Today, part of our team drove down to Naples to participate in a parallel worship conference. Riding into Casorio, just outside of Napli, we spotted the mounds and mounds of garbage littering the streets and piling up everywhere. The church we are ministering at is a little gem tucked inside a financially challenged area. High unemployment, a weak euro for Italians, and other factors (including the mafia) give rise to a difficult situation. Amongst all of this, the church struggles to thrive.
Pastor Douglas Valenzuela is a Watts-born American who was drawn to Christ and Italy in the seventies. He has been ministering here for a long time, and has a vibrant ministry here in Casorio. He describes his church of a couple hundred or more as a “megachurch” for this area and culture.
In the first conference session, I spoke on the nature of worship, and Randy and Mike did a little concert. It was well-received, but I could tell that I was speaking over the heads of many of the people here. Of course, everything is translated, so there is a bit of a labored effort to communicate.
We have brought with us the new keyboard that I purchased with your generous donations as a gift to this Naples church. We have also brought an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar to give as well.