Archive for August, 2011

Transition time

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

This week was a bit of a mix. It is the end of the school holidays, so there were trips to the lake, swimming pool, and park with the family. But it is also preparation time for me, so I was able to work on some Bible studies and do some computer work. And there was also some summer church activities, with a prayer meeting instead of a Bible study group that some of the church members have been running during the summer.

The next few days will be continuing the transition, with a bit more holidays until Daniele and Pinuccia return to pre school on Thursday. There will also be a couple of preparation and planning meetings to go to, before the church activities begin. And then the following week the groups I lead will be starting up.

Pinuccia was offered and accepted one job doing the week, at a school that is fairly close, although in the afternoon which we want to avoid if possible. Then at Lavis, where we live and where she hopes to work, the teacher before her on the list took the last available job. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it means that Pinuccia will be first on the list for the second wave of offers, after some who have already accepted a job get offered something better and change their mind. This is what happened last year. There are also a few other schools which will be offering jobs this week, so we are still unsure where exactly she will be working this year. But we should know by this time next week. So keep praying for the perfect job!

Next week will be another historical moment for the church, as the Rovereto church will be beginning weekly services in the morning. We will suddenly find ourselves at Trento with twenty less people, including the children. I’m sure it will be a bit of a shock to everybody, even me, even though we have been preparing ourselves for it for months. The exciting news at Rovereto is that they have found a room that they are able to rent for all their meetings. Having a permanent place where they can be easily found should be a great help in getting themselves known and for their witness. It would be great to have our own place at Trento as well, although a lot harder since we need a larger (and so much more expensive) place.

Back

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

We are back, after a good trip in a relatively short 36 hours from door to door. The sleeping patterns are still not quite right, as we all wake up early. But we go to sleep at the usual times, so it just means we sleep less without getting tired. Maybe the extra light and heat of the summer is a shock to the system after two consecutive winters.

It was fun to see the children get more and more excited as we got closer and closer to home, to the point of seeming to go mad from joy as we walked down the last stretch of road from the local train station to our house, greeting neighbours and friends from school as we went. Of course, the big highlight for them was returning to all their toys: it was like 5 Christmas and 5 birthdays all rolled into one. It seemed that within ten minutes that had pulled every single one of their games and toys out onto the floor.

Today is was of course back to work. With many away at the moment, I had to preach: the first time I have done that at Trento for a long time. Despite the jeg lag, I did survive. It did help that it was a sermon I had already done 4 times in Australia. So I just had to translate it and think of some different examples, which I had been able to do before we left. And at least I had not lost too much Italian, since I spoke Italian with Pinuccia whilst we were away. Only once did an English word almost get out. It was good to hear what had been going on in our absence, and finding out about changes in friends’ lives. I was encouraged to hear of a growth spurt in the Val di Non group, which doubled in size with a lot of new faces after struggling for some time. The church at Rovereto has started renting a room to meet in, and people from both churches have been preparing it. It was great also to see a lot of faces in church that I did not recognise – I will have to find out in the next few months if they were visitors or new people in the church.

This week I will be trying to get some preparation done for the start of the Bible studies in a few weeks’ time, as well as doing some computer ministry. However, with both children at home, and a desire to make the most of this summer time with them, I might not have as much time as I would like. Pinuccia will also be offered some jobs on Friday and Saturday, from which she will have to decide what she will be doing this year. So please pray that she will be offered the perfect job again this year, as she was a year ago.

Finishing up

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

We have now finished all of our official meetings and commitments. This means a bit of a sigh of relief and relaxing. It was good to go to church this morning, and just sit and listen and talk casually with people! We do have a couple of things to do in the next few days: visiting some friends from Trento now living in Sydney, and going to the Christian book shop and trying to resist the urge to buy, since we already have too many things that will have difficulty fitting into our suitcases. The test will be on Wednesday, when we start packing, with our departure set for Thursday evening. We will then be landing in Italy on Friday morning. So you could pray for this trip, as well as thank God for what we have done as well as have received in our time in Australia.

Meetings, meetings, meetings and party, party, party

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Another big Sunday today, with three sermons (at least it was the same sermon three times, which was a bit easier) and a presentation to do, and two trips back and forth across Sydney to get there. But it was good to be able to thank those who have been supporting me for so many years, and report back to them how God has answered their prayers for us lately.

It is also celebration time for us, with Daniele having a long weekend of parties for his fourth birthday tomorrow. On Saturday afternoon he got taken out by his uncle, and that evening there was the extended family party. Today he was given a cake by the church that we were visiting. Then tomorrow there is our family time, and then a small party in the morning with a rent-a-crowd of party goers. Since Daniele’s birthday is always when we are away, either in Sicily or in Australia, he never celebrates with his friends, but just as we do in Sicily we have managed to get together some children and other people that he knows for a party. Now we just have to figure how we are going to get the presents into the suitcases to take back to Italy.

With 10 days to go until our departure, we have finished our major meetings now. However, there are still 6 small groups where I or we will be talking at during this coming week. Then we will have finished all our presenting. You could also pray for Reachout, an important missionary conference next weekend. I will be going on Saturday to help out at the ECM stall, to talk to people who are considering missionary service.