I have decided to arrange a trip to Pompeii for the team to see the ruins. We have been joined with Italians Allessandro Mungai on drums and Danilo Torto on acoustic guitar on our trip to Napoli. Negotiating the bus and train systems here are still pretty confusing, but Danilo helps us get there.
During the trip, Danilo tells me his story. His dark features and sunglasses make him look like a hit man or a Le Mans race car driver, but this is dispelled by his gentle demeanor and his love for God. His wife and family live in Sicily, and they were long-time members of Crista E La Reposta. His wife is Ukrainian, and they met during ministry together. He has been unemployed for over two years due to the poor economy in Italy, and his unemployment benefits have run out. They are trying to sell their home, but cannot afford to move. He tells me about his downs syndrome sister, his parents, how he met his wife in the Ukraine. It is a touching story and I quietly pray for him and his family.
Pompeii is an amazing sight. We get lost in the maze of excavated walls and unearthed plazas. More than a monument, it is an entire ancient city of residences, stores, amphitheaters, gardens, and narrow cobbled roads that criss-cross the city. Mount Vesuvius is visible in some areas. We are impressed but become tired from all the walking. And I am once again impressed by my own home sickness.
We stop at the restaurant outside the ruins and have cheap premade pizza (we have become snobs from all the good stuff we’ve been having, I guess). All in all, it is a nice day, and the Team is enjoying it. Tomorrow, we go back to work.
Fun Facts: (1) Italian showers are really small. (2) Pastor Douglas at the Casoria Church informed us that the last of their four church vans was stolen. So they had to pick us up in small compact cars. We were flying around Naples with all sorts of equipment and stuff on our laps, filled to the roof of the car.
Photos: We visit an amphitheater in Pompeii (top photo). Cate Morris, Jebby Moates, and Luke Lewis become columnists (upper middle photo). Some of the ruins of Pompeii (lower middle photo). Lemons the size of your brain, or the size of a softball, depending on how you describe size or describe your brain(bottom photo).