Archive for April, 2011

Tourist guide

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

If last Sunday was a bit relaxed, staying at home to look after Stefania, today is the opposite. With nine people in the house all week, the first challenge was getting them all ready and to church on time. I was able to participate in the first half hour of the service, then drove for an hour to the airport at Verona to pick up three more relatives – my brother- and sister-in-law with a nephew. By the time we all got home and the typical Sicilian family Sunday lunch feast was prepared (including a few Sicilian delicacies brought specially for the event by the three new arrivals), it was lunch at 2pm. And was still lunch at 3pm. After a special home Sunday School, since it was not on in church today for Easter, we left at 4pm for a walk around Trento. Now the Sicilian women are all in the kitchen preparing dinner (women’s liberation never reached Sicily), which is going to be fairly late as well. But early in any case by Sicilian standards, where a 10pm dinner is not unusual, and later still in summer.

After a week of tiring ourselves out being tourist guides with the current guests, we will probably exhaust ourselves completely in the next two days, with a trip to the lake tomorrow and to Verona on Tuesday. The first group of guests leave on Tuesday evening, the second group on Wednesday, then it is back to normal with school resuming on Thursday. But with Pinuccia’s parents remaining for a few more weeks, who are a great help around the house and with the children.

At home

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m sending a message earlier than usual this time, since I’m at home instead of church this morning. Stefania had a bit of a fever when she woke up, and Pinuccia had to go to church to teach at the Sunday School, so I get a bit of father and daughter time.

This week will be another big one, although not for church events. It is going to be a family orientated time, with Pinuccia’s parents, two nieces with one boyfriend coming to visit, to be joined next Sunday by her sister, brother-in-law and nephew. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday most of them will be going back to Sicily, so I have 4 trips to the airport at Verona to make in the next few days. Pinuccia’s parents will then remain for a few more weeks. The whole family is pretty excited by this visit, and with eight days of Easter holidays for the pre-school, we will have a lot of time at home to enjoy with them.

Buon anniversario

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Having the anniversary on a Sunday, like we did today, doesn’t happen often, but it makes it a bit different, a bit easier to celebrate. Especially since today was the annual town festival at Lavis. So after church, and after I played in a concert with the town band, we could have a pleasant stroll together as a family in the festival atmosphere. We could even celebrate as a couple towards the end of the day. We got some ice cream from the best ice cream parlour in the area, which is downstairs from the first house we lived in. So after the children went to sleep, we indulged in some fine gelato together, like the day after our 0th anniversary.

The big day

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Commissioning the Rovereto missionaries

What a day! Today there was the commissioning service for the 11 adults and 9 children who will be forming the church at Rovereto. There were quite a few tears shed, a mixture of the joy of a historic moment in the life of both of the churches, and the sadness of sending people to a new ministry. It was a time of remembering God’s faithfulness over the 48 years of ECM work at Trento (for which it was good to have the ECM International Director with us for the weekend), and of putting ourselves in God’s hands for the future knowing that we are not able to plant churches with our abilities. After the service, the festive nature of the day continued with a picnic at the park, the first of the new season. In fact it was 26 degrees today, a great change after the cold of the last 6 months and which changes everybody’s mood. The next step is the inaugural general meeting of the Rovereto church next Sunday, at which it will be legally formed as an association.

The commissioning service was the climax of a weekend dedicated to church planting, with training from the International Director on Friday night and Saturday evening. That kept the church busy, especially Pinuccia and I as we had to look after the logistics and hospitality as well. And a train strike on Friday did not help – I had to make an unexpected trip to pick him up.

Apart from the meeting at Rovereto, the other events of the week in the church (apart from the usual weekly activities) are the third public conference in the town library, on euthanasia, and the monthly meeting of the youth group. But there are other big events as well – next Sunday is our seventh wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Lavis is having a town festival, so that will be lots to do and see about the town in the afternoon, including me playing a concert with the band.