Archive for June, 2013

End of an era

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

With the end of June, the pre-school year has come to an end as well, and for us the end of a small era – five years of trips to the Lavis pre-school. Stefania and Daniele will both be at the infants’ school from September. Pinuccia hopes that it will not be last time at the Lavis pre-school for her, because there is always the chance each year that she will be offered a job there rather than somewhere a bit further away. We’ll have to wait a couple of months now to find out for the next school year.

I spent most of the past week closing up the work for the children’s camp. Now I have a two weeks with few church commitments, in which I hope to finish off and release the first version of my Bible program for Macintosh computers, and also a new version for Android. It will be touch and go whether I can do it all in time. It is also time for me to start preparing the Bible studies in church for September onwards. I will be preparing notes for most of the groups to use, so it will require a bit more work beforehand for me.

Camp

Monday, June 24th, 2013

We all had a lot of fun at the children’s camp that ended yesterday, building spaceships, going to an observatory, dancing with the stars, listening to Professor I. M. Smart (that was me) and his robot S-147-4-5 (“S” for Salmo, ie Psalm) talk on astronomy, doing English gymnastics, and lots of other activities around the space theme. After making Daniele cry last year by scaring him whilst impersonating a pirate, this year I made Stefania cry when the Professor sacrificed himself to save humanity from an asteroid, and would not return. I think it is due more to having sensitive children than to my acting ability.

Professor I. M. Smart and S-147-4-5, with a galaxy

Professor I. M. Smart and S-147-4-5, with a galaxy

Around these activities, we taught how great and powerful God is who created everything, how small we are in the universe, and yet God is with us, knows us, and cares for us. The last day we bought it all together, that God knows how to save us, has the power to do it, and wants to do it. It was a bit disappointing to hear from the children the same (wrong) answers to the question, What do we have to do to be saved, that they gave at last year’s camp, that is read the Bible, pray, go to church, etc. But I am encouraged that I was a couple of years older before I finally understood the answer, despite having heard it many times before. On the other hand, there was a good time talking with the parents as they came to pick up their children, and one father in particular was very interested. Pray that he will in fact come to church one day, as he said he might, and bring his three children.

Lots of things

Monday, June 17th, 2013

A lot has happened in the last week, so much that I did not even get time to write on last week’s events. So going back to the beginning, last Sunday there was the end of year presentation of the Sunday School. We farewelled three children who will be moving on to the youth group after the summer break, two of whom have grown up in the church, and who I have taught for 4 years. I had fun putting together a highlights video of 10 years of their Sunday School career, although I did not manage to embarrass them as much as I hoped!

Scuola domenicale

Scuola domenicale

Then yesterday afternoon there was a celebration for the baptism of seven people in the church. There were two who were part of the youth group that we started almost eight years ago, so it was pleasure for us to see them continue to grow in their faith. There were also two international students, which is a reflection of the changing face of the church lately.

In the meantime, Stefania finished school on Tuesday, so she is at home now and needs to be kept entertained. She had a performance for the last day of school, and a class party and a school party the week before, not to mention two birthday parties of classmates. Daniele instead had his “graduation” ceremony on Thursday, as he finishes up his three years of pre-school. He will continue until the end of the month, as will Pinuccia who teaches in a pre-school. She has a lot of paperwork to do for the end of the year, as well as her usual teaching hours.

On Saturday night there was the band’s main event of the year, the final of a provincial Karaoke contest that has had qualifying rounds going on all year. So we played the background music as an orchestra for 16 singers (including another one of the youth group of eight years ago, and another person who grew up in the church and whose parents now go to the Rovereto church), as well as playing a few of our own songs at the beginning and end. We also played the music for some dances from the local dance school. One of the dancers was Stefania’s dance teacher, who is also the sister of one of her class mates, goes to the Assemblies of God church, and sometimes to our young adults’ activities for the various churches at Trento. It is good to see the evangelicals getting into the arts! There were other performances as well during the evening, but we were allowed to have a rest at those points. Just as well, because after 5 hours of concert, we were all pretty tired!

Concerto della banda

From the local newspaper: look carefully on the left in the second row

There was a lot more going on last week – teachers’ strikes, meetings at school for Pinuccia and on Skype for ECM for me, double band rehearsals, tradesman doing some work on the house the whole time, and more. But the main thing we have being doing is preparing for the children’s camp, which is on this week from Wednesday to Sunday. It has been taking up a lot of time, and there is still a lot to do in the last couple of days – not only for the camp, but also other commitments, like receiving reports from Daniele’s teachers today and Stefania’s tomorrow. We are not quite yet in the panic stage, but we are close! Pray for the 22 children who will be attending (including 10 with no evangelical background), that God will be working in them. Also for the 5 teachers, that we will work together well and faithfully. Not to forget our two “mascots”, who are underage but who participate a fair bit anyway – pray that it will be a fun and helpful time for them as well.

Finishing with a bang

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

This is the month of the activities for end of the church year, with most groups having a break in July and August. So in quick succession we will have

- the end of year Sunday School recital next Sunday

- a baptismal service for 7 people the following Sunday

- the five day children’s camp starting on the 19th

Pinuccia and I are doing a lot of work (together with the rest of the team) organizing the recital and the camp, where there is still a lot to do. So we would appreciate your prayers for that.