Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Children’s camp finished

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Each year, the church children’s camp is a bit different from other years, and this time it turned out that the main benefit was the time that the children spent with each other. This was in part due to the theme (sport and especially the Olympics), which meant more physical activities and less reflection, but it was also due to how the children are now. Certainly what our children were looking forward to most in the week leading up to the camp was seeing their best friends in the church for three days in a row. So the boys spent a lot of time on the football field, and the girls camped out in their bedroom, and I was happy to see that happen. There were also some children outside of the “groups”, due to differences in age or culture or personality, and although they did get a little bit better known, there is still a lot to do there.

Children’s camp

Monday, June 13th, 2016

On Thursday, the three day children’s camp of the church will be beginning. There will be 12 children, including two friends of church children, and that is more than we were hoping for. All of out family will be going, and it is good to be involved in this ministry together. But it will be interesting, as Pinuccia and I together will be overseeing all the camp, running about half the activities, pretending not to be the parents of Stefania and Daniele, and looking after Luca and Mattia, who will be the mascots for the first of maybe five times. So you could pray for the camp, for us as a family, for the work of the team of leaders and helpers, and especially for the children who will be present.

End of an era

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

This morning I taught my last lesson in the Sunday School for this school year. (There are still three Sundays to go, but the 2 other teachers of the class will look after those.) We were up to chapter 4 in James, and it turned out to be a good opportunity to think back at what we have done together over the last three years (or seven years in the case of one of the girls), and what we want them to remember as the whole class heads off to Youth Group and High School after the summer:

- Be thankful for what you have, not complaining about what others have

- Don’t be friends of the world – be in it and critical of it, evaluating what it teaches, as we have done discussing together films and music

- We draw near to God through repentance – mourning for our sin and purifying ourselves from it, not reading the Bible, praying and going to church which are the usual answers from church children

- Think about your future (as they all are, having to make big decisions now about schooling that will determine what work they will be able to do) with humility before God.

So it was a good way to wrap up our lessons together, although I will still be spending some time with them in the next couple of months, and then more in the years ahead as well.

Family Day

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Yesterday seemed to be Family Day in church. First there was the new Pakistan family with 6 children who came for the first time, and who immediately created some space problems for the Sunday School. (It is a good thing that they will be getting larger classrooms in a few months!) Then during the service there was the simultaneous presentation of three boys born in February and March. All three fathers are in the music group (which created its own problems with the rosters in those months), so they collectively dedicated and played a song to their sons. Then we could joyfully celebrate all these new children in our monthly lunch together as a church after the service. There was then also the annual meeting of the church, but that too was a joy to hear about God’s working in the church this year, and not just bureaucracy!

Not in Pakistan

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Some more good news in the church. About 10 days ago one of the Pakistan refugees got his residency after about 5 years waiting. This meant that his family was finally allowed to come to Italy to join him. Thanks to the great generosity of one of the church members, the plane tickets was quickly arranged and bought, and yesterday morning his wife and five children arrived in Italy. I’m looking forward to meeting them all soon!

New hall

Monday, April 18th, 2016

A couple of weeks ago we found a hall up for auction after a bankruptcy. On Tuesday we won the auction with the lowest possible bid. So we are now the owners of a 345 square meter hall at less than half the market price, and less than any but the smallest apartments at Trento. And with a 20 year mortgage we will be paying a third less than what we pay to rent a hall half as big. We are thankful for this opportunity to have a much better place at a lower cost. We will be moving in a couple of months’ time.

Upcoming events

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Next Sunday there will be a couple of special occasions you could pray for. During the service, the Sunday School class I help teach (10-12 years old) will be doing the lesson for the youngest class (4-6 years old). We did it for the first time last year, and we wanted to repeat the experience to give lessons in Christian service and help them to mature as disciples. Later in the day there will be a sports afternoon (with an evangelistic talk) for teenagers and young adults from our church, a few nearby churches, the camps we have run for the past few years, and any friends that are invited. This is something new for the church, as a few of the members have a vision to develop a ministry through sports.

Coming to Australia

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Pinuccia was not in the top 10% of the candidates, so will not be going on to the next phase of the exams for a  permanent teaching position. So we have closed that phase of our life, and another has opened up: we have finally been able to decide to come to Australia and make plans. In fact, I have just booked the tickets, and we will be arriving on June 25 and leaving on August 17. So we are looking forward to seeing many of you in that time! We already have some bookings for various churches, but if you would like to see us or visit your group, please let me know. In the meantime, we are still looking for 2 cots, strollers, and high chairs, and car seats for the children that need them. If you can help, get in contact with us.

One little highlight from yesterday: Although we did not explicitly encourage people to invite children not from the churches of Trento and Rovereto to the children’s camp last month, to keep it small and simple to begin with, one of the children did invite a friend from school. The friend seemed to enjoy herself and fitted in. In fact, she came to church and Sunday School yesterday, so it was great to see her and see the work of the camp continuing.

Town festival

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

This Saturday there is another major event of the church: a festival in the part of the town where the church hall is. We have participated in the past as well, and are well enough known that we work closely with the organisers, rather than just organising our own events independently. So in the afternoon Pinuccia is organising games in the square together with two other associations, then everyone comes to the church hall for afternoon tea. The church is also hosting an open discussion on the theme of building bridges (the theme of the festival), a photographic exhibition on the same theme, some fund raising for Nepal, and an ethnic aperitif. Lots of different people with lots of different gifts are involved in this; pray for our witness through all these activities.

Back from camp

Monday, May 4th, 2015

We all arrived safely at home after the children’s camp, which was in itself an achievement. Daniele managed to get hit three times in the same place on his face, by a frisbee, by a chair, and by another children, but there was no lasting damage. Outwardly, it went well, with just the usual conflicts between children, that often gave better opportunities for teaching that the formal lessons did. It is of course harder to say what was going on inwardly, but we trust God that he will bring out the fruit of this camp over the next 70 or so years of their lives. The children certainly enjoyed themselves and are already looking forward to next year. Their major complaint about the camp was that it was too short! Pinuccia managed to survive with the twins as well, and even managed to take them outside once, even though it was a major undertaking for her by herself. So thanks again for your prayers for this weekend.