Really a “little” like heaven on earth. My father used to always say, “Even though the earth is under a curse with thistles and thorns it is a beautiful place, ideally suited for man – just imagine what heaven must be?
My ministry offers me some beautiful places to see and enjoy. Years ago I saw this in the scriptures and took it to heart. So Jesus answered and said,
“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:29-31 (NJKV). This has been the case all the way along. I now write you from a bedroom in Oslo where a couple have taken me in and given me a place to lodge – without purse or script.
My dear friends Emile and Imra Dilles who have moved from near Trento and now live in Liguria heard that I had a few days between Italy and England insisted that I come to their home overlooking the Mediterranean from where (if you squint on a clear day) you can see Portofino, one of the most celebrated coastal villages in Italy. I had no idea of what I was in for.
Having stayed with them before, I knew their hospitality. Even when they had less than they do today they were generous to share what they had with me and now that they have steady work I expected and got no less.
I took the train to Chiavari where I was picked up by Imra and taken to their home. They have four (okay, maybe five) children ranging from about five to seventeen years of age. Emile and Imra know how to have beautiful children as you will see.
Once there, and having met their neighbors, Emile finally arrived to make for me a gourmet specialty. Emile is a TREMENDOUS cook and now (to his good fortune) works out a gourmet kitchen that came with his leased home. He laid out steak, potatoes and asparagus. Everything was first-rate.
At the table with us was their new friend and landlord that I took an instant liking Silvano. is one interesting guy – a captain of private boats and a sculptor of some skill having designed and built the avant-garde lighting for his home. If he ever decides to stop sailing he has an alternative career in the lighting industry.
Later in the evening I was taken to the home of my hostess, Sylvia, a Spanish lady from Ecuador who wanted to
practice her English. We had a short chat, the bathroom fixtures explained (I never got them right), keys handed off and my bed pointed to, the ladies engaged in prayer and I heard them leave the house at two in the morning. I had some “Warriors” on my hands. These kinds of prayers always make me nervous. I confess to not being to stay up with authentic intercessors and often throw in the towel early. I am told that this is not an occasional event but quite frequent. How will I lay low? There is nothing worse that being in a prayer meeting for three hours with earnest people of another language.
The region here is so beautiful and people so interesting I am forced to issue several blogs on this portion of my visit. Stay with me.
Tony from Oslo, Norway.