Archive for January, 2007

Praying a sovereign God… and now Pinuccia’s work

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

In my newsletters I have mentioned that this church year (ie September-June, like the schools here) all the cell groups are doing a series of studies on different aspects of prayer, loosely based on Don Carson’s Call to Spiritual Reformation. I managed to arrange the program of two groups so that they both did the fourth study this week. This made it easier for me to prepare, and how the first group went helped to improve the second. The theme was “Praying a Sovereign God”, ie what and how to pray to someone who does what he likes. (The simple answer to the ‘how’ question is to remember that he is not only sovereign, but also personal and wants a relationship with us.) I thank God that these two studies went very well, because it is not an easy topic, but the people in the groups worked at thinking through the issues, and reflected on whether the God they know and pray to is what the real God of the Bible is like.

On Tuesday Pinuccia got an offer too good to resist – a full time job until the 9th at the pre-school here at Lavis. So she decided to take that up, and next week will try to get the paperwork done in order to go on an early maternity leave. Not only is the school a lot closer to home than the others, she wanted to check it out since it will be Stefania’s school in 20 months’ time. Pinuccia said it is very good, and will be happy to send Stefania there. Interestingly, it is full, with the maximum number of classes allowed (nine), whereas many of the schools at Trento that she works at are having the number of classes reduced. Lavis is obviously more of a young family area, something I see every time that I go out, as there are always lots of prams and strollers prowling the streets. Pinuccia also says that for the first time this (academic) year she feels that she is achieving something, as she is working during the actual school time, instead of the afternoon after school care jobs she has had, which are more like babysitting.

More Pinuccia’s non work

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

On Friday Pinuccia had one of her regular check-ups with the gynaecologist. Everything is still going fine, but she was a bit surprised when the gynaecologist decided that she had an “at risk pregnancy”, partly because of an iron deficiency, partly because she is tired, and partly because she has an irregular work changing every few days. Personally, I think the gynaecologist was pretty generous: the pregnancy is going as well as it did with Stefania, and her lack of iron and tiredness is the same as that of almost all pregnant women I know. But we knew this gynaecologist is more personal and less ‘precise’ than the one Pinuccia had with Stefania, which was why Pinuccia changed gynaecologist. What all this means in theory is that Pinuccia will not have to work for the rest of the pregnancy, with her employer paying 80% of her normal salary. It is a bit more complicated than this however, because Pinuccia is a bit in limbo at the moment. First of all, the “at risk pregnancy” state still has to be approved by the government work inspectorate. Secondly, her current job actually finished last Friday, and she will not be offered another job if she is “at risk”. So in the next few days we’ll find out how it will actually work out.

Pinuccia’s work (or non work?)

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

The flu that is still going around does have its advantages (if you don’t have it, of course). As was expected, the teacher that Pinuccia is substituting didn’t get over it in a week, so Pinuccia had her contract extended to a second week. And now it seems that the children are catching and spreading the flu. Since Pinuccia is doing after school car, the number in her class gradually declines during the afternoon as the parents pick up their children. Still, last week from 3pm until when she finished at 4.30 she had 5-6 children (out of about a dozen enrolled). The first two days on this week she had one child in her class, with the rest sick; today (Wednesday) she had none at all! She is enjoying this job.

No evangelistic film night

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

At the end the film night for our friends did not go ahead; it was felt that there were too few friends coming, and that they would have felt a bit lost in the hall, as well as too outnumbered. But there were some friends who did want to see the film, so we will try again shortly to invite them to a home to see the film, with only a part of the cell group present.

There was a good youth meeting on Saturday afternoon. I think the study on Luke 7 was effective in getting across the idea that there are many ways to get to know Jesus, and we saw the return of the daughter of a couple of church members after many months absent.

Tonight on the other hand we have a special night: we have found a babysitter, so Pinuccia and I will be having a rare night out together.

Evangelistic film night

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Important prayer request: On Saturday the Monday cell group will be doing another film + pizza night for their friends. This time we will be showing the film Luther. There are five friends who have said that they are coming, plus another four who have been invited but not given a definite reply yet (including Pinuccia’s ex-room mate). So pray that these people will in fact come, and that they will understand the Gospel message that Luther believed in.

In other family news, Pinuccia had her three month ultrasound on Monday, and everything is going fine. There is a bit of a bulge showing now as well. She also got a job at Trento for every afternoon this week, which is good. Since the regular teacher has the flu, I think the job will be extended into next week as well, since the flu going around at the moment doesn’t last only a week. (I know from experience!) As the person that Pinuccia is substituting is in fact a good friend, she’ll find out earlier than through the official channels, which will make planning next week easier and remove a bit of the early morning stress wondering if she will be called and what job offer will be made.

Feeling better but…

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I did manage to make it to the study at Rovereto on Thursday, but since there was only the hosting couple present we just chatted and prayed rather than doing the study, so that I could keep my voice a bit better. Friday I skipped the band practice, as I didn’t think I would be able to play the clarinet too well if I couldn’t speak. Saturday I was good enough to lead the study for the teenagers – and both the girls went down with the same flu, so we cancelled the meeting. (The other member of the group had had the flu as well, but was more or less over it by yesterday after more than 2 weeks sick.) So in the end I didn’t do any of my regular commitments in the whole week. Tomorrow though we’ll try again to restart the cell groups after the winter break. Although I don’t know how many will be there tomorrow, as quite a few of the church members are sick with this flu.

More sick reports

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Well I am feeling better now and could go out – but on Monday the voice disappeared and has not been seen or heard since, which makes leading studies rather difficult! So no study on Monday night (which had about 75% of its members sick anyway!) nor tonight Wednesday. Hopefully I will be right for tomorrow for the meeting at Rovereto, as there could be a couple there for the first time, so I don’t want to miss that one at all.

By the way, there is a new weekly schedule for me now. The band moved its practices from Tuesday to Friday nights, so Rovereto was moved from every second Friday to every second Thursday (the other Thursdays the church has leadership and training meetings). So now Tuesday will always be my night home with the family.

Stefania is getting better as well – no more 2am fevers, although she gets coughing fits during the night and ends up in our bed anyway. Pinuccia is a bit worse however, with bad cold symptoms, although nothing like the flu the rest of us have had – thanks to God, because being pregnant she can’t take a lot of the symptom relieving medicines that we have been filled up with. It did mean however that she had to refuse a number of work contracts that were offered to her during the week, including the almost perfect job: 4 hours per day for two and a half months here at Lavis. She has been hoping to get a job at the pre-school at Lavis for years! We’ll see instead what else God has in mind for her on Monday, when she should be well enough to work again.

Still sick…

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

The plans for these few freer days did not really work out. Stefania and I remained sick, every early evening my temperature shot up to 39 or 40, Stefania regularly gets a fever at 2am, and Pinuccia has been busy looking after both of us. So there was no trip to Pinuccia’s relatives, no planning meeting for the Youth Group, and not much preparation done either. Hopefully I will be alright to start leading the studies again from tomorrow night.

Just the three of us

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

My parents left this morning – we did have a good couple of weeks together, although the second half was not as we had planned as one after another of us fell sick. Pinuccia was the last to succumb, being wiped out yesterday, although she is already feeling reasonable today whilst the rest of us had three days with no energy and a fever, and then a few more days to get totally over it.

We now have another five free days, before I start meetings again (although I will be trying to get a few studies prepared in these days), and Pinuccia possibly starts work again, if they ring her. Pray for another good job for her for the next few months! On Friday we are also going to visit some of Pinuccia’s relatives 200 kms south of here, and another day we will have a meeting with the other leader to prepare the Youth Group program for the next few months.