Archive for March, 2017

Twin power

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

One of my jobs in the afternoon whilst Pinuccia is at work is to go to the nursery to pick up Mattia and Luca, take them to the school to get Daniele, and then take them all home. A 2km round trip, including 4 level crossings and 3 times through the ever changing labyrinth that is the construction site as they put the railway underground. Whilst Luca and Mattia were in the double stroller it was not too difficult, but now that they are bigger and there is fine spring weather, I am using more active methods – walking (sometimes with an elastic strap on the wrists) or pushing their tricycles. However, Luca is a faster walker than Mattia, so I am often running back and forth between the two to keep them going and on the footpath (or going in the right direction through the maze), or walking sideways as Luca pulls the elastic on one arm forwards and Mattia the other one backwards, or keep having the two tricycles hit each other. Fortunately, there are lots of damsels around at that time picking up their own children, and who help this poor knight in distress. So in the past couple of weeks I have had ladies offering to push a tricycle for me, or to hold the hand of one of the children. Now, Lavis, the town where we live, is fairly small, and thanks to the twins and Pinuccia’s work at the preschool, our family is quite visible. So the first time that I was helped, when Pinuccia returned home she immediately asked, “You had trouble picking up Mattia and Luca today?” – someone had spied on me and told her at the preschool. Then yesterday, a lady who I don’t ever remember seeing before took Luca’s hand, that started chatting, “You are going to school to pick up the other son now? But the daughter is at the middle school, right? Next year the twins will be going to preschool. Will the mother be there as well?” Such is the result of having twins in a small town.

5 snapshots

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Some snapshots of church activities in this period:

1. On Saturday, the women of the Valsugana valley held an evangelistic dinner. The 10 ladies in the group had 53 friends come. My usual rule of thumb at Trento is that to have the same number of people not from the church as from the church is a good sign, but to have more than 5 times the number is amazing. Many of the friends commented on how much they felt the love between the members of the group, but also towards each one of them personally.

2. Last weekend the Christian groups at the universities (IFES) of north-east Italy had a camp together. A group has just been started at Trento thanks to the witness of Bruno, a Brazilian student. At the camp there were Bruno, two of his friends, and two students from the church at Trento and one from Rovereto who are studying in other cities. It is great to see the university ministry taking off again – it remains close to my heart (it was the main reason why I came to Trento in the first place).

3. This weekend Ruben (a Brazilian missionary working with refugees), Latif (the pastor who fled from Pakistan) and two other Christian refugees from Pakistan drove to Switzerland to speak at the United Nations about religious freedom in Pakistan. Our ministry to refugees is to not only help with their immediate needs, but to give them a political voice as well.

4. Next Saturday there will be the second meeting on raising children, to help both those in the church and their friends in this important role.

5. On Saturday morning, the cleaning group will be hard at work again preparing the new hall for when we move. A very important ministry! It is probably not a typical couple of weeks, but it gives an idea of the range of areas in which the church is trying to reach out.