Thursday, December 31, 2015

Saying Goodbye to 2015

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

As 2015 comes to an end we would like to say thank you to all of  you who have stood beside us in the past year.  2015 brought us the joy of having a church building for the first time in our seven years here in Padova.  With that, we have been able to host events, English movie nights, Teas, meals, English get-togethers, and of course our church services.

We were blessed with a couple of new students, Emily, from England and Jessie from Germany.  They are both here studying at Padova University.  They have been inviting their fellow students to different events and it’s been a joy having them with us.  The timing was perfect too as Marla’s contract ended in October with the family she was working for in Milano.  She is now back in Padova with us and it is just like the Lord to bring along some gals close to her own age to hang out with.

We also have a few people stationed in Vicenza who have joined the fellowship.  They are such an encouragement and so much fun to have around.  Jim really enjoys his ‘war talks’ with Anton and Tim and it’s nice to see God bring us some seasoned Christian men.

We look forward in the coming year to more outreach with the university students and the people of Padova in general.  One thing we are blessed by is seeing God bring a couple of new people who have also been inviting their friends to come to church.  Do they stay or come back an other time?  To be honest, no, most don’t.  But they have heard the Gospel now and that is what our calling is.  We pray that they would return and the Lord would soften their hearts, but as we have learned in the past, it’s our work to give the message, we can’t force them to accept it.

There are some needs we have-one that is something we have been praying for and asking pray for for many years and that is for a team to join us.  Even if were a couple of people who could lead worship, lead a bible study and have a heart for the unsaved.   We need those who are motivated to go out and hit the streets, led by the Holy Spirit to talk to people, get to know them and share the Lord with them.  The land needs to be plowed and we find there are not many interested in plowing the fields any more.  We do our best in our small fellowship to reach out and invite, but we are few and we know the Lord loves the people here in Padova and we want to see more and more get saved. 

 Our friend Ed from Santa Barbara playing keys for Sunday service
 Marla and Jessie
Giving Thanks

Jim’s right hand man Franco has been such a blessing throughout the year.  He has taught the bible studies when Jim is not there and he and his wife Rosa are our evangelists.  They are always praying and inviting those they know to come and hear about Jesus.  They pray always that God would break the chains of so many of the people here.  They themselves have only been saved about 2 years and they know what it is like to be stuck in your traditions and unable to believe in the finished work on the cross.  Please pray for them to continuously be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit as they share the love of  Christ to those they come in contact with.

Jim is finishing up Romans in the next month and will begin teaching the Parables of Jesus on Sunday mornings. We are excited about this study and the practical teaching and application of each of the parables.  Some who have come to visit actually asked Jim if he would teach some of the ‘stories’.  After praying and seeking the Lord,  we will take a break from verse by verse for a time to see how the Lord teaches us through His parables.  

Jim is looking forward to the Pastor’s conference in Austria later in January.  He will bring Franco again this year and perhaps if the schedules work out, some of the other guys from Padova.  We are also praying that perhaps early summer or Fall of 2016 to have a weekend church retreat at the Castle.   

We thank you for all of your prayers, your encouragement and support in the past year.  We know that we are just a speck in the big picture, but nonetheless, where two or more are gathered, God is in their midst.  God has given us a tremendous amount of love for the people of Padova and though there have been times of discouragement and even despair at times throughout the past year, we have been overjoyed at every work of the Holy Spirit, though small to some, an answer to prayer for us. 

We ask for your continued prayers for CC Padova, for our fellowship and the people in our city.  Sometimes I am sitting on the train or just walking around and I look at the faces of the hundreds of people around  me and weep inside because though they may look good on the outside, inside there is emptiness-a life without Jesus Christ.   Please pray for an outpouring of the Spirit in our lives so that we can communicate His Truth with the people here.

On the personal side, I need prayer for my health.  It hasn’t been very good as far as my back is concerned-I have for the moment decided not to have the disc surgery.  I researched a lot about it and the results seem to be 50-50.  Those are with healthy people and being that I have pretty bad osteoporosis, the odds of me being able to grow strong bone is not in my favor.  I have peace about it even though the pain can be crippling at times, but I sense the Lord guiding me to this decision-at least for the time being.   They also discovered I  have a lot of gallstones in me.  How, I have no clue but I will have more blood work done in the next week and who knows what after that.  I think they have to come out but again, I am not sure what the doctor will do.

Many of you know that my brother was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months ago.  He is set to have surgery January 15 and I was so blessed to get a ticket to go to CA to be with him and my family during this time.  The prognosis is very promising which is, I believe, an answer to all who were praying for him.   God is a God of miracles and we continue to put our trust in Him for a complete healing.  Steven will have to have some reconstructive surgery on his face simultaneously as the one surgeon is extracting the cancer.  It’s amazing what they can do these days.  I will actually miss the surgery by a couple of days because they moved it up after  I had already purchased my ticket.  Thankfully I will still be there to help out in any way I can.  Looking forward to saying hello to as many of you as time permits!


Our vision for CC Padova in 2016
To strengthen those who are already in the fellowship, to equip them to do the work of the ministry and see them use the gifts God has given them not only in the church but in the community.

That we as a fellowship would be united in the things of the Lord, attentive to the voice of the Spirit, overflowing in our love for one another and sharing that love with others.

To reach out to our community through God’s Word, music, meals and other events with the love and truth of the Gospel. 

To be a place of refuge for those without hope, those looking for answers and those who have nowhere to turn.

Our prayer requests as we enter 2016

Laborers…Pray the Lord of the harvest that He would send workers-young and not so young-those willing to plough the field.

Wisdom in decision making, fresh filling of the Spirit.  Walking in step with the leading of the Lord and seeking His direction and guidance in our outreaches and various ministries.

For the marriages in our fellowship-that we would yield our wills,  have grace and unconditional love for one another.  To encourage an build up each other.

Continued financial provision to enable us to do the things we do in the church and also to enable us to have more outreach events.

Teams from different places to come over for short-term mission trips and help evangelize our city.

Our health, perhaps if anyone knows of a dentist in CA who would donate his/her time to do extensive dentist work on our teeth.

To trust God for the future and not to be afraid.

Jim’s prayer for us as a church -
“My prayer for Calvary Chapel Padova is that each of us knows, teaches and demonstrates the love and truth of the Word of God to our community. I pray that we would reach out to others in accordance to God's Word in love, grace and mercy."

Again, we thank you so very much for your commitment to stand in the gap with us. Without you we would not be able to continue the work that God has sent us to do.  I believe in Heaven you will see, that we could not put in pictures or words, the effect your perseverance had on the lives of many.
May the Lord bless you in the coming year and fill your lives with His grace, mercy and love.

Much love 
Jim and Margie

For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. Philemon 1:7

If you would like to be a part of supporting us financially there are a couple ways you can do so:

Send a check to with a memo stating it's for Jim Stewart CC Padova to:
Calvary Chapel Vista
885 E Vista Way
Vista, CA 92084

OR you can give via online donations at either of the two websites.  Just be sure to scroll to designate for Missions/Jim Stewart
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All donations are tax deductible

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