Archive for September, 2008

Daniele’s operation, more students and babies

Monday, September 29th, 2008

You may remember that Daniele had three health problems when he was born. Two of them fixed themselves up, but in the last week he has had a few check-ups to confirm that the third did not – his undescended testicle has still not descended (although it is there). So today he was put on the waiting list for an operation, which will probably be in a couple of months’ time. Naturally I will write more on that later.

Yesterday we had the annual influx of non Italian speaking students, as they all arrived at the university last week for a course of 12-18 months. There were four who turned up at the service this time, from various parts of the world. This of course meant some simultaneous translation for me, although this is a bit more difficult now as Pinuccia went out to teach the Sunday School, and Daniele does not sit still any more. At least Stefania goes unofficially to the Sunday School now, which makes it a bit easier. And there is an American in the church who could translate the sermon, whilst Pinuccia did the Sunday School and I the baby sitting.

In the meantime we are continuing our church growth policy. With a birth due this week, it looked like that would be no pregnant ladies in the church for the first time in over two years (in which time about a fifth of the ladies in the church have given birth). But just in time, another pregnancy was announced after the service.

Back from Spain

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I’m back at home now after three days in Spain, looking at the future vision of the mission (which we will be doing again in February and April, so there are a few more trips coming up still). The rest of the family coped in my absence as well, although it isn’t easy for them. Pinuccia took three days off work, and managed to get Stefania to and from school (with Daniele as well), as well as the shopping and normal household chores, and even took the opportunity to invite a few people to our house for a chat, or to have some meetings about the women’s ministry in the church (which she has had to take over).

Going away (maybe), and to sleep or not to sleep

Friday, September 19th, 2008

It has been a slightly quieter week for me, because on Tuesday there was a meeting about the couple with a visiting speaker. So the Rovereto group did not meet, and Pinuccia went out to that whilst I put the children to sleep. So I only had the one study to do this week, plus the church committee meeting last night.

Next week will be without studies as well, because on Tuesday I will be going to Madrid for three days of ECM meetings, which will leave me only Pinuccia’s night to go out to the Bible study on Monday and my band practice night on Friday. At least that is the theory. I am booked to fly with Alitalia, and there is a good chance that it will go bankrupt by next week! So I am still not sure if I will be going.

In the meantime, on Sunday is the first meeting of the Sunday School for this school year. There will be a time with all the classes together to present the year, and it will be another month before my turn for teaching comes up.

Stefania still enjoys school, although she did not eat anything at lunch there the first day. She has eaten a bit however in the last few days, even though not a lot and certainly not everything. On Monday she will start full-time hours, ie from 9am to 3.15pm. After lunch, they make the smaller children have a nap at the school. This will be even more interesting than trying to make her eat, as she has not had an afternoon nap for over a year, and certainly when I pick her up after lunch now the school has not tired her out enough, and neither does another hour playing in the park in the afternoon. Her teachers will certainly have fun with her!

Back to the routine

Friday, September 12th, 2008

I’ve completed my first week of normal activities now, with two Bible studies and a small group coordination meeting. I should be out tonight for band practice as well, but we will instead go out together as a family to celebrate – there is a birthday today! Next Monday the small group that Pinuccia attends restarts, so then we will have our normal full weeks. In the meantime this Sunday afternoon there will be our second church service at Rovereto, which will also try to bring together some of the people that live in the area but who do not come to the Bible studies during the week.

Stefania is coping well with the extra hours at school. She even doesn’t mind being woken up as she knows it is to go to school. I don’t know if this enthusiasm will last another 15 years; we shall see. Next week she will have another couple of hours each day, so it will be from before 9am to after 1pm. This means that she will be eating at school with the other children. It will be interesting to see how much she actually eats in such an environment. We instead will have our first taste of the “empty nest” syndrome. It will seem so quiet at lunch time for us without her.

School, Sunday School and bookstall

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Stefania has successfully overcome her first week of pre-school. She quite enjoyed it, and looked forward to going each day. She didn’t actually speak to the other children or the teachers (in either language), but she did at least play with some others instead of playing by herself with other children around, which is what she has usually done in the pat. Next week it is a step up to 2.5 hours per day. The hardest part for her will be getting up earlier in order to be at school by 9am. She is definitely a night person! However, she gets Monday off, as it is Lavis’ patron saint’s day. Whereas Pinuccia, who works at Trento, will have to go to work.

The meetings at our house during the week to prepare for the Sunday School and welcoming ministries went well. I have ended up with the 7-10 year old class, which has five children in it. I share it with Pinuccia and another lady, so we each miss only one out of every three sermons. It will be an interesting time for me! The classes will start on September 21, although it will be sometime in October when I have to give my first lesson.

In the meantime, tomorrow (Saturday) there is another bookstall at Rovereto, the first of the monthly bookstalls after the summer break. There is also a fair on in the town, so there should be quite a few people around. I was supposed to be or wanted to be at two other places as well. The organisation for missionaries in Italy is having its biennial mission conference at the moment – I heard that there are more than 250 people present, which is far more than any expectation. And the theological institute at Padua (2.5 hours away) is having their annual training weekend. Since the church does a lot together with the institute (including a few members doing courses there, and one of the elders teaching there), quite a few church members have gone there. It has left us a bit short handed for the bookstall, but there will be enough people present and it is good to see some of the newer people in the church helping out at Rovereto.

Today was also release day for a new version (7.05) of my program, with some of the changes that I had managed to do whilst we were in Australia. It is a bit of work getting all the files ready for distribution, backing up the new files, changing the site and writing messages in the various places were I announce new versions, so it takes most of a day to do it.

First day of school

Monday, September 1st, 2008

First day of school today for Stefania and Pinuccia. Stefania seemed to cope with her hour and a half, although she is so calm that she doesn’t usually let anything upset her. Daniele seemed more upset, because he wasn’t allowed to stay with all the toys. Pinuccia had a longer day than usual, since there were extra meetings to plan out the year a bit – and because the education department made a mistake and did not send the second relief teacher as it should have.

We seem to have got enough toilet training done just in time as well. Stefania still needs a nappy to go out (except to school), and there are quite a few false alarms, but there haven’t been any accidents for a while.

Most of the church activities that we are involved with will be starting next week. So we have taken the opportunity to hold a couple of other special meetings. On Wednesday night at our house Pinuccia will be leading the Sunday School teachers’ meeting (where I will be for the first time), and on Thursday night at our house I will be leading a meeting for the welcomers. Then on Friday there is the usual band practice, and all day Saturday one of the monthly bookstalls at Rovereto.