Archive for October, 2010

Odds and ends

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Various happenings for this week and next:

1. Next Saturday afternoon at our house there will be a meeting for the new Youth Group. It will actually be the second meeting, but the first that I will be going to (since I was in Spain last time), and the first study. So for me it feels like it is just starting now. So please pray for this time together.

2. Yesterday I received the following e-mail:

I wanted to tell you that I have begun to study the Bible, using your Internet site. I am happy to be able to count on your help.

Just an encouraging remind for me that my site on the Bible (http://www.laparola.net/english.html) is used and helpful for Italians to get to know the Bible better. Unfortunately in this period, with a lot of Bible studies to prepare, I am not able to work on improving the site, but it is sitting out there in cyberspace doing its job anyway. And I do keep up with the e-mail correspondence that I receive as a result of the site.

3. This week turned out to be astronomy week at our house. We were reading one of Stefania’s books to her, and it started talking about stars and planets. She was really interested, so we found other material (books, DVDs, a planetarium program on the computer) on them, and she really enjoyed all of it. Unfortunately, when we went out to look at the real thing, we were just able to see one star. It is a problem with living in the city, especially with 2000 meter high walls (the mountains) blocking out most of the horizon. We will probably have to wait until we go to Sicily at the end of the year before we can get her to admire God’s handiwork in the heavens.

Really Italian

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Today I exercised my Italian citizenship for the first time. There was an election for a new level of government (the fifth!) that has been created between the town and provincial levels. So I cast my vote there. Only 6 parties in 4 coalitions, Italian politics is not as interesting/confusing as it used to be before they changed the electoral system. I actually could have exercised my Italianism a few weeks ago when I went to Spain, but when I did the on line check in I forgot that I was Italian, and gave the details of my Australian passport. If I had said that I was Italian, I would not even have had to use a passport. Part of the reason of obtaining Italian citizenship was to make travel easier around Europe, so hopefully the next time I go to Spain I will remember.

Party time

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

After arriving home on Tuesday afternoon, having missed Stefania’s birthday on Monday, it was time to catch up. So we were busy organising Stefania’s party for her school friends on Thursday afternoon, and then a small party after Sunday School today. Having nine children in our house for less than two hours was certainly an interesting experience. I don’t know how Pinuccia copes with up to 25 children everyday for 2.5 hours. On Saturday afternoon there was also a party for one of Stefania and Daniele’s classmates, which we managed to fit in before going to our Bible study group. Which is about as noisy and chaotic as a birthday party, since there are just as many small children (5 years and under) there as there are adults.

Still at Madrid

Monday, October 11th, 2010

We have finished our 7 days of training and planning meetings, so I have an eveningĀ  free before leaving at 4am tomorrow. I will have a taxi, plane, bus and four trains to catch. If I am lucky (I have one minute between the bus arrival and the first train departure), I will be home by 12.35pm, and will have five minutes to say hello to Pinuccia before she leaves for work. Otherwise I will be home at 3pm, and will see the family an hour later when they come back from school. It has been a bit sad to miss Stefania’s birthday and first dancing lesson today, and a few other important things that happened over the weekend. But it will be good to catch up over the next few days.

The meetings have been hard going. I have had a headache for three of the days, and there were a few participants who were feeling worse than me. But it certainly was worthwhile. Although I have done a lot of the training on leadership and teams in the past, it was good to go over it again and think about it in my current contexts, where I am leading in teams now. And we could certainly see the difference when we came to our two days of planning. This is the group of mission leaders that meets twice a year to talk. We worked a lot better together that we have in the past, as we put into practice what we had learnt and, knowing each other better, could use our mutual gifts better.

Missing things at Madrid

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Tomorrow I’m off to Madrid, for one of my twice yearly meetings for ECM leaders there. But this time it will be a bit different, because as well as the usual 2-3 day planning meeting, there will be 5 days of leadership training. So I will be away from Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon of next week, which is the longest I have ever been away from the family, and which does create difficulties for Pinuccia to manage everything by herself. Thanks to God she is working at Lavis this year, at Stefania and Daniele’s school, otherwise it would have been almost impossible. Another unfortunate aspect of this trip is that I will miss Stefania’s fifth birthday next week, so her celebrations have had to be delayed a couple of days. But there are positive aspects to the trip as well! I am sure it will help the ECM ministry in Italy and my own work with others.

The other thing that I will miss is the first meeting of the new youth group. After a two year gap, we are restarting this ministry with eight teenagers. However, it is a lot harder to get them together than the old group, both for geographical reasons (two live more than an hour north-west of Trento, two others more than an hour to the south, another half an hour to the east) and because of other commitments (eg most have school six days a week). We have settled on a Saturday afternoon per month for a study, with a few social outings as well. But the only possible starting date was this Saturday, when I will not be there. There is another lady that will be helping us with all the meetings and that we will be training, and another that will be a support person to the group, so they will look after this introductory meeting. Then there will be the first meeting with a study next month. So pray for these meetings, and especially for these teenagers as they pass through an important stage in their life, making many decisions that will have an effect for the rest of their life.