This Saturday there is another major event of the church: a festival in the part of the town where the church hall is. We have participated in the past as well, and are well enough known that we work closely with the organisers, rather than just organising our own events independently. So in the afternoon Pinuccia is organising games in the square together with two other associations, then everyone comes to the church hall for afternoon tea. The church is also hosting an open discussion on the theme of building bridges (the theme of the festival), a photographic exhibition on the same theme, some fund raising for Nepal, and an ethnic aperitif. Lots of different people with lots of different gifts are involved in this; pray for our witness through all these activities.
We all arrived safely at home after the children’s camp, which was in itself an achievement. Daniele managed to get hit three times in the same place on his face, by a frisbee, by a chair, and by another children, but there was no lasting damage. Outwardly, it went well, with just the usual conflicts between children, that often gave better opportunities for teaching that the formal lessons did. It is of course harder to say what was going on inwardly, but we trust God that he will bring out the fruit of this camp over the next 70 or so years of their lives. The children certainly enjoyed themselves and are already looking forward to next year. Their major complaint about the camp was that it was too short! Pinuccia managed to survive with the twins as well, and even managed to take them outside once, even though it was a major undertaking for her by herself. So thanks again for your prayers for this weekend.
Next weekend is my biggest event of the year in church, at least in terms of how much of my time I put into it. From Friday to Sunday there will be a church children’s camp that I will be leading. This is actually a “reboot” of the camp ministry. In July there will be the 8th edition of the classic series, where the participants have all become teenagers or almost by now. So we will be starting again with a new group of leaders, and with the next generation of children. We are starting small, as we did 7 years ago, with 10 children (including Stefania and Daniele) and only 3 days, and the idea is to grow in number and length over the coming years. You could pray for this camp, for the children and for the leaders. Pray also for the half of the family that will stay at home. It will be our children’s first time sleeping away from their mother, although it will probably be harder for Pinuccia to cope with than for them. Looking after Luca and Mattia by herself will not be easy either.
The family highlight this week was getting back the results of Daniele’s radiography. His spine, which 18 months ago was quite badly both bent and twisted, now shows no sign of problems. So he will be having a break from his back brace that he has been wearing for more than a year, at least until August when he will have his next check up. Since it is very uncomfortable to wear in summer, it was good timing. We are very thankful to God for this unexpected development.
Yesterday afternoon the church was present at the festival of Lavis, doing craft work with children. It was not an explicitly evangelistic event, but was more to make ourselves known to prepare for future events. But for us from Lavis, it was a good opportunity to talk with people we know as they passed by, and explain who we are, what we are doing and why. At least, it was for Pinuccia. I was kept busy taking Stefania and Daniele around to the other activities, and accepting lots of compliments for the twins.
Kids Club, the church’s evangelistic program for children, has taken on a new emphasis lately, concentrating on Lavis, a town of 9000 people that is next to Trento, and where we and a disproportionate number of church members live. At the moment they are getting themselves known, having done an Easter Egg hunt in a park a few weeks ago, and next Sunday there will be a bigger event. There will be a festival in the town, where Kids Club will be running some craft activities for children in the main square of the town, together with other associations. A lot of the children of the town will be around for the afternoon. Since we know a lot of families through Stefania and Daniele, and Luca and Mattia have made us rather famous as well, it will be a good opportunity for us to explain to our friends who we are and what we are doing. Or at least it will be for Pinuccia, who will be doing the craft, whilst I look after our children. The town council is very happy for us to be doing this, and future activities, so it is good to have their support as well.
There are a few evangelistic events coming up in the church that you could pray for:
1. Kids Club, the evangelistic program for children, has a new focus, and will be concentrating on the town of Lavis (the town next to Trento where we and many of the church live), getting involved in the official activities of the town. The first step will be games in the park (including an Easter Egg hunt) this Saturday afternoon.
2. The church musicians have a Easter concert in a coffee shop on Friday night, and in church on Saturday night.
3. There will be a Pakistan church service next Friday (Good Friday), not only for the Pakistani in our and other churches, but also for their friends and contacts.
This morning I took my in-laws to the airport, for the end of their three week stay at Trento. It was like a much needed holiday for us, as they looked after the house and especially the twins. It meant that Pinuccia could do a lot of study for the exam for her work which is coming up, and I could do more than the bare minimum of my work. In particular, I was able to move forward in some of my projects for laparola.net, including releasing a new version of the program for Windows which had been sitting on my computer for a couple of months. But now I can hear someone crying, so it is time to see if they are hungry or tired or want to play…
This week I received a message from someone I have exchanged many e-mails with over the years, answering questions and seeing his life change:
Greetings from Rome and thank you for the time that you’ve always spent for me. My marriage is fine and my daughter is growing cheerfully in a serene environment. Only six years ago I was very far from having a family. Then… all of a sudden a subtle desire to change my life that coincided with some “random” meetings that were fundamental for my existence. You were a decisive encounter.
We have just finished packing and getting ready for our big adventure. Tomorrow morning we leave for Sicily, a trip of 1500km and a sea crossing which we will be doing in two days. Although we have made this trip many times, including with a two month old, it is of course the first time that we have done it with two two month old babies, plus a couple of other children. We will be trying to synchronise feeding times and rest stops for everybody, which sounds like a good plan but whether it comes about is another matter entirely. The reason of course is our extended family: they all want to see the twins, and in any case it is 18 months since we have been to Sicily and might be another 18 months before we can go again. As well as this, there will be the wedding of the first of Pinuccia’s niblings to get married, who will be living 500 metres away from us at Trento. After 11 intense days in Sicily, there will be another 2 day trip back, with a rest day before going back to school and the restart of the church activities.
Yesterday we had our first whole day out together. It did not start well, as we forget the babies’ bag with everything they need to survive more than a couple of hours, so I had to go back home to get it before arriving in church almost an hour late. Apart from that, Mattia and Luca went well: when they were not being passed around everyone in the church, they just slept quietly in a corner in their double stroller.
The reason for this long day was the monthly lunch after church, which this time included the Sunday School’s work to raise funds for a school in India – they made and served crepes for everybody, which kept us all busy. Then there was a quick clean up and transformation of the hall, followed by a surprise 50th birthday party for one of the church members. Apart from the long day, there was a lot of eating that day!
An event to pray for this week is the next edition of Kids Club, the children’s evangelistic program, which will be on Saturday afternoon, thinking especially of Christmas.