A few months ago Rose and I received invittaions to 2 youth camps in Sicily!! Now I know you are thinking – somebody doesn’t know their arithmetic here but rest assured it was correct. It wasn’t some strange email which was set up to get all my cash from my bank account (for whatever that is worth anyway!) NO! It was genuine!
When we shared this with Rose’s mother (a youthful 86years old) she wondered whether they would let us in when we arrived!! Now that’s not what I call a vote of confidence from the mother-in-law 😦
However it was all true and so after an amazing trip in the south west of Sicily with all the fun of the beach we set off (via Palermo) for Nicosia to join or first youth camp for many a year!! This is the best accomodation I have ever been in for a camp. The camp was not really a camp – not a tent to be seen- it was a retreat for youngsters from all over Sicily and beyond challenging them to live life to the full. We were housed in a seminary for catholic priests in training which for fairly obvious reasons is not really over crowded at the moment!! The wonderful sense of humour which our God has was apparent from the start when we discovered that this youth camp being held in Sicily was actually also being attended by a group of believers from a church in that well known outpost of the Roman Empire – Glasgow Scotland!! To make it even more ironic we found that most of the Glasgow team were not really from Glasgow at all the closest they got being from Glasgow was Garelochead!! The others were from USA and Ireland not to mention Italy.
Just to make us feel useful at at home on the first evening we arrived they held a Scottish dance evening led by our ‘Glasgwegian’ group. What fun we had trying to teach the ‘Gay Gordons’ to a bunch of teenage Italians who are about as coordinated as the Italian parliament on a good day. Thankfully they entered into the spirit of all good ceilidhs and just had fun falling over each other and not quite understanding why we were throwing them about as we danced a few reels etc.
On the more serious side we enjoyed getting to know the younger generation of believers in Italy and enjoying their questions and enthusiasm for Jesus and who He is in their lives. God is moving in this country and we were blessed to be involved in what He is doing and to encourage these young believers to stand firm in who they are in Him.
We hope to meet many of them again around Italy as they take up the challenge of bringing the good news to Italy.