Archive for July, 2008

Rest at last

Monday, July 28th, 2008

We have got through another busy week, including three sermons, three interviews and a presentation yesterday. It was good to spend some time at the Bible colleges during the week, and I was able to create a bit of interest amongst people to go to Trento to do church planting. They are still students, and then would have to prepare and raise support, so it will be a long time before anything comes of it, if it does, but the interest is there.

Now we will finally get a bit of a rest, with 4 days in Queensland from Friday to Monday, visiting some of my relatives and just (weather permitting) sitting on the beach. The rest will be very appreciate, because it has been hard going in the last few weeks with meetings and preparing for meetings around Sydney. Not quite so restful will be the two day trip in the car there and another two days back, especially with the two children, so pray for the journey as well as some good time to relax.

An encouraging recommissioning, and Bible college week

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Yesterday was another heavy day (as Sundays often are on deputation), with more than three hours at two church services in the morning, and then another almost three hours in the afternoon at a recommissioning service at our main supporting church in Sydney (Carlingford Anglican). But the afternoon was very encouraging for us, reminding us of the support and care that others give us. Pinuccia especially was starting to feel a bit of deputation weariness, due to the constant movements and repetitiveness, and the fact that she does not understand a lot of what is said in meetings, but the meeting helped to cheer her up and remind her why we are doing all this. It had an effect on the rest of us as well: I lost my voice at the end of the meeting, and Stefania was so tired out that she went to sleep in the car at 5.30pm and didn’t wake up until the following morning – she never sleeps so long.

This coming week is Bible college week for me. On Wednesday I will be representing ECM at a mission exposition at Moore College, and on Thursday I will be speaking at both of the campuses of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College. These are important meetings for “recruitment” – the most likely places that we will find people during our deputation time who are interested in serving at Trento in the future. We are also visiting friends for dinner one night, going to a prayer breakfast on Saturday, being interviewed and preaching (a sermon I still need to prepare) three times on Sunday, plus some time with my family, doing some tourism, and some work with the mission.

Prayer reply

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I did the talk at the cathedral yesterday afternoon. The talk itself came out fairly well at the end, after slaving over it for a few days, and by Wednesday I had become more comfortable with doing it – thanks for praying for that. There wasn’t a lot of public though, about 20-30 people, of whom a large majority were people involved in the evangelistic campaign or with the cathedral. They had been about twice as many people at the talks at the beginning of the week, but in general it seemed like the pilgrims didn’t want to see down to listen to a talk for half an hour. Just talking with people worked a lot better however. They were having about 1000 pilgrims a day going through the cathedral, and the staff tried to talk to as many as possible and leave them some literature. Since the pilgrims all had some religious interest, it was easy to start up spiritual conversations with them, and that part of the campaign was more effective than the talks.

Special request

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Note: I wrote this message last Wednesday, and only just realised that by mistake I had saved it rather than publishing it. So he it is anyway, which will help you understand the other post of today.

I was asked yesterday to do a talk at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Friday 18th, on the occasion of the World Youth Day, on Can YOU experience God directly? Certainly. It is rather short notice to prepare a talk on that, and it will take a while to do since I will have to think it think, and I don’t have a lot of time in this period. So pray please for the preparation, and that the talk will have a good effect on those who listen. There is more information on the series of talks half way down the page (although as I write it hasn’t been updated yet to include my name).

Rest, then more meetings

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

We have had a bit of free time in the last few days, which have been good for getting the talk for Friday finished. I just have to go over it a couple of times now to practice it. I am feeling a lot more comfortable about doing it now, than when I accepted the invitation – thanks to those you prayed. I also went into the cathedral yesterday to hear one of the other talks in the series, and to get a feel for what is going on.

We also took advantage of these free days to do a bit of tourism – with the prayer week last week we had not had much time to relax together as a family lately. So had a great day catching a ferry across the harbour, then having a picnic in a park on the foreshores with play equipment (Stefania’s highlight, although she enjoyed the boat as well).

Now we have another busy few days. Tonight (Wednesday) there is dinner with the family, then on Thursday small groups to speak at both at lunch and in the evening, and another family meeting in the middle. Then on Friday lunch there is the talk in the cathedral, Saturday night another family dinner, and then on Sunday we will be speaking at two services in the morning before having our recommissioning service in the afternoon. Keep praying for energy and enthusiasm for all these meetings, and that there will be new partners for the work at Trento as a result.

PS I just checked my blog, and realised that my previous message was missing, which would make parts of this message a bit hard to understand. I have now published the previous message, which appears has having been posted a bit after this one, even though it was in fact written a week before.

Prayer week

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Next week will be another busy week, although not with deputation meetings. It is the annual prayer week for European Christian Mission in Australia, so most of the week will be spent, naturally, in praying. Although there will be a few other activities as well, since most of the ECM “family” will be gathered here for that time. Wednesday especially will be a big day for me. I will be doing a devotional in the morning, then in the afternoon it is time for our personal report and prayer time. Finally in the evening is the “Italian cafĂ©”, when Pinuccia and I will be presenting more generally our work at Trent. There is also a meeting on Saturday afternoon for all the ECM supporters, at which we will be speaking.
If you are interested in coming to either of these meetings, let me know and I can give you further details. Anyone who reads my blog I count as a supporter, so the meetings are also for you, and are a good opportunity to get to know our ministry beyond what is possible in a short deputation talk.