Archive for October, 2012

Apple, Portugal, San Martino – here we come

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

One of the most common questions I got from my web site used to be when there would be a version for Macintosh computers of my program to study the Bible. Now the common question is when there will be a version for iPads and iPhones. I send people to the site FAQ, which explained that I could not develop such a version, because I would need a Macintosh computer to do it, I did not have one, and could not afford to buy one to develop the program. But now a group from a church at Genova has taken up the challenge, and has bought and sent me a Mac Mini, so that I can write a version for the program for the many Apple users in Italy. Their generosity amazes me, and I thank God for the financial sacrifice that they have made to spread God’s Word in Italian. It will take me a while to learn how to program on these operating systems and to translate the program into another language. But the computer arrived just in time, because I was able to complete the second major version of the Android version (which currently has 10,000 users) on Wednesday, and I just have to write up the help file before a major release of the Windows version. So for most of the next year I can concentrate on this new project (in the time left over from my church ministry, which has the priority), apart from a bit of work I will continue doing answering common questions on the Bible. By now my desk is starting to look like a developer’s studio, with two computers, a tablet and a phone with five operating systems between them, which I use to write and test the various versions of the program.

But all this will have to wait for a week, because tomorrow the whole family is going to Lisbon for a retreat for the Australian and New Zealand missionaries of ECM. Pray that that will be a good time for us all, and that we will be an encouragement to the other missionaries there.

When we get back next Saturday, it will be just in time for another big move – the next day the church will have its first meeting in the hall it is renting in the San Martino suburb of Trento. It will certainly be an historic moment for the church, which however I will miss, since I will be preaching at Rovereto that day. But at least there will be a church lunch afterwards, that I will be able to get back for. Pray that this hall will be an effective instrument to help us to be a part of the society and reach out to Trento, and not to just be a burden. In fact, we will have an opportunity to use it the following Saturday (10th), when there will be a festival for San Martino. The church will have an “open day”, with various activities to make ourselves known to the quarter. But more on that in another message.

We are moving – but where?

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

I am becoming always more convinced that God is leading the church in the direction of a ministry towards youth and young adults. Two events this weekend continued to confirm this to me. The first was an all day seminar/training on worship on Saturday, both worship in the whole life (which was for everybody) and leading worship for others (which was for musicians and service leaders). Although the training was for everybody in the church, in was organised and promoted by the young adults, who are becoming the “engine” of the church. The second was talking to the leaders of the group for international students (in English), who are having the always pleasant problem of having too many people – 18 this week, and more expected next week. Their vision is to open their house to others who do not have a home in Italy. But their house can not fit that number, and the neighbours have started to complain (including the fact that they are at risk of catching tuberculosis since so many Africans are entering the building!). So we need wisdom to understand where God is taking this ministry, and how best to organise it. The big unknown factor is that we will probably be moving to our new hall in the first week of November. I am sure that this will change the dynamics of the church and what we will be able to do. But nobody really knows yet what these changes will be. But I am looking forward to seeing the changes that God has ready for us.

Prayer and worship

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Last weekend there were the annual prayer days for ECM in Italy. It was a good time, in fact, for praying – certainly to help each other in our ministries, but above all to ask God’s help.

Next weekend there is some more training in the church, especially but not only for the young adults. This time it is on worship, in the morning for everybody, and in the afternoon for those who lead others. Pray that this time will be a helpful time for our church.

ECM Europe, ECM Italy

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

This week I was at Madrid for three days for ECM meetings. The highlight of the trip was celebrating together 10 years of these meetings for all the country leaders of the mission, which we have all benefited much from, and recognising the service of the person who has led us in this period, who will shortly be moving to another ministry in the mission. This coming week will be the turn of ECM in Italy, with three days together from Friday to pray together and help each other in our various ministries in Italy. So in the next few days I have a few things to organise for the week-end. Pray that it will be a beneficial time for all of us.