Archive for the ‘Stefania’ Category

The photo I’ve been waiting for

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Pinuccia, Mattia, Stefania, Daniele, Luca, Richard

Pinuccia, Mattia, Stefania, Daniele, Luca, Richard

Finally all together (Mattia on the left, Luca on the right).

To Germany and back

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Last week was mostly ECM work, with a trip to Germany to meet with the other leaders of the various countries to or from which the mission sends missionaries. It was for a week, but it is difficult for me to be away for so long due to Pinuccia’s work hours this year, so I had to miss the training half and was present only at the half with the meetings. I act as a kind of secretary for this group, making sure that the paperwork is done and that decisions are followed up on. I enjoy that sort of work, and the others are happy that I do it for them. Then when I returned on Saturday night, it was time to catch up on some family celebrations, as Stefania had turned eight whilst I was away. So she got two family parties (one on her birthday, one when I returned), which meant that she was not too upset about my absence!

Wednesday: a new year

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Although some activities have restarted after the summer break, on Wednesday a lot is happening that will mark the real beginning of a new year. It will be a first day of school for Stefania, in the morning I will have the first of a few two hour Skype meetings for ECM work, and in the evening there will be the first Bible study of the year. So it will be really back to the usual routine and activities on Wednesday. All this will also be to celebrate the beginning of a new year in my own life. Not quite a round number this year, but a square one instead.

During the week, it was decided to change the hours of Pinuccia’s job slightly, so it is now from 9 to 11.30am instead of half an hour before. So a good job got even better, and we are thankful for that.

Celebrating outside

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

We are enjoying an extended summer at the moment, with temperatures well above the average. When October arrives I am usually already wearing a jumper, but this year I still have my T-shirt on. So yesterday we took advantage of the good weather and brought forward Stefania’s birthday party. This has been the first year she has been able to have her party in the park, and will probably be the last for a while if the weather patterns return to normal. It was just as well that we could go to the park, because Stefania’s circle of friends has roughly doubled in the past few weeks. As well as inviting the friends from pre-school, there was a new group of friends that she has met in infants’ school in these three weeks. Too many friends for our lounge room now. So we spent 4 hours at the park on Saturday afternoon with them all.

Next weekend I will be going to Austria for some meetings with all the country leaders in ECM. I should actually be going for the whole week, but with Pinuccia’s work and the children to look after, I will have to miss the training part of the week (from Monday to Friday), and just go to the meetings on the weekend, where I also act as secretary to the group.

Firsts

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

As the school/church year continues to start up, there were a few more firsts this week. Stefania survived her first week of school, although the morning wake ups started to have an effect towards the end of the week, as the excitement was no longer enough to wake her up early. Daniele on the other hand started complaining about going to preschool – because he wanted to go to infants’ school instead, like his big sister. But when we bought him a lunch box like Stefania’s, even though he does not need it, he was a bit happier.

In the church, I lead my first study for the Wednesday night group (after an introductory meeting the week before), and the first meeting for the Saturday afternoon group. There was also the first church leadership team meeting for the year, and some time catching up with the new leaders of the English language Bible study group. Today was also the first Sunday School lesson of the year. I have been promoted from the “middle” to the “big” class. It was a bit difficult, as with anything new I did not know how it worked, and there were some problems from external causes as well. But I will be seeing the other two teachers tomorrow night, so hopefully I will be able to get a better idea for next time.

This week I will be away from Thursday to Saturday for the annual prayer days for the mission in Italy, which includes time reviewing and planning for each of us individually and together as a group. So you could pray that it will be a helpful time for us all, as we submit to God’s leading.

Celebrations

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Multiple celebrations tomorrow. First off all it is Stefania’s first day of school – she has arrived at first class. She is naturally very excited about this, but I wonder how long it will last. Especially when the wake up calls start to take their toll. Stefania is definitely not a morning person, and will now have to wake up 45 minutes earlier than last year. For me, it means that after a week and a half of looking after Stefania whilst Daniele and Pinuccia were at pre-school, I will have a good part of the days without the children now, so I hope I can catch up on a lot of work I am a bit behind on. However, with the infants’ school having two half days to begin with, and Stefania always having Wednesday afternoons off, it won’t be until Thursday that I experience the full effect. And finally tomorrow there is a Significant Milestone in my life as well, although not a round number. So I will be celebrating sending the rest of the family out! And in the evening I will celebrate with a church leadership meeting, and in the afternoon meeting the new leaders of the English language Bible study group. This will mean that I will have met in a few days the leaders of that group, the Young Adults’ group and the Youth Group, who are all fairly new at this sort of responsibility. I’m enjoying this new role I have in the church of helping and encouraging these people as they learn to lead, these people that God has raised up for us to replace those who were sent to lead at Rovereto, and who we pray will be future leaders of the church – at Trento, or sent elsewhere.

