Wow, we are now in the Naples vicinity. We arrived here last Tuesday on the FAST train from Rome. Apparently this train is so new we are in its first month of use. It was amazing.
We were met by Cheryl and Jess' family in Naples: Kathy and Ciro and their kids, Samuele and Isabella. They took us straight from the train to Vesuvius. OK, we admit, it was cloudy and we couldn't see into the "hole" but it was quite an exciting climb in the mist and cold. At the starting point we all tossed back an Italian espresso for the hike. Definitely a plus. (I have to take mine with sugar, however.)
After that we began the drive to Sorrento--winding with many switchbacks. Not for the motion sick types (like Luke and me). In Sorrento we ate genuine Napoli pizza in a little hole in the wall called O Sole Mio. Delicious. Fun to watch Ciro (a gifted evangelist) make friends with the devout owner, a real Italian Mama. When she heard I was a missionary in Africa, she got very excited and kissed me and blessed me.
We arrived in the villa in which we are staying in the dark, but it was impressive. I marveled at the tile floors throughout. We have a terrace looking over the coastline and one on the roof, but it is too cold to spend time on the terrace. It has rained here everyday.
First day we attempted to go to Positano, but only managed Sorrento (a half hour bus ride) because it is very complicated to make changes from one bus to another.
Thursday Bell and I went hiking down to the coast. It was steep, not well traveled. We discovered a little cove which seemed like a pirate hideaway and a quaint little church with melted candles and wilted flowers down near the water level. It was dedicated to St Peter, complete with tiles illustrating his keys to the Kingdom.
Amazing to think how much truth is here in the history of this place and so few people have grasped it. Even Alfredo, the gentleman letting me use this computer, admitted he is not Catholic. When I asked if he could see this coast line and not believe in God he just said, Oh, there is a spirit there somewhere.
Yesterday, Friday, we took the amazing hydrofoil into Naples, Napoli to the Italians. It is a huge, historic city, once a kingdom in itself. We walked, saw the queen's castle, visited another fortress in the water, and came back home. It was quite an experience on that boat, only half an hour one way.
Today we had hoped to go to Pompei, but it is raining and hailing. So perhaps on Monday we can try that.
Tomorrow, Sunday, is Luke's 17th birthday. Pray that we can somehow make it special for him. Of course, being here is just that, but I know the Lord has good things to teach all of us here. We will probably be attending the church in this town (1 km from where we are staying) because the one in our town isn't operating.
Keep us in your prayers, that we will be lights in a very dark place.