Archive for September, 2012


Sunday, September 30th, 2012

October is going to be travelling month for me, and mostly for us as a family as well. I don’t think I have had this many trips away in a month since I got married, and greatly reduced my travelling. This week I will be in Madrid for three days for a meeting of ECM leaders. Pray for a productive time together, as we think about what structures help best the planting of churches in Europe, and for good relationships between us as we discuss together. Pray also for Pinuccia, who will be looking after the children and the house by herself. Then in the middle of the month the whole family will be away for three days for the Italian prayer days for the mission, and at the end of the month for a week in Portugal with the Australian ECM missionaries. More on those trips later.

Youth vision

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

This was an important weekend for the youth ministry, not only in our church but also more widely in Trento and in Italy. An intensive training weekend for the young adults was held, with people brought in from England, Austria and elsewhere in Italy to help. The idea is to continue with this training track in the coming months, with further similar events. It was attended (and planned) not only by the young people of our church, but of some of the other churches at Trento, with a few people coming from other cities as well. From what I have heard, it was good for creating and fuelling a vision for mission amongst them. It is one of the signs I see of the direction God wants the church to take in its ministry, to be reaching out more to this age group. Another such sign is seeing more foreign students every year in the church, so there is a growing ministry in English as well.

Anniversary week

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

I had three anniversaries in the last few days, of which the last was the least noticed by others, but maybe the most significant for me.

The first was on Wednesday with the anniversary of my birth, which I celebrated by sending Stefania to the first day of school and getting some freedom. I then used up that freedom with my first meeting for ECM work of the new academic year (via Skype), and then the first Bible study for the church of the new year. On Saturday there was a special thanksgiving meeting for the first anniversary of the Rovereto church: a wonderful opportunity for being thankful for God’s work in that city. And today is the 20th anniversary of my arrival in Italy, for which I give thanks to God for how he has helped and used me in all this time. If you want to read a brief summary of what has happened in the past 20 years of my life, you can read the newsletter that I sent out this morning at

How many fingers?

How many fingers?

Wednesday: a new year

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Although some activities have restarted after the summer break, on Wednesday a lot is happening that will mark the real beginning of a new year. It will be a first day of school for Stefania, in the morning I will have the first of a few two hour Skype meetings for ECM work, and in the evening there will be the first Bible study of the year. So it will be really back to the usual routine and activities on Wednesday. All this will also be to celebrate the beginning of a new year in my own life. Not quite a round number this year, but a square one instead.

During the week, it was decided to change the hours of Pinuccia’s job slightly, so it is now from 9 to 11.30am instead of half an hour before. So a good job got even better, and we are thankful for that.

Back to school, back to work

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Pinuccia received only one job offer last week, that she refused as it was less than half-time. But today, the first day of pre-school, at 10am she was offered a job starting at 8.30am. It is suitably close by, with better hours than last year’s job in that it does not involve after school care, so she begins and ends within normal school hours and so will have more time with the family. It is still not definitive however. There is the possibility that the school will move her shift to the afternoon, which might be slightly better for her. As well, she has not yet received an offer from the independent schools, as the waiting list has not got down to her. So sooner or later she will get at least one other job offer, and will see if it is better or not.

It was also back to school for Daniele, for his last year at pre-school. Stefania starts second class next week, so there will be seven days with lots of father-daughter bonding time.