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.
This morning we made our first appearance in church as enlarged family. We did not do too bad in organising ourselves to go out (just a few minutes behind when we hoped to leave the house) given that we had no system yet, and there was a last minute vomit from one twin and nappy change from the other. So we were able to receive lots of compliments from our friends, but especially present Luca and Mattia to the church to thank God for them and to ask for their continual prayers for us as a family. It was the last Sunday that my in-laws will be with us, and we wanted them to be a part of this moment. So from Friday we will be by ourselves again, which means back to the housework for me after being pampered for a few weeks. The running of the family will also become more difficult as we will not be able to use in-laws when we have to be in three different places at the same time, but we will have to learn to adapt to it.
Finally all together (Mattia on the left, Luca on the right).
Next Saturday there will be a festival in the quarter of Trento in which the church hall is located. We’ll be opening our doors, and putting on various activities for children in the afternoon, a concert in the evening, and following it up with an evangelistic meeting the following week. Pray for the many people that will be around on that day, that they will also come to visit us, and that we will have boldness in taking up the opportunities that come up.
Today I met one of my fans. Someone came to church, having travelled from Rome on the overnight train, just in order to meet me, since he often uses my website for reading and studying the Bible. It was a bit of a strange meeting, but I pray that the Bible will continue to transform his life.
I have not written much about the twins over the last few days, because there has not been much of a change. They are big enough to leave the hospital and have no medical problems. The only thing that is keeping them at the hospital is that they have not learnt to eat and breathe at the same time – five seconds after every time the bottle goes in, the alarm goes off and they turn a nice purple colour. Since nobody knows when they will learn the trick, nobody can say when they will be leaving the hospital. But we all can’t wait! Pinuccia is now spending about 8 hours per day at the hospital, doing the bathing, changing, and feeding in that period, whilst I go for about an hour most days.
It was a long day today. In the morning the hospital told us that also Luca had left the intensive care ward, was out of the incubator and in a heated cot, and that we would be able to pick him up and hold him for the first time. That was wonderful news for us, but then we had to wait the hours until we were going to go to the hospital in the afternoon… When we arrived, it got even better: we could hold Mattia as well. So we had a good time getting to know them. Unfortunately for the other children, Daniele had a fever this morning, so he and Stefania had to stay outside and watch through the viewing window. When we left the hospital, Mattia was transferred to a cot as well, so both of them do not need help breathing from the incubator any more. It can not be much longer before they arrive home.