Archive for June, 2012

Children’s camp: finished

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The children’s camp is finished, and we are trying to catch up on some rest, as well as the accumulated work. The formal teaching was good, but as usual the best teaching came up when there were discipline or interpersonal problems. Having talked the first day about working together and helping each other, we were then able to apply it at various times during the camp. The highlight for me was on the last night. The previous morning we had done a Bible study on Jesus in the boat calming the storm, learning that we should not be afraid because Jesus is with us. That night, a bit after midnight, the very sensitive fire alarm went off, so we all had to evacuate in various states of undress. After we returned to bed, the guys in my room were still talking about the alarm, about danger and being afraid. Then one of them, that does not attend the church, said to the others that it was like what we had read that morning: Jesus was with us, even if we were in danger, so we did not need to worry. Spot on application of the passage. Continue to pray for all the children that attend, that they will continue to remember and apply what they learnt.

Children’s camp: coming soon

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day, as we go with 19 children from 8 to 13 years old for a five day camp. There are three other adults leading the camp, plus two teenage helpers, the cooks and our two “mascots” (Stefania and Daniele), for a total of 31 people. Plus some that will came up for a day to help in special activities. Since I finised my last other commitment on Wednesday night, I have been at work almost constantly preparing everything that I need to do. I still have not done it all, so I sure I’ll be working after everyone has gone to bed each night to prepare for the following day. It is a great program – I think the best of all those I have been involved in, both for interest and as a medium to get the message across. It has been great working with such immaginative leaders. Pray (a lot) for the children, especially the four who do not go to any church, and for the leaders (Joel, Miriam, Enrica and us), that we will work well together.

Sunday School events

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Today there was the annual Sunday School presentation, to explain to the church what the Sunday School has done throughout the year, and to help the church to pray for it. That aspect went well, we were able to show and explain. However the children were particularly restless and uncontrollable on the stage, and fighting over the microphones. Maybe it was being in a different hall than normal that excited them, maybe the fact of being in a real theatre with a stage. Or maybe it was just that there are a lot more smaller children now in the Sunday School, as we see the effect of having 20% of the women in the church pregnant at the same time four years ago, and a number of the older children moving to the Sunday School at Rovereto this year.

This week will be dedicated to the final preparations for the Sunday School camp, which starts next Sunday afternoon. More on that next time, but in the meantime you could pray for all the work which will be done for it for the team of helpers.

Common questions on the Bible

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Since my website is the number one site on Google when searching for ‘bibbia’ (that is, ‘Bible’ in Italian), I often receive questions by e-mail about the Bible. They are often always the same questions, so a couple of years ago I started saving my answers, so that I could just send a copy of them when somebody else asked. Then I thought I would try to be more systematic about it, and started going through the books of the Bible and answering questions I or others have had, especially on the passages that are more difficult to understand. A couple of weeks ago I finished the New Testament, with quite a few of the more important Old Testament passages as well – about 300 questions and answers, for a total of 170 pages. Having reached this milestone, on Friday I released the first public version on my web site, where people can download all of the answers as a PDF file, or just look for an answer for a particular passage that they have a question about it. You can see them all at In the meantime, I have already started to go through the Old Testament, to write up more answers to common questions. Hopefully this will reduce my work load, as I can just redirect people to the appropriate page when they ask me something. Although so far it has had the opposite effect, as people have realised that they can ask me questions, and so I have got more e-mails this week, rather than less, with questions about the Bible.

With the end of year presentation of the Sunday School next Sunday, and then the Sunday School camp starting the following Sunday, it will be an important week at our house trying to coordinate the last details of both events at the same time. It is also the last week of school for Stefania, who can not wait, but Daniele and Pinuccia keep going until the end of the month.