Archive for December, 2008

Another full weekend, and departure

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Another one of those non stop weekends. Saturday morning there was the usual house cleaning and shopping, then all the afternoon I was at Rovereto at a bookstall. There were about 20 people that we had some sort of contact with and received some literature – having the Scripture calendars in this period of the year helps. That is quite a good number for such a bookstall.

Then on Sunday there was the church service in the morning. The Sunday School had another presentation, so Pinuccia and I were quite busy in that, and we got home late. Then in the afternoon there was a birthday party for our “twin” family – my ex flat mate, who was married 6 months after us, and has a daughter 3 months younger that Stefania and a son 4 months younger than Daniele. I filled up with food there, because then we got home with just enough time to get changed (but not to eat) before going to the band’s Christmas concert. After a little get-together after the concert, I was home again at midnight.

Now pretty much all of the groups have started their winter break, and tonight at 9pm we will be leaving for our 24 hour trip by car and ferry to Sicily, where we will be for two and a half weeks. Since we have not been for a year, Pinuccia especially is looking forward to seeing her family again. So today is going to be pretty busy packing and getting ready. I will have limited Internet access whilst in Sicily, so there will be limited (and probably no) blogging, so my prayers go to all my blog readers for this period of Christmas and for the new year.

26 for dinner

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Last night the Monday night cell group, that Pinuccia belongs to, had its end of calendar year dinner. It is one of the big groups, and with family members and a few extras, it meant that there were 26 people there. Since we have one of the few homes in the church at Trento that can host such a number (and we thank God for the provision of such an apartment, that allows us to serve others in this way), it was held at our place. So there was quite a bit of work in the afternoon moving the furniture around. And there is still a bit today to get it back to how it was.

This was one of a number of end of year events coming up this week. On Tuesday Stefania has a candlelight procession through the town (torch light actually), on Thursday Pinuccia has an event at her school, on Saturday there is the band’s Christmas concert, and at church the Sunday school will be doing some things. There is also a bookstall at Rovereto on Saturday afternoon. Plus of course the usually activities, as well as doing some packing, because next Monday we will be leaving to spend a few weeks in Sicily.

Daniele again

Friday, December 12th, 2008

We all left home at 6.45 to get Daniele to the hospital and ready in time for the 8am operation, then I came back home with Stefania to get her off to school. Just when I got home from school at 9am, Pinuccia rang me to say that the operation had been cancelled because too many of the hospital personal were on strike. So it was back to the hospital again to pick them up. Since we will be going to Sicily in 10 days’ time, we can’t do the operation next week, so we will try for the third time sometime in January.

Daniele and snow

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

We went to the hospital this afternoon (which in itself was an adventure – more on that later), and they confirmed that Daniele was well enough to undergo his operation. So it will be tomorrow at 8am Italian time. Probably he will then be let out of the hospital in the late afternoon, although if there are any problems he will leave on Saturday morning. We are still trying to work out what we will do with Stefania. A national strike tomorrow by one of the trade unions doesn’t help, as it possibly affects a friend who was going to take her to school for us.

In the meantime, on Wednesday there was a big snowfall, which has created big problems getting around. I picked Stefania up from school early (whilst Pinuccia was still at home, so I did not have to take Daniele as well), and we took a new form of transportation for both of us: I pulled her the whole way on a toboggan. When it snows, Pinuccia takes a train and a bus to school instead of the car. But on the way home the tracks were covered by snow, so she arrived home late. Then the Bible study at night was cancelled, since it was so hard to get around. And in the evening it was decided that all the schools in the province would be closed the next day (which meant that Pinuccia wasted one of the two days off that she had taken for Daniele’s operation; she didn’t have to go to work anyway). Today the snow has become rain, so it was time to start snow shovelling. I did about an hour to clear the driveway and parking spaces in front of the apartment building, then spent a couple of hours trying to get our car out of the underground garage, because the ramp was too slippery. Finally I managed (with a bit of help), just in time to go to the hospital, driving through the snow and leaving Stefania with a friend. Now I have to find out if the small group leaders’ meeting is on tonight.

A long weekend

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Today was a public holiday, which meant a long weekend. Although as usual we filled up the time, and was in one sense tiring, it was also an enjoyable and restful time with the family and friends. On Sunday there was the monthly church lunch, and when we got home we went straight out again to a fair in the town (Lavis), with a few hundred stalls selling various things. Then today friends for church came to lunch, so I could help with some computer work, we could talk about the young adults’ ministry they run, and so their son (who is a month older than Daniele) could play with our children. The other highlight was getting to sleep in twice in three days (even though for me it only meant an extra hour), so we kept the children up the previous nights to make sure that they would indeed sleep in, and so let us sleep a bit longer as well.

This week, again, there Daniele’s operation on Friday programmed, although we have to wait to see if it does happen (he has got a bit of a cold again in the last couple of days). Unfortunately tomorrow the study at Rovereto has been cancelled, with the hosts sick with a fever, which means the third week in a row we have skipped the meeting, due to sickness and work commitments. The group is struggling a bit in this period.

Daniele

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The hospital rang this morning, to say that Daniele’s operation has been postponed a week. So you can pray the same way, but for next Friday instead of this Friday.

Money for India

Monday, December 1st, 2008

The fund raising for the school in India was a success, with more than $1000 being raised so far, and there is still some money to come in. There was a problem with the snow, that prevented a few people from going (especially those in the mountains), so the numbers in church were a bit down and a couple of the soloists for my song were missing, but we’ll give the people who were not present an opportunity to buy some of the left over Christmas cards in the coming weeks. And I think the children got the idea of giving to those who are more needy, which was the main point. As a special treat, you can watch a clip of the song that I wrote and the children performed below. Of course, non Italian speakers won’t understand much, but it is called “Jesus is the King” and explains what sort of king he is, referring to some of the characteristics of Christmas as well.

The big event for this week for your prayers is Daniele’s operation on Friday. We will go first on Thursday afternoon to see the anaesthetist, who will decide if the operation can go ahead. But it seems that Daniele has finally shaken off his cold, so it should be OK. Unless there are complications, he should be back home on Friday afternoon.