Two almost empty nests, and a dream

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

When I wrote last week, Pinuccia had a job, but for after-school care, which she wanted to avoid in order to be with our children. On Tuesday night so got an offer from another school for a job during the day, so she gave up the first and took that one. Then on Wednesday night came an offer from our local school at Lavis, so she gave up the second job to take up that one. The job is not perfect, in that it is full-time and we prefer part-time. But that means that its other imperfection – only for a month and not a year – is actually an advantage. At the beginning of October she should be offered another job at Lavis, which we hope will be part-time. So on Thursday Daniele and Pinuccia went to pre-school together for their first day, and I had an almost empty nest at home. “Almost”, because infants’ school does not start until the 12th, so I look after Stefania (and try to do a bit of work) whilst the others are at school for another week.

Today there was the first morning service of the church at Rovereto. Having 15 out of about 70 adults leave the church should have left quite a few holes in the hall at Trento for our service, and maybe a feeling of emptiness. But quite a few new people have started coming in the meantime, so although the numbers were a bit down on the average, they were not much lower. So there was not much of an empty nest feeling at all.

Another highlight of the week was participating this afternoon in the anniversary celebrations of the federation of the bands in the province of Trento. Not all the bands could come, but in any case being a part of a parade of 60 bands dressed in various colourful uniforms was fun. And then the final concert all together of well over 1000 people in the main square of Trento was spectacular. It made me dream of a future event, when all the 60 churches that will have been planted in all the small towns spread out in the province, will come together at Trento one Sunday for a celebration together and to worship as one.

This week about half of the church groups will be restarting, including for us the Wednesday night group and the Sunday School. Pinuccia is also running a Sunday School teachers’ meeting tomorrow night, and I will have a meeting for the Youth Group leaders later on. So pray for this restart of activities as well.

Children’s highlights

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Today was the biggest event for the children of our whole trip to Australia. We took them to a children’s festival at the Olympic Park, where they had fun for hours listening and dancing to the music, playing games, making crafts, etc. And the highlight of the highlight was that Hi-5 appeared and sang during the festival. Hi-5 is one of the major parts of their (small) Australian children’s culture. They enjoy the DVDs they have in Italy, and Stefania even dreamed about them last night, even though she did not know that she would be seeing them today. So when she and Daniele saw them live, they went wild from the excitement and enjoyment.

Another highlight this week for them was the four days of prayer for the mission that we went away to. Usually such a time would be difficult for them, as they would have had little to do and their parents would have been busy most of the time. But there was another family of small children present, and that made all the difference. Because for all the time that they are in Australia, they do not have any friends their own age. They meet lots of children, but going to a different Sunday School every week, and visiting lots of people once, means that they do not form any decent relationships with them. So four days for almost all of the time with other children was just right for them. It was also the first time I have heard them speak English to someone who is not a member of my family, as the friendship formed with the children was enough to overcome their shyness. We are all looking forward to going to visit the other family again whilst we are still in Sydney.

An important meeting to pray for this week is at Sydney Missionary and Bible College on Tuesday morning. As I talk about church planting in Europe, it is an important time to contribute to the students’ reflections on where they might serve God after they finish their studies. And who knows, maybe to do some recruitment as well. Then on Sunday there will be a long day to Newcastle and back to visit friends. There are three other meetings during the week to speak at as well.

Recitals

Monday, May 16th, 2011

We just had our recital weekend. First there was the end of year production of the dance school that Stefania has gone to this year. Two hours of children learning to dance… Stefania wanted to pull out, because she was scared of dancing in front of an audience, so it was a good teaching opportunity about depending on God. Then there was the annual Sunday School presentation, which was a time for telling the church what God has been doing in the lives of the children this year. It was also a time to say goodbye to quite a few children: some who are going to be the Sunday School at Rovereto, some who are moving away, and some who will be “graduating” to the Youth Group (and which made one of the parents a bit emotional, realising her little girl was not so little any more and would be leaving the Sunday School). So there will be a noticeably smaller Sunday School next year.

The end of the year is nigh

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

It is only the beginning of May, but the end of year activities have started up, even though the summer break does not begin until the beginning of July. On Tuesday we had our first family rite of passage, as Stefania received her “diploma” for having completed pre-school, in preparation for her starting infants’ school in September. Then next Saturday Stefania will be participating in the end of year recital for her dancing school. It is the first of what I am sure will be many similar events. On Sunday there will be the end of year presentation of the Sunday School. For us this is a big event, because Pinuccia and I are both heavily involved in the organisation and preparation. It is mostly