Archive for July, 2011

Holidays and more – lots more

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Like most holidays, our time in Queensland tired us out! There was a lot to do between visiting relatives (with a highlight being seeing my 95 year old grandmother again), and being the tourist at the zoo, at the beach, and other places. And the weather in Queensland did not disappoint once again, with wonderful sunny and warm days. It will have to do as our summer!

After a day of unpacking, washing and packing at our apartment at Croydon, it was off to Carlingford for a weekend of meetings. Today I went to four services – speaking at two, and listening to two with the family. That was good, although once again a bit tiring.

This week, there are a couple of meetings in the first few days, then the luxury of two days off, before returning to Carlingford for the weekend for some family celebrations, and then preaching three times at Lalor Park church.

Packing week

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

It seemed that most of this week was spent packing and unpacking. In the first half of the week we had some meetings around Carlingford, where my parents live, so we packed our things and stayed there for a few days. Then we brought it all back on Wednesday to the mission house we are staying at in Croydon. There were some more meetings and family activities out west on the weekend, so Friday was packing time again to move back to my parents’ place for a couple more nights. We left there on Sunday morning, have packed our bags again, to do a trip to Newcastle and back, dropping in on the way to a few friends around the city. So now we are back at Croydon again on Sunday night, in time to send a few loads through the washing machine. Because tomorrow is packing time again, as we head to Queensland for four days of “summer” holidays with some of my relatives. It will not be as hot as what we would have been getting back in Italy, but better than what we have been getting at Sydney lately!

Children’s highlights

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Today was the biggest event for the children of our whole trip to Australia. We took them to a children’s festival at the Olympic Park, where they had fun for hours listening and dancing to the music, playing games, making crafts, etc. And the highlight of the highlight was that Hi-5 appeared and sang during the festival. Hi-5 is one of the major parts of their (small) Australian children’s culture. They enjoy the DVDs they have in Italy, and Stefania even dreamed about them last night, even though she did not know that she would be seeing them today. So when she and Daniele saw them live, they went wild from the excitement and enjoyment.

Another highlight this week for them was the four days of prayer for the mission that we went away to. Usually such a time would be difficult for them, as they would have had little to do and their parents would have been busy most of the time. But there was another family of small children present, and that made all the difference. Because for all the time that they are in Australia, they do not have any friends their own age. They meet lots of children, but going to a different Sunday School every week, and visiting lots of people once, means that they do not form any decent relationships with them. So four days for almost all of the time with other children was just right for them. It was also the first time I have heard them speak English to someone who is not a member of my family, as the friendship formed with the children was enough to overcome their shyness. We are all looking forward to going to visit the other family again whilst we are still in Sydney.

An important meeting to pray for this week is at Sydney Missionary and Bible College on Tuesday morning. As I talk about church planting in Europe, it is an important time to contribute to the students’ reflections on where they might serve God after they finish their studies. And who knows, maybe to do some recruitment as well. Then on Sunday there will be a long day to Newcastle and back to visit friends. There are three other meetings during the week to speak at as well.

Holidays during the holidays, and Prayer days

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

With the school vacations this week, we have been busy mainly with holiday activities with the children and preparing material for the next couple of weeks. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was also able to participate in a meeting for the mission with people in Europe, and to prepare and organise some other meetings.

Tomorrow the prayer days for the Australian section of European Christian Mission will be on, so we will be away for four days to pray for the mission and missionaries. There will also be the annual thanksgiving rally of the mission on Saturday at 2pm at Burwood Baptist – you are all welcome to come to that. Then on Sunday there will be the second big Australian surprise for the children, more on that next time to not ruin the surprise.

Australianisation, and coming to Newcastle

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Part of the purpose of our trips to Australia is to give the children a first-hand taste of Australian culture. So this morning there was a one of the two big events for them: going to a Dorothy the Dinosaur concert, with dancing fairies as well. They are already quite big Wiggles fans, at least as much as they can be having only DVDs and Youtube to rely on, so to see some of the characters live was exciting for them. They were both up the front dancing away. And when one of the fairies personally greeted Stefania, well you can’t get much better than that. They have another big cultural event in a couple of weeks, but that will be another surprise for them, so I won’t say anything else about that now.

Since it is now school holidays, we don’t have any meetings to speak at this week. Everyone said it was not worth us coming during the holidays, as too many people would be away. So we will be going to a few school holiday activities for children instead. There is also a fair bit of preparation to do for the meetings in the following two weeks, which will not be the normal type meetings and so require something different.

Something we are planning now is a day trip to Newcastle on the 24th. I know some of my Newcastle friends read this. If you would like to see us that day, let me know and we’ll arrange a time.