Archive for April, 2012

Moving church?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Next Sunday could be an historic moment for the church. For about five years we have been looking for a suitable and affordable place to rent, with increasing problems in the council hall that we have been using for more than 20 years. Finally we have found what could be a good place to use, and on Sunday there will be a meeting of the church to decide if we want to rent it – and importantly, if we want to increase our giving enough to pay for it. The place is close to the city centre and on a road that a lot of people use, so it is very visible and would give us a real presence at Trento, rather than being in the backstreets of the suburbs. It is in one of the more lively areas of city, where there are a lot of immigrants. Since it is also very close to the room we use as an office, we will also be able to build on the witness that we have had in the area in the last couple of years. In fact, this Saturday the church will have a stand offering international games at a festival of that part of the city. If you want to look it up on Google Maps, the address is via Alessandro Manzoni 3, Trento. In any case, please pray for this meeting, that we will be guided by God to use the resources he gives us in the best way to proclaim him at Trento, and that our generosity will match our desire to serve him.

Conference ending

Friday, April 20th, 2012

It is now the last night of the ECM biennial conference in Spain which has been on all this week. Pinuccia is at the final meeting together, whilst I am in our room with the children as they sleep. It has been a good time, although having to look after the children does limit our interaction with the other missionaries. But of course we would not have it any other way! The children have had a great time in the children’s program, after a bit of unease on their part on the first morning, and it has been a privilege for us to be able to leave them with some capable people during this week. They learnt about transforming the peoples of the world (which was the adults’ theme as well, although we were limited to Europe), and I have already heard some changes (for the good) in the way that they verbally express their relationship with God, and what God wants them to do. It was also good for them to renew friendships, especially with the other Australian children. They might have only seen each other once two years ago, but our children have been looking forward for weeks to seeing them again. It will be good to have these peers in the future as well, to build up these relationships so that they can help each other in their similar situations.

For me, the best part was reflecting on what I and the church do at Trento, looking at the examples of others places in Europe and at the teaching of the Bible on what God’s mission for us is, and being challenged to do more and better what God wants us to do. But also being able to thank God for the church, which is already doing a lot of what ECM is moving towards, for example in collaborative church planting and integral mission. It has reminded me of how much God has blessed us, with a healthy church and a leadership that is following God’s heart for the province of Trentino.

We should be (volcanos permitting) home late tomorrow (Saturday) night, but not too much time to rest and catch up. The ex International Director of ECM, who was an important part of the planting of the church almost 50 years ago, will be travelling with us, staying with us until Monday and speaking at the Trento and Rovereto churches on Sunday. It will be great for the churches to hear a bit of their history, to realise the great sacrifices many made in the past so that we could benefit now. On Monday night there is a church committee meeting, and then on Tuesday others guests will be staying. Wednesday is a public holiday, and we would like to travel to Milan with the rest of the church for a meeting with the network that our church belongs to, but I think we might have to rest and catch up on the washing instead.

Stay home for holidays, going away for work

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

We are enjoying our Easter holidays with the family. As with all families, the holidays do a bit tiring for us since we have to be constantly present for the children, but having my parents here helps. Pinuccia and I even get some time off by ourselves, more than in the rest of the year put together. My parents leave next Friday, and the day after that we all leave as a family to Spain for a week, for the biennial conference of ECM. Pray that it will be a good time together as a family, with other missionaries and supporters, and that each one of us will grow in our relationship with God and ministry as a result. This last point will be hardest for Pinuccia, since the children will have their own special program and it will be easier for me to follow the missionaries’ program that for Pinuccia.

Parents

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

The highlight this week has been the arrival of my parents, who are staying with us for a couple of weeks. There will be a lot more time and doing things together once school starts its one week holiday on Wednesday. They came just when a whole lot of other commitments came up for us. Which worked out well, as we could exploit them ask their help as babysitters whilst we both went to a children’s camp planning meeting on Thursday, then a school meeting and band practice and Friday. Without their help, we would not have been able to do these things.

A couple of other short news:
- The GBU group at the university had their record attendance of 19 last week, and in the next couple of days will be doing their first official evangelisation on campus.
- Altrimenti, the social-cultural arm of the church, as been asked by the provincial government to run a new food distribution point for needy people, a sign of our good standing with the authorities.