Posted by: goingfaraway | February 14, 2010

We are still alive….

Friends, it has been too long since our last post. Internet has once again become a luxury, so right now I find myself in a dingy internet cafe in Rome, the only one open on Sunday, catching you up on the last week or so of our adventuring.


Malta is a teeny tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily. It feels a little bit like Mexico and Italy smashed together. It’s very inexpensive, and the people are very friendly, and everyone speaks English & Maltese (which is a combo of Arabic and Italian – figure that one out).

While in Malta we were unable to find a church service, so we had our own by the sea, and we read the story of Paul getting shipwrecked at Malta, which you can read for yourself in Acts ch. 27 and 28. The short version: When the ship crashed into Malta, the  people there were kind and generous to the victims of the wreck. When the father of the country’s leader- Publias- fell deathly ill, God used Paul to heal him completely. After that Paul stayed there for 3 months, and then they set sail for Sicily. It’s amazing that before Paul’s arrival at Malta, the country was pagan, but just three months was long enough for Christianity to spread to an entire people group. God used a disaster for Paul and the crew of the ship in order to bring about a greater good. How does God want to use disasters in our lives? Even though Paul was an apostle, we still have the same Holy Spirit inside of us that will empower us to do good for God’s kingdom if we are looking for opportunities.

We enjoyed Malta, especially the sunshine and the beautiful seaside, but we were happy to head off for Sicily…following Paul’s path to Rome.


Our mode of transportation to Sicily was a ferry. Actually, it was really more of a cargo ship with a dining room. Finding the departure point was an adventure in itself. The boat left 5 hours late, so we made friends with the security officers at the loading dock and sat and waited…and waited…until they finally said we could board. Katie and I were 2 of 4 women on the entire ship. The rest were truck drivers. ugh.

Our host family in Sicily was wonderful. They helped us make the most of our 2 days, showing us the beautiful towns of Noto and Siracusa, and telling us all about Sicilian culture. Dorothee, the mom was born in France, but fell in love with Adriano, a native of Sicily, so their little boys are being raised in a French/Sicilian home. Dorothee was the only one in the family fluent in English, so communicating with the kids was like a game of charades! We did well enough to play lots of Uno, and Connect 4 🙂


Now we are in Rome, enjoying the company of Rachel (Kara’s apartment mate in Chicago), gelato,  and our own apartment! It is great to have a third person to pose in photographs! Plus, we just like her a lot and it’s a lot of fun having her with us!

Our apartment is 5 minutes away from Vatican City. Every morning we get up and wave to the Pope. Not really. But we did visit the Vatican, the beautiful and overwhelming Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basicila. We also saw the Catacombs of Priscilla, where over 40,000 Christians were buried (including several popes and saints).

Today we attended a Baptist Church in the center of Rome. Our secret wish was that a cute Italian family would feel sorry for us and take us home for lunch. That didn’t happen. Instead, a cute old couple from Chicago – Beth and Steve – adopted us for the afternoon and took us out to eat! Steve is studying in Rome for his dissertation for a doctorate in a very obscure topic that I will not explain, and Beth is supporting him by enjoying the wonders of Rome and cooking. We were so thankful for the Christian fellowship, and for their generosity. We treated our new friends to delicious gelato.

The spiritual theme of this trip has definitely been love. We are both reading through 1 John, which is all about love, and when we attended mass in France, the passage for the sermon was 1 Cor 13. Today was no different! The sermon today challenged us to do a spiritual check up using 1 Corinthians 13 as a measure for how we are living our lives. Without love, our good works and kind deeds are meaningless. Are you living a life of love?

More details to come.

Happy Valentines Day!



  1. Hi Kara & Katie. We’ve been following your travels & finally getting around to sending you a note. It sounds like you are having a great time & an unforgetable experience. It’s snowing pretty heavy here today. The Feb. bad weather is making up for the mild winter we’ve had so far. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    Aunt Donna &
    Uncle John

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