After landing in Messina, Sicily, in late August, the July DTS were ready to approach their next stage of lectures and an introduction to outreach with a mentality of flexibility, and ready to live in one another’s pockets.
The Next Wave, our current home, is a beautiful 42 metre sail boat with a calling and passion for hospitality. Our first week was spent getting oriented to boat life and the beautiful town of Messina. Prayer walks through town enabled us to get a grip on the lifestyle and values of Sicilians; it was the start of some beautiful relationships built between trainees and locals that developed out of the hunt for gelato and Wi-Fi. Their openness gave us a great taste of sharing the work of God and the call of Jesus to people who desire more in their hearts and in their lives.
Our second week in Messina brought a return of the “structure” of lectures, though of course, structure is never anything to rely on when orchestrated by the sea. Our lecturer for the week was the lovely Leah Broomfield, who challenged us and had a great time blowing our minds about Biblical Worldview which included the consistency of God’s law and His basic good sense evident throughout the Old Testament, New Testament, and even today as we await the return coming of Jesus.
After 2 weeks in Messina getting legal paperwork issues straightened out we took our first sail. We reached a beautiful bay called Capo Rozzuto where we dropped anchor, intending to spend a day resting, enjoying the water and peaceful beach. A strong wind was predicted, up to a cyclone level, and we decided to stay in the bay for a little longer to wait it out. We were fast running out of water, so we were to avoid showers and a few other water uses. The winds we had hoped to avoid created a huge swell and we headed for the nearest sheltered marina with failing GPS and radar systems. We arrived in the marina of Crotone, Italy, and we were finally able to have a shower. Yay.
We have seen God work in amazing ways since arriving in Crotone. We spent our first day going around the boat, laying hands on and praying for all of the broken bits and bobs. Later that day, we had functional radar and GPS systems. Praise God! The locals of Crotone have given us love from the first moment we arrived. The Next Wave was even a feature in the local newspaper, able to share it’s calling as a sail training vessel, discipleship school and intercessory boat with our Guillermo Diaz Diaz putting his translating skills to the test (and coming out on top!).
In the rough waves Bekah, one of our trainees, had a nasty fall and hurt her ankle. After a visit to the hospital close to the marina in Crotone, it was discovered that it was fractured, and she needs to wear a removable cast, with the hope that it will be okay to walk on a week or two into outreach. The next time the injury party visited the hospital, the fracture was healed. Hospital doctors and nurses were proclaiming the miracle and saw the glory of our amazing healer, God.
While in Crotone we have had the privilege of hearing from two inspiring men strongly after God’s heart. Craig McClurg spent an amazing week sharing what God placed on his heart about relationships, which brought a deeper level of relationships between the trainees, drawing us closer together as a team going out for the glory of God and the love of Jesus. Maged Kalta then came and invited us into the call of Jesus. As God sent out, anointed and called Jesus to love, so we are sent, anointed and called. Now zealous and ready for our outreaches, we are enjoying our final lecture week led by our awesome Amy Jacks.
Now we prepare to set sail on Monday, September 28, for Greece! Hallelujah, the boat is functional, broken joints are healed, and after thirty six hours of sailing (God-willing) we will be in Ithica. After a number of broken up sails we hope to reach Pachi which is as close to Athens airport as we can get on a boat. From there we leave for our outreach locations in Middle East & Central Asia on Tuesday, October 6th.
Our time on the Next Wave has been full of growth, and our knowledge of God, His love for us and what He’s given us has deepened to an extent that cannot be articulated, and now we are ready and raring to go, to build relationships and to make Him known.