Archive for March, 2008

Half Holidays

Friday, March 28th, 2008

My half holidays have ended now, as Pinuccia’s parents went back to Sicily on Wednesday morning. But tomorrow there will be another half holiday, as we will all be going to Spain for a week for the biennial conference of the mission we work for (European Christian Mission). So it is really work, and there will be lots of meetings to attend. But there is also time off to sit next to the pool, or walk along the beach, or to chat with the other missionaries about our common experiences. And there is no cooking or cleaning to do. So you could pray both for a productive and a restful time for us all. Having two small children with us this time will back it a different experience for us. Stefania will be able to go to the meetings with the other children this time, so that should be good for her.

The Rovereto Project

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Last night, I met with the two elders and another person of the church to talk about our plans for Rovereto, where we want to plant a new church. It is what we call the Rovereto project, which is a part of the Trentino project for the whole province which I have written about before. Basically for the next 12 months we will concentrate on evangelistic activities in the city (monthly bookstalls, conferences and exhibitions, and cultural evenings) whilst building up the Bible study group there and getting the members at Rovereto to be more involved and more responsible for the activities there. The objective then would be, in 12 months’ time, to start a monthly service there. It is exciting to see something new like this being born, especially after almost three years working in that city and more than 10 years wanting and praying to start something there, and also the way that the church at Trento has the missionary desire to pioneer new works planting churches.
Back on the home front, we are putting my in-laws to work during their visit here, and we all (parents and children) are enjoying their presence. Pinuccia and I were even able to go out tonight to enjoy an evening (at the cinema) by ourselves, which does not happen very often.

Trips and fevers

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

The trip to Desenzano on Monday went well – it took us quite a few months to get it organised so that all the ECM missionaries in Italy could come, but in the end it was a good time together, even though with everyone having to travel to get there there was not a lot of time available. Tomorrow (Monday) there is another trip for me – going to Verona in the morning to pick up Pinuccia’s parents from the airport. They will be spending 10 days with us, but especially with the grandchildren of course. So it will be like half holidays for us, as they take over some of my jobs (especially in the afternoon when I baby sit whilst Pinuccia is at work) and do some of Pinuccia’s housework. So even though we will be spending some time with them and taking them out places, especially whilst Pinuccia is unemployed during the Easter break, I should be able to get more work preparation done than usual.

The other significant event of the week was Daniele getting his first tooth. Since he also got cold symptoms during the week, and Stefania always got a fever with every tooth and cold she got, I was expecting a fever from him as well. Instead, Stefania had the fever yesterday evening, so now I understand that she gets a fever for every tooth and cold that anybody gets, not just her’s! After the teenagers’ meeting finished at 7pm, we were expecting to go out to a dinner and video with the Monday night cell group, but Stefania’s fever put an end to that, and only I went whilst the other three stayed at home. She is still not 100%, but a lot better, and good enough to go to church and to a friend’s place for lunch today.

Trips and other things

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Yesterday we had one of our special nights with the teenagers: home made hamburgers and a couple of films. There was also the fourth member of the group for the first time for many months, and she does intend to come regularly again now. Since we started with dinner, there was a 7pm start instead of the usual 5.30, which should have given us a more relaxed day with more time to prepare. But on Friday night we heard that one of Pinuccia’s aunts, who was at Modena staying with another aunt to receive chemotherapy treatment for a tumor she has, was too sick to receive the treatment and so was going back to Sicily next Tuesday. So we decided to go to Modena for the day to visit her (especially as it is possible that it is the last opportunity for Pinuccia to see her aunt). So there were two 2.5 hour trips to make in the day, and after stopping at the supermarket on the way home to get the food for the evening, we got home at 6.30pm, half an hour before the others arrived. So we were a bit late getting the dinner ready, but it all worked out well at the end.

Today was quite busy as well, but a bit more relaxing. As well as church in the morning, in the afternoon there was the annual fair day for our town, Lavis. My band did put on a concert for the occasion, but since I have not been able to go to practices for a while I didn’t play in the concert. But the whole family did go to the refreshments that were put on afterwards, to say hello to my friends there that I haven’t seen for a while. Then we went for a walk through the fair, trying to negogiate our two strollers through the crowd.

Tomorrow will be busy as well, with another trip. We will be all going to a meeting about 1.5 hours south of here, at the other end of Lake Garda, for a get together of most of the ECM missionaries in Italy. Then on Tuesday it will be back to normal again.

Double duty, and the end of an era

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Yesterday evening we had to do double duty: whilst I as usual went out to lead the Wednesday night Bible study group, Pinuccia had the seven Sunday School teachers at home for a training and planning meeting. It probably was not a good idea to do it this way: two members of the Bible study group had to miss it (one to go to the teachers’ meeting, the other to baby sit so his wife could go to the meeting), and Pinuccia had to keep leaving the meeting in order to look after the two children, at least until I got home about 10.30 (whilst they kept going until almost midnight). It was not ideal, but it was almost impossible to find a date when all the teachers were free; next time, if there is a clash with a Bible study group, we will probably just cancel the group for that week.

On the work front, Pinuccia has had her current contract (which ended at Easter) extended – the teacher that she is substituting decided to stay on leave for a bit longer. Her hours have also been changed slightly, so that she is not away from home quite so long (4 hours each afternoon now), which all four of us are happy about. The other change is that from now on she will be attending the Monday night cell group whilst I stay home. Getting out once a week will be good for her, especially to meet with friends to read the Bible and pray together, although she is not keen on having to leave the children again. And for me it is the end of an era: the cell groups that I started at Trento about five years ago are now completely in the hands of other leaders and I am not even present any more to give them help or advice. So at the moment I have just the Rovereto group on Tuesdays and the Wednesday night group at Trento (which is the continuation of the group that already existed before the cell groups were set up), as well as the teenagers’ group on Saturdays. This gives me some freedom to do something else, and I will be talking with the leaders of the church some time to consider what I can do next. Maybe it will be the start of a new era.

Birthday celebrations – better late than never

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Tonight we will finally get to go out to celebrate Pinuccia’s birthday last Monday. The first three nights of the week I was out at Bible studies, then on Thursday Pinuccia when to a leaders’ training meeting. The first idea was to go out on Friday, which was our free night together for the week, but Pinuccia had to prepare the study for the teenagers’ meeting on Saturday night. So finally here we are ready to go out to dinner with the family! There was even a bit of risk tonight, because there is a Sunday School teachers’ meeting on Wednesday night, with Pinuccia leads. So I insisted that she prepare for that in the afternoon before we went out, because I knew there wouldn’t be much time for her to prepare in the next few days. Naturally, you can’t go out to play if you don’t do your homework first! But she has prepared enough to have a night off now.

At least things are looking promising for our anniversary next month – there was a church committee that night, but it has been brought forward a week, so we will be free now.