Archive for February, 2011

A long birthday

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

A busy few days, caused especially by a two day celebration for Pinuccia’s birthday. It took us a couple of days, because we had to fit in some some visits from a guest, with some combined church/mission meetings, and the youth group meeting at our house. We were also supposed to take Stefania to a practice for her dancing school’s part in Thursday’s parade for Carnevale, but with everything else going on we forgot all about it… But Pinuccia enjoyed her stretched celebrations. It was interesting to see Stefania really understand now what celebrating someone else’s birthday means, so she did some things for Pinuccia of her own initiative, rather than only what she was told to do.

A virus takes us to the snow

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

With a virus hitting the Valsugana again, the a lot of the children of the cell group there were sick, whereas ours (being at Trento) were still well. Hence we were the only family that were able to go to the meeting of the group yesterday, so it had to be cancelled. This meant however that we unexpectedly got one of those rare events, a free Saturday to spend with the family. Since it was a fine day, and a couple of days ago it had snowed in the mountains (but rained at Trento in the valley), it was perfect for a family outing to the ski fields, which we had not managed to do yet this winter. And Stefania did remember a few days ago that we hadn’t, and reminded us. We didn’t actually go skiing, but did get to make a snow man, throw snow balls, and ride on the toboggan.

Apart from the usual activities, this week’s main event is the (roughly) monthly youth group meeting on Saturday afternoon. It will be at our house, but I will not be leading it this time.

Mission

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Most of this week was spent at Madrid, with meetings of the mission leadership. A lot of the time was spent talking about structural matters, which should end up creating a more united, flexible and streamlined mission. This should give the leaders more opportunities to help the other missionaries, and all the mission more opportunities to witness and plant churches in Europe. All in all, a positive meeting. Except for the fact that a stomach virus swept through the group, and about half of the people went down during or shortly after the meeting, and a few wives got hit by virus carriers when they got home. One wife wisely put her husband in quarantine when he returned. I felt a bit sick, but managed to avoid the main effects of the virus and also giving it to the family. Now I am getting ready for a meeting that I will be leading tomorrow for all the Italian missionaries in ECM, to try to help our ministry here.

This weekend was mission weekend in the church, with the Italian representative of WEC (who for many years was the only missionary from Italy) speaking to us on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. It did good for the church; it is not often that it gets such a good perspective and challenge on world missions. It linked in as well with our emphasis in these months on our church planting vision, especially preparing the church for the effects of the new plant at Rovereto.

On a completely different tack, on Friday night the “elder statesman” of the church died. He belonged to a family which for the greater part of the previous century was the only evangelical family in the whole province of Trento – and suffered as a consequence. He has seen the church grow from nothing to what it is today, and although never had an official leadership position of the church, he was the epitome of humble service, and was a pillar on which the church at Trento, and especially the witness in Valsugana, has grown. Thank you God for giving us Amos.

More

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

This week was a continuation of what was mentioned in the past couple of messages. In the Wednesday Bible study group, we continued talking about our vision and plans for the Rovereto (and other new) church plants, and in the Saturday group we started this conversation. In the family we kept talking about the choices for Stefania’s schooling next year. We still have not quite reached a final decision, although since the deadline for enrolments is tomorrow morning we will be deciding soon. During the week, Pinuccia also hosted and chaired a planning meeting for the church children’s camp in June. We will actually be in Australia and so not at the camp, but Pinuccia is helping the people who will be running the camp with its organisation.

A couple of things for this week. I will be at Madrid from Tuesday to Thursday with ECM meetings, so life will be a bit harder for Pinuccia as she takes over my roles in the family as well. On Saturday afternoon there will be a missionary meeting in the church. This is part of our emphasis on mission in our church this year, and especially in the next 3 months. Both the world wide mission that we should be involved in, and the local mission of our church, that is the church plant at Rovereto.