This summer we are spending lots of time planning for the next semester. As we mentioned before, we’ve been doing a “Footsteps of Paul” tour following Paul’s missionary journeys. Over the past 4 semesters we visited Rome (Acts 27, 28), Siracusa in Sicily, where Paul stayed for three days, and Malta, where Paul was shipwrecked. Each place is so unique. It is incredibly inspiring to be in a place the Bible mentions, a place where Paul himself stood and did so many incredible things to spread the gospel throughout the entire world.
The next leg of the Footsteps of Paul is to… Athens, Greece! A few days ago in my daily bible study time, I was reading about Paul’s visit to Athens in Acts 17. He was deeply moved for the people because the city was given over to idols. In one sense he had a captive audience because they “spent their time in nothing else buy either to tell or to hear some new thing.” This is where he stood and proclaimed God to them in a way they could understand. Some rejected and mocked him and some wanted to hear more. And a few became believers. What a powerful story and it will be so wonderful for our student body to learn the history of these people, a history that is in many ways very well-preserved.
We are also making plans for student life: It is a wonderful time to grow in the gifts through outreaches in amazing historical cities nearby such as Treviso, Ferrara, and Padova. The staff is working out the class schedule with a variety of classes that will give students a well-rounded understanding of the Word. During the summer, some of the Bible college staff works even more with the youth group having weekly meetings. The youth group kids love when the bible college is in session so they can spend time with the bible college students. They are a great example for the youth group because they’re serious! They’ve traveled abroad to study the Word and see what sort of missions work God is doing out here. When the youth observes the students and the missionaries, it challenges their faith in ways they couldn’t otherwise be challenged otherwise.
We are looking forward to what God has for the body-staff, students, and church-next semester. We as a staff are praying for the students: that the Lord would work in their hearts for all He has this next season and that He would meet all their needs. Please join us in prayer!
FEATURED ALUMNI STUDENT(S): BETHANY & LORENZO GEMMA
Hello, my name is Bethany and I’m from Modesto, California. In my life, the Lord has blessed me by giving me the privilege of growing up in a Christian family and this is what the Word of God has taught me since I was a child.
When I was 13 years old I decided to follow Jesus Christ as my personal savior and in that decision I went to Russia on a missions trip (with my grandmother organizing the trip), and the definitive change that took place in my life was my desire to serve the Lord on the mission field.
In the following years during my time at the University of UVU in the state of Utah, during my studies to become a nurse, I decided that it wasn’t enough for my life, I wanted something more.
On day during a conversation with my mother, she reminded me of my desire for missions and studying the word of God, and I began to pray and God guided me through the first 2 semester of CCBC Murrieta California in the year 2007. At the third semester I began to pray for what was my call to missions before, and that the Lord would open up a clear path of what His plan was for my life.
I found out of the new opening for CCBC Italy in 2008, I took that news as an answer from the Lord, because Italy was already in my heart for some time before that news. I was so excited to be a part of the first semester there in Italy.
Even though the school gave me a special semester, at the same time, I tasted what life on the mission field was like and I realized what a difficult path it was.
It was in this way that the Lord began to show me His goodnes, not only in the word but also in the ministry: speakers week in Austria, a missions trip to Norway, a service of new brothers and sister in Christ from all over the world and the opportunity to be used by the Lord in situations and ways that I never thought of.
I firmly believe that the Lord used this period as a test, during my 2 semester in Italy, to prepare me to depened totally on Him.
On the first day at CCBC Italy, a group of us students stopped to visit a church, there I met a guy that worked with the music ministry and that day he was organizing the stage for the midweek service.
I met that guy again during a Sunday service, but we didn’t get the opportunity to talk all the way up until the last day of my first semester in Italy.
After a trip with the school to the Dolomites
We exchanged a few words during the time in the car, and even with the language it was a big obstacle.
After my return to America we exchanged our e-mails, and I wrote of my intentions to return to Italy, and of life, but through many different miraculous situations the Lord brought be back to Italy.
I tried to look for different paths, I was looking for other places in Europe, but the Lord showed me in a very extreme and clear way, his will was to bring me back to Italy.
I was hoping to finish my last semester in Israel, but through a series of circumstances, the campus remained closed for that semester.
The Lord had a different plan for my life.
I met again that guy in Italy, Lorenzo, and we began to spend time together up until when He asked me to marry him.
In 2010 it was a great day for us. Today we have a 2 year old baby boy, his name is Jaiden. Lorenzo works in the Airforce and right after our wedding we moved to Ferrara.
In the first 2 years it was pretty difficult, we didn’t have a Christian family around us, we only had each other. The Lord however continued to encourage us and sustain us, because that was his will.
Today we have a small church where we met 2 times a week, Lorenzo teaches the word and I serve in the children’s ministry and worship.
Even if my story might seem exciting and thrilling, there were times of insecurities, homesickness, fear; whereall myhuman certainties, fell short. Today I understand that maybe this is exactly what I wanted for my life, to be used by the Lord, because in Him I’ve found certainty for life, no longer based on external circumstances, but on an inner stability.
1) Our marriage and family
2) The growth of our new church
3) That we can always be focused on the Lord
If you want to see how the Lord is working in our lives and also your prayers for us you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let Him guide your life, and watch how He will bless
God Bless You
Lorenzo and Bethany Gemma
John and Lily Eastham met while in pharmacy school. In 1993, they began serving together in international missions through Project Compassion, an evangelical medical missions group. They have made trips to numerous countries in Latin America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
John’s first trips to Africa were in 2000 and 2002, participating in medical outreaches to Malawi and Kenya, which is where he first sensed God’s call to Africa. After trips to Uganda in 2006 and 2007, John and Lily both felt an even greater desire for their family to serve the Lord in Africa. In 2011, John left his hospital pharmacist career for training with Far Reaching Ministries. And one year later, they moved their family of five to Uganda.
As Director of Operations at Calvary Chapel Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, John interacts with nearly all of the church’s ministries. He also teaches a weekly Bible study and oversees translation of Bible resources into two local Ugandan languages. Lily is homeschooling their children and also serves in women’s ministry, where she’ll soon be starting a new discipleship group.
On August 28th, CC Kampala launches the Bible College! Please keep this new work in prayer as well as the Lord’s will regarding starting up a Sunday school class for 11-14 year-olds.
You can find more information about John and Lily Eastham’s missionary family at: