Archive for July, 2009

In Sicily

Friday, July 31st, 2009

We are more than half way through our time in Sicily, and are more or less relaxed. The first week in particular was very busy, out every day night until late to catch up with various relatives and friends. But since then it has become a bit easier, and the children have adjusted a bit to the different lifestyle (in Sicily in summer people have dinner around 9pm or later, whereas at home we start to put them to sleep at 8.30). It has also been good to be able to participate in various family milestones: Pinuccia’s sister’s birthday two Mondays ago, her parents’ anniversary and brother’s birthday last Monday, and Daniele will be celebrating his second birthday the Monday after next. His birthday is actually on Saturday, but on the Friday afternoon and night there is the wedding of one of Pinuccia’s cousins, so the whole extended family will be present there.

The highlight for the children however is probably going to the beach about every second day. With temperatures always in the high thirties, and often in the low forties, we go around 5pm (like most of the locals do) when it is a bit cooler for a couple of hours, but that is enough to not tire everyone too much. Stefania likes wading out until the water gets up to her neck (since the beach is on the Mediterranean Sea, not the ocean, there are no waves), whilst Daniele plays in the sand on the water’s edge.

Away we go

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

I did manage to work on quite a few small projects during this week, although I did not get as much done on the Bible studies for next year as I was hoping. So there will be a bit of work to do on those during the holidays. In fact we are leaving at 2am tonight, catching the ferry at Salerno at 1.30pm for an eight hour trip, then another more 3 hours by car to get to Pinuccia’s parents’ house. A long trip, especially with two small children. We will be back at Trento on August 19, and in the meantime there will be reduced blogging here.

Children’s camp, baptisms and a sabbatical week

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

The major activity this week was the church children’s camp. I was there mostly to help the three “official” leaders, since there were so many children that there was no space in the house for me to sleep. So I had an hour’s drive each way up and down the mountain for four days, which meant that I missed some of the activities. But I helped out especially with the music, but also generally being and talking with the children, helping with the games and activities, and filming everything so that I can make a video of the camp (which will be this week’s work). It was good being able to participate in the lives of the children, especially those who were in my Sunday School class this year. And I saw that the camp was effective in teaching about following God, not just in the studies but also showing how to apply God’s Word in the many everyday situations that we lived together in the camp.

Today was another big event in the church, with three people being baptised (plus another from another church). It again meant the hall was packed, which is unusual for a July service. Then, as usual for the first Sunday of the month, it was off to the park for a picnic lunch together, which is always one of my favourite moments of fellowship. The children really like it too, being able to play with the other children.

I am hoping that the next few days will be a “sabbatical week” for me, with no church activities now that they have all finished for the year, and not yet away on holidays (which happens next Sunday). The idea is to get a lot of work done on some projects (especially in my computer ministry) that I have not been able to finish with my normal weekly commitments, and to prepare some of the Bible studies for next year. I only have this week and a week towards the end of August with such freedom. But I suspect that I will not be able to do as much as I would like. Both Pinuccia and I have to make trips to various offices to complete some bureaucratic things, and we want to go out as a family a few times. Then on Saturday the new missionary Suzanne Bikker will be arriving, so I (and a few others from the church) will be helping her to move house, whilst at the same time about 500 meters away there will be a bookstall at Rovereto. I will also have to prepare the service for Sunday morning which I will be leading, and then in the afternoon it will be packing time. So I will probably be looking forward to the holidays this time next week.