Archive for August, 2009

Groups in the Valsugana

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

This afternoon, after the church service, there was a pleasant meeting in the Valsugana valley for all those involved in the ministry there, including some who have only been coming to the church for a while and have not yet been a part of the group there. We explained our vision for the valley, how one day we would like to see a church there, and the changes to the structure this year, that there will now be two groups, one on alternate Friday nights that will continue what has been going on for the past 20+ years, and a new one on alternate Saturday afternoons for the many young families in the area (that I will be leading). So it was a good time chatting to the people there, and since it was at the house of our pizza cook who has an wood fired oven pizza oven, we finished off with a continuous supply of pizzas for everybody.

I am looking forward to being involved with the Valsugana again. In a sense I left my heart there when I left it to the Italian leaders a few years ago. My hope is that I will only be involved for a couple of years (time to train some new leaders for the new group), but I am sure that I will have the same pleasure as I did leading the old group there.

Pinuccia’s work

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Pinuccia today went to the meeting where her work for this academic year (starting on Tuesday) was decided. Last year, she got the last available job. Now she is a bit higher in rankings and was able to choose one from the last three available. She was able to pick one which was a lot better than last year’s job in many ways. It is still 2.5 hours per day (which is all we really want), but from 1pm (or possibly 1.30pm, the school hasn’t decided yet) instead of from 3pm. This means that:
a) although I will still pick up Stefania from school, Pinuccia will get home shortly afterwards, which gives her a much longer time to be together with the children. Last year, Pinuccia got home, had just half an hour to play with them, then it was time for dinner and then bed;
b) I get some time to work in the afternoon (although I lose a bit in the morning – see later);
c) since it is in school hours, not the after school care, Pinuccia gets to do some actual teaching, rather than babysitting;
d) as she will be helping a child with problems, she won’t have to look after 25 children by herself, but there will be another teacher in the class;
e) Pinuccia will be able to do a course. A few months ago Pinuccia applied to teach English in the preschool, and she was accepted, but needs to do a course of 180 hours to bring her own English level up a bit and learn how to teach it to children. The course is in the afternoon, so with last year’s job she would not have been able to do it. But this year once or twice a week she will go straight from school to the course. She will also need to study for it, so probably she will lock herself in my office for an hour every morning, and I will look after Daniele (whilst Stefania is at school). So I might lose an hour of work there, but which I get back in the afternoon.

Back to church

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Today we were back in our church, and it was good to see our friends again. There was also another pregnancy announced (back to five pregnant ladies again, after one birth took place during the summer). Suzanne Bikker, our new missionary at Rovereto, was also there, having lived here for a few weeks now. I had a bit of work to do, as most of the musicians were away, so I was asked to fill in on the piano. I was a bit rusty, not having played in a service for perhaps a couple of years, but it went well.

As I said in my last message, we will be away again this week for three days for the ECM Italy prayer days, with Suzanne, and another couple and a lady in two other places in northern Italy. I was hoping to get some good Bible study work done this week, but it is going to be hard with the three middle days taken out, and some other commitments we wanted to get done before school starts (a check up for Daniele at the hospital, and his programmed 2 year check up with the doctor; renewing our identity cards; getting some other documents that the bureaucracy requires; and a meeting on Friday morning where Pinuccia will find out her job for this year). Then on Saturday morning there will be a book stall at Rovereto as well, and on Sunday afternoon there will be an informal meeting for all the church members and contacts in the Valsugana. This will be partly to introduce the new Saturday afternoon group in the upper Valsugana which I will be starting and leading, so the whole family will be going there. With the newly announced pregnancy, we are now at 6 couples, with 9 and two half children under the age of 4, which will make it very interesting!

Back at Trento

Friday, August 21st, 2009

We are all back at home now, after two days of travelling of 11 hours and 10 hours. But at least the children were very good in the back of the car the whole way. Now I am busy catching up on accumulated matters, and tomorrow will be able to get to work on the studies that I need to prepare. Although I won’t have much time to prepare them, before I will have to start using them in the groups at the beginning of next month.

Whilst we were in the car on the way home, Pinuccia get the call that she has a meeting on the 28th to find out what job she will have this school year (that starts on the 1st). This creates a bit of a problem, as we were planning to have the ECM Italian prayer days then. But we were expecting that problem, and all of the others knew that we might have to change the dates. So we will be away from Tuesday to Thursday next week with the other ECM missionaries in Italy, to pray and talk about our ministries together.