 6:21-24 a Christian example to follow. During the week with a couple of festivities I had a couple Pastors meetings regarding future partnerships in sharing His Word in the Catania and Siracusa area. It does take a lot of time, phone calls and more meetings to get the ball rolling.  We still need to fill a couple of spots to have Splatexperience.com here.  Please pray that we can make this happen.  I will be preaching at the Navy base soon to relieve the burden because of the chaplains going on leave". 

 

He also had the opportunity to go to Marsala for 4 days, and made two trips there. "I had to go by bus because our van is leaking oil.  Took the first trip back here with goods and literature, used a van loaned by another mission. Then I went back again to Marsala with a full van with food and clothes. Someone donated to me 110 kg of rice, 50 kg of pasta, 92 boxes of breakfast cookies, 12 kg of jam and single packets jam, 20 kg of cookies for newborn, 4 cases of cucumbers. We handed out lots of clothes and strollers for the refugees there. Then preached twice on Sunday both times in English and Italian! Wow I am tired. Now we need around 40.000 English bibles to give away to them.  It is expected that 800.000 refugees will be here by year end. Ciao for now", Giuseppe & Pennie.

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Happy Easter

HAPPY EASTER                  BUONA PASQUA        From Belpasso, Sicily

 

As always we are at work in sharing His Word wherever we find ourselves daily.

 The Bible studies are going well. The study on the Gospel of Mark is coming to an end with the single sailors. The adult study on “One Way Love” by the grandson of Billy Graham is also ending and a new one will begin soon. The ladies study “Not a Fan” continues with our group of 10 ladies that meet every Thursday night.

 Giuseppe was asked to perform a wedding on the beach of Taormina two weeks ago. It was beautiful, and we were so blessed to have met this young newlywed couple and to share in the beginning of their new life together. They told us the night before all of their family and friends arrived that they had gone into each room and prayed over the room that God would use their testimonies to influence those who were coming to celebrate with them. What a wonderful way to demonstrate their love to those who are most important to them.

 For the first time in Belpasso, at Shalom Christian Center, we held a men’s seminar on the role of the man in the family. A good friend of ours was the seminar speaker. We hope that what was shared will continue to bear fruit in the hearts of the ones that attended.

 Again we ask you to pray specifically for the upcoming events that will take place in many places in Sicily with the coming of our friend Marc Eckel with splatexperience.com.

 We are making many contacts with the area churches where we can go and hold open-air meetings for the people to hear His Word in a relevant way.  If you would like to see the work that Marc does, using his God given artistic talent to share His love, go on YouTube and search “ splatexperience.com.”

 Already most of the weekends in June are booked. We ask thatyou pray that God will cover this island of Sicily with His Word during this 3-week outreach and that many souls will be added to His kingdom.  You can pray and/or you can give toward making possible for Marc to be here and you will see how God can transform the heart of man.

Easter should not be another day but a special day where many Italians –Sicilians can discover The Love of God shared by His servants all over this country that proclaims to be Christian. Like any other year the traditional Easter season will repeat again in almost every town, with parades about the sacrifice of our Lord. If you were to see these parades you would be shocked at the depiction of Jesus being carried in a see-through casket. Also here they celebrate Little Easter the following day, which is almost more important than Easter itself, with a lot of eating and lot of picnics out in the fields. All too soon forgotten the next day.

 We thank you for your support and love for us in reaching the people on this island and beyond.

Let’s go fishing (really) for souls, Giuseppe and Pennie Collesano, partnering with Italy for Christ

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