Archive for July, 2014

Baptisms

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

It was a wonderful afternoon at the baptismal service at Rovereto today, the first in that church. Firstly to hear the testimonies of the two people who were baptised, the elder’s teenage daughter (that Pinuccia and I saw a lot over the years in the Sunday School, the Youth Group, and the camps), and a man converted in the last 18 months in which he has been attending the church at Rovereto. Two very different people, with different stories, but the same witness to God’s free gift to them, not based on what they had done. It was also a great time together for the two churches at Trento and Rovereto, in their diversity. There was the Pakistan group with the Africans, the teenagers with the young adults, even a Russian family who had come to visit their son who is studying at Trento. For many, it was the first time we had seen each other for a few months or even a year, as each church continues their ministry in their own town. But despite the separation, there has always been the commitment to each other and to the gospel in the whole province of Trento, which made the picking up of the relationships easy.

Camp and baptisms

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The seventh church children’s camp finished today. I went to the camp today and the first day to help with the transport and the preparation and finishing, but also all day on Wednesday to organise some activities. One was dong the filming to create a video of the participants dancing to the song “Happy”, as is the fashion these days. Another was an evening of Extreme Sports, of which my personal favourite was Extreme Ironing (which really does exist, it is on Wikipedia!) – the children were very imaginative in finding extreme ways to iron my shirt. I have not had much of a chance to speak with the leaders about how it went, although I could sense a great feeling amongst the participants whilst I was there, and heard the Bible being explained and discussed well.

This week’s main event is the first ever baptisms at the Rovereto church, which will be taking place next Sunday afternoon. It will be great to be able to rejoice with the church for how God has been building his kingdom through the ministry of the congregation.

Camp: start

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Today was the start of one of the church’s biggest activities of the year, the camp for children. This year it is even bigger, for the first time lasting a whole week. It is great to see so many of the church members involved in various ways, such as leading and organising activities and cooking and advertising and so on. I went this afternoon to help take some things and people, but had to come back to Trento for a concert at night. I will be going for the whole day on Wednesday to run some games and do a video, and then again on Sunday afternoon to help with the closure and bring material back. Pray a lot for this camp, and for a positive effect on the children. Some have various difficulties, and it would be good to see the Gospel transform their lives. Pray also for safety, the theme is “Survival School” with Bible studies on Joseph and some challenging exercises in the mountains. One of the participants is sick even before the camp has started, so we are praying that he will be able to come to the camp soon.