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.

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