Click here for 2020 November Martin Prayer Letter
A pandemic, restriction of movement, confusion and chaos – and God’s people are having the time of their lives! At least that’s the way it is here in Naples. My message on Sunday included the admonition that church is the place that we ought to be having the time of our lives: leaning on Christ and feasting on His word, fellowshipping with Christ’s chosen, and being most content, especially where God has placed us. Our doors are still open, however, the military folks are now restricted to movement within the area they live, which means they cannot come to church here. We do have one family that lives in this township and have been faithfully coming – praise the Lord for them. Most of the Africans are still coming as well, and we thank the Lord for each of them.
The Naples area is covered in ancient ruins, built around and literally over them. Some have been preserved as tourist sites and others are still used as domiciles or places of business. With the current restrictions in place, all the tourist sites closed to visitors last week. So while we are in the midst of the sites, we can only view them from afar. We did visit one site within just a few miles of our house – Cuma, which was a Roman garrison overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
To travel to and from base we must have an Italian travel document (hall pass) stating our reason for crossing from one township to another. We have never been pulled over to be checked, but are told that the police can do that at any time. Base is about 20 miles from where we live, requiring us to cross at least one township boundary. The military command has defined very clearly what the military folks can and cannot do, however, for us it is not so clear. It seems everyone we ask has a different definition of the township boundaries and where we’re free to go.
Our favorite place to go is the local pizza shop, Pizza Hot, yes I spelled it right. The pizza here is by far the best and I like it so much more than American pizza. One of our African ladies has an Italian husband who owns his own fish market, fresh from the Mediterranean Sea, so we have eaten fresh fish as well. Life is a blessing and it is an honor to serve the Lord in Naples, even in these days.
Bro John Martin