Archive for February, 2007

Pinuccia’s birthday

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Pinuccia, Stefania and me on Pinuccia's birthdayOur guests have left now (at 5.30am, which meant I am up early to get some work done without interruptions), with a good time together over the weekend. Yesterday was also Pinuccia’s birthday, so we had some extra people to celebrate with. In the afternoon we went to the ice cream shop under our old apartment, although there is another special night together in a fortnight’s time when she will receive my present. We had a photo of ourselves taken for the occasion – if you look carefully you can see the belly that number two has created, although it is a bit hard at this low resolution. Now it is back to preparing studies again, with cell groups to lead today and Wednesday, and the cell group leaders’ coordination meeting on Thursday.

Upcoming visit

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I have finished now my three studies for this week, although I do have to prepare the meeting for Saturday with the youth, but that will be easier because there isn’t a study this week. We are instead today getting things ready for the visit of the new ECM-Australia director this afternoon for three days, which means moving a bit of furniture around, cleaning the house today instead of the usual Saturday cleaning, and getting a few things done that I would usually do on the weekend but which I won’t have time to do. Pray for a good time together, and for him as he visits me on the field for the first time to learn first hand what I am doing.

Carnevale, various studies and visits

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

It was a slightly different week for me, with only two studies to prepare on lead on Monday and Wednesday; Thursday was the extra night we both have at home every two months due to the way the various programs of the church work out. But I was kept busy doing other things. On Tuesday a missionary at Milan came to visit to work on computer matters together – amongst other things, the two of us have taken over the running of the site of the Italian version of Operation World at http://www.owitalia.org/. At the same time a friend from church came to visit Pinuccia to get some sewing work done, whilst another friend was staying a few nights whilst visiting Trento looking for work. Then on Friday I went with the band to Verona for the Carnevale parade there, where there were 93 groups between floats, bands, dancers, etc. It was about 5 kilometres through the streets of Verona, getting glances at the famous monuments whilst concentrating on trying to play, march and avoid children throwing confetti at the same time, and it took almost three hours (after having started out two hours after the first group) because we had to wait for all the other groups in front of us. We ended up going through our whole repertoire more than three times!

Pinuccia on the other hand had all her commitments come up at the same time, having to prepare and lead the study for the women on Friday and the youth on Saturday. The idea was that I would come back from Verona by train (instead of with the band on the bus) so she could go to the women’s meeting without Stefania, but with the long march at Verona I couldn’t get back in time. So Pinuccia took Stefania with her, which wasn’t a problem for Stefania, but she was a distraction in the meeting. We realised later that gone are the times when she will sit calmly with someone; now that she is walking everywhere, she is too curious to stay in one place and wants to check everything out. The last time she will take her, Pinuccia promised! At least for another 15 or so years… But I am enjoying this new phase in Stefania’s life, maybe even more than before, with more independence and even the beginnings of a two way relationship.

Home again

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Back from Madrid now, even though a bit late – my flight was moved more than four hours later, so I had a long wait in the airport, and did not get home until 10pm. I have not had much luck with my flights lately: my return from Madrid in September was put back a day by the airline, so I was stuck there an extra day, whilst the company I was going to go to Madrid with this time went bankrupt in December, and I would have got an unpleasant surprise at the airport if I had not happened to find out by chance a couple of days beforehand that the airline was no more.

Anyway, the girls were happy to see me again, especially Stefania who, after a moment of hesitation, wouldn’t stop patting me on the chest and back, as if to check that it really was me again. Whilst I was away, she learnt to kiss as well – or at least put her mouth to someone’s cheek and wet it a bit. On Thursday night five people met at the group at Rovereto without me, the first time that it has gone ahead without someone from Trento going there to lead it. Having arrived home late, I missed the band practice on Friday night, whilst on Saturday there was a good time in the Youth Group, with all four of the regulars and a friend of one of the girls who comes occasionally. Today we invited a family and a single girl to lunch after church – Stefania has never laughed as much as she did playing with their 4 year old son. Since he is one of only a couple of males in the church around her age, maybe we should be cultivating this relationship more!

From Madrid

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

I’m into my third day of meetings now – 9am to 8pm of discussions is a long day, but it is important. Pinuccia is coping OK, although her cold has got slightly worse whilst Stefania is feeling better. But she has managed to get out, and to invite some friend home or to go shopping each day, so she has had some company as well. Stefania keeps knocking on my office door to look for me however. Early tomorrow morning (Friday) I will be returning, and should be home around 5.30pm.

Pinuccia’s non work (for sure now)

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Pinuccia’s “at risk pregnancy” was approved by the appropriate government office today, so she has officially gone on maternity leave until the end of October – although she will probably take a few extra unpaid weeks after that as well.

Combined Youth Group meeting

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

On Saturday night we had a combined youth group night with the group at Merano, which is an hour’s drive north-west of here. The other leader of our group got the flu this week, and Stefania has had a fever for a few days, so Pinuccia had to stay at home and it was left to me to take our group there. The group at Merano is different to ours, with youth being a couple of years older, and with half (of the eight in their group) from church families and half from non church families, but despite that our group seemed to fit in well and get to know some other people. With the isolation of the evangelicals around here, any contact with the wider reality of the church is a good thing. We hope to have further combined meetings in the past.
Pinuccia goes to the appropriate government office tomorrow, so her work or non work situation should be clearer then. Then I will be going to Spain on Tuesday for four days for an ECM leaders’ meeting, representing the Italian field. So there should be a message soon on this blog from Madrid. Pray for Pinuccia and Stefania at home, that Pinuccia doesn’t have any problem getting things done by her herself (she is getting more tired and less able to lift objects (like Stefania!) as the pregnancy goes on), especially as Stefania is sick at the moment, and Pinuccia has just started to get some cold symptoms as well.