Report from Brother Vinnie
Sep 11, 2018
(I received this report from Vinnie yesterday. As you will see, he and his family are back from their trip to Italy. They are planning to visit us in a couple of weeks.)
Dear family, friends and fellow Kingdom builders,
We want to give you a brief update and some wonderful testimonies. We arrived in Vancouver British Columbia last Tuesday night and are just getting over the jet lag now. We want to see our daughter at Bethel in Redding, California but I-5 is closed off due to fires. We will then cut across the northern part of the States to NY. Please pray for my mom who is battling stage 4 liver and pancreatic cancer. We will then head back home to Pensacola, Fl. We will probably be on the road for another 3 to 4 weeks.
We had a very rich 7 week stay in Italy. It was filled with some glorious highlights but also with some very real dealings of the Lord. We were definitely in the fire and He was cleansing us!
God put his finger on some lies that I had believed for many years. This is the truth that the Lord revealed that replaced the deception. None of us deserve mercy but we all need it and it is richly available to all. I realized in a moment of divine inspiration that I was withholding it from church leadership out of woundedness, because I believed another lie that it was the church that was holding back my call. The truth is that no one can hold back the call of God on our lives except ourselves.
Another deception was having wrong expectations. I love this statement from Les Coombs of Bethel, "The only measure of success in the Kingdom is having a pure heart towards God and walking in love."
After much waiting and frustration not knowing the language and not having anyone to translate, I was forced to step up my game and learn. The week with our host family gone and not having a car caused me to walk the town and engage. I couldn't use Google Translate because I needed Wi-Fi. But a combination of some seriously chopped up Italian, a little Spanish and a lot of sign language got me through!
The best was when 2 days before we left, we lead a woman, her brother, and her mafioso boyfriend to the Lord. After praying with the woman and her brother, she invited us up for coffee at her apartment to meet the devil....... in her own words, her live in boyfriend!
Through Google Translate (they had WiFi!) w1e were able to present the gospel to him and led him in a prayer and then prayed over him. It was awesome!
What was neat in all of this is that while we were languishing for a couple of weeks during our stay with no car, a major language barrier and very little money, our presence in the breezeway where the above mentioned people passed us everyday had an impact.
The mafioso had taken me to the music store during that time and then to meet his "goombas". We said "Ciao" to them almost everyday as they passed. We also helped them move cabinets and various things out of their apartment and they felt the love. All of that opened up their hearts to the gospel.
The next day, the night before we left Italy, we lead the other man's fiance to the Lord and had a four hour discipleship meeting that was so full of life in the courtyard of the apartment where we were staying!
The other pastor friend of mine and his family( the ones who initially invited us) came over and we reconciled and they were part of the discipleship meeting. It was beautiful! Love conquers all!
So to sum up everything, there is abundant grace for tenacious faith, to wait when you feel like nothing is happening, and for mercy and love. There is grace to call those things that are not as though they were. My new precious brother in the lord and host, told me that his neighbor was mafia and that he lead the gang that he was in, doing armed robberies for him when he was a kid! I said he is not mafia he is with Jesus! He must have felt the love and faith behind that because he received him!
With my new brother in the Lord and these four converts, we are praying about going back in January to plant a church. This is a desire in my heart but we are waiting on the Lord for further instruction.
This could not have been done without all of your faithful praying and support. Thank you so much! It and you are so greatly appreciated! There is abundant fruit to your heavenly account and I believe even here on earth.
We still need continued prayer and support as we are on the road for another month or so. Our hearts are burning for souls and to see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters covers the sea.
If you like to make a donation you can click on the link below.
Thanks again in many blessings in Christ,
Vinnie, Joy and the Imperials