Archive for January, 2010

Work week and minimal week

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I got through my big week, with 6 studies in 8 days. Some of them went quite well, and I could see understanding in people’s eyes, and I enjoyed doing the two Sunday School lessons. I also taught the children the first verse of my new song on the life of Saul. I will gradually teach the following verses (there are a total of seven) as we do further lessons on Saul in the next couple of months. In the meantime, I also managed to prepare ahead another study that I will be doing in a few months’ time. This week instead is a “minimal” week, with just the two weekly cell groups to lead (Tuesday at Rovereto and Wednesday at Trento). So I hope this week to be able to also prepare the last two studies that I will be leading before the summer break at the end of June. (Although it might be necessary to prepare a few more for the last few weeks, if we finish the planned studies early.) That will give me more time for doing my computer work, which has suffered a bit for the last few months.

Pinuccia also had a good meeting yesterday with the church elders about the Sunday School, following on from the teachers’ meeting last week, thinking about the future of the children’s ministry in the church. There will be some changes, with no less that 8 new children coming in, taking the number of children from 25 to 33 (that was a very fertile year!). But there will be some children leaving at the other end, having moved into the teenager age range. We want to re-start the Youth Group for these teenagers after the summer, although there are practical problems to overcome (eg the seven teenagers live in 4 different parts of the province, with only two at Trento). But since two of the possible group members are daughters of the two elders, we can leave it up to them to work out when is the best time to meet!

Stefania has had a bit more pleasure in going to school this week, although there were still a few tears some days. And one day, when I had to take Daniele as well when I dropped off Stefania, he started crying because I would not leave him at school with her.

Work weeks

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Pinuccia got through her week with various commitments – ladies’ Bible study on Thursday and Sunday School teachers’ meeting on Saturday. The teachers’ meeting is always interesting: with eight females and myself, there is a different way of discussion to what I am used to in male dominated meetings!

This week it is my turn, with almost everything possible coming up for me at the same time. So I did the Sunday School lesson today, and will again next Sunday as well (I usually do two weeks out of every six). In the middle, there are the normal Bible study groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and the fortnightly Saturday meeting. On Thursday there is the small group coordination meeting that I will lead, with a bit of training to prepare for the leaders of the groups. I also have band practice on Friday, but at least that is more relaxing. The only thing that is missing for me amongst my regular commitments is the monthly service at Rovereto. On Saturday morning, Pinuccia also has a meeting with the elders to talk about the Sunday School ministry, although I will just be looking after the children and eavesdropping there.

It has been a bit of a difficult week for Stefania, who has suddenly started having a crises about going to school. In the morning she doesn’t want to go, preferring to stay at home (and especially with her mother), and crying a lot when we drop her off. What I pick her up again in the afternoon, she always says that she loved school and it was better there than staying at home, but she forgets that by the next morning. So we are praying that she will overcome quickly this crises.

Teaching time

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

I’m getting ready to go out for the monthly service at Rovereto (where it will be my turn to preach), but apart from that the week is over for me, and so I can write a bit. In any case, when I return from the service, it will be straight to dinner, then getting the children to bed, and then a bit of rest, so it might be harder to write later. The service will also be a welcome back for Suzanne Bikker, the new missionary at Rovereto, who just got back this afternoon from a few months of deputation. Now that she will be here long term (and with a car), she will be able to put all her energy into her ministries. And I will be putting more time into guiding and helping her in this.

This week most of my commitments restarted – Bible studies on Wednesday and Saturday, band practice on Friday. The only one that was missing was the Rovereto group on Tuesday, which meets this week. It was good being able to teach the Bible to people again! The other two highlights of the week were:
- getting my driver’s licence renewed, and discovering that my eyesight has actually got better not worse since the last renewal 10 years ago, and even since 28 years ago when I first discovered I was slightly short sighted;
- the continuation of our church growth program, with not one but two births on Wednesday. With another baby born just before Christmas, and who we met for the first time at the Saturday group, there are only three pregnancies left (two of which are in the Saturday group).

This week it is Pinuccia’s turn to do some teaching. She is leading a study for the monthly ladies’ meeting on Thursday, and then leading a Sunday School teachers’ meeting on Saturday. It does send her into a bit of a panic, especially as she has less time available to prepare such meetings than I do, so you could pray for God’s help in these things.

Recovery week

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Most of this week has been spent getting over jet lag. It used to be a lot easier for me, maybe getting older means it takes me longer to recover. In fact, it took the whole family a while. The second morning after arriving we were all up and wide awake at 4am, and there were a few other early mornings as well. This meant early nights for us all as well, so it was a good thing that I did not have go out in the evening much last week, as most of the groups that I am involved in restart this coming week. I probably would have fallen asleep during the Bible studies if they had been on! But it is back to the normal work patterns for me now. Stefania and Pinuccia went back to school last Thursday, so they are already back to their normal rhythm. We all have got over the long trip by now.

Back in Italy

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

We arrived back at Trento yesterday afternoon after a long trip (36 hours from door to door), but it went smoothly. At least until the last part, when we got caught on the highway from the airport to our house in all the traffic going to ski, so that was a crawl. We were of course fairly tired from the trip. But there have been some friends staying at our house whilst we were away, and are leaving tomorrow, so they have been looking after us whilst we recover and get back to normal (thanks guys!).

We do have a bit more holidays left, as Wednesday is a public holiday which also marks the end of the Christmas/New Year period. So Stefania and Pinuccia both go back to school on Thursday. It also means that I do not have any Bible study groups meeting, although on Thursday night I will be going to the church committee meeting, and Friday is back to band practice again. I will therefore have a bit of time to catch up on some things I could not do whilst in Australia (mostly some corrections and improvements to my Internet sites), and to start preparing some more Bible studies that I will be leading in a few months’ time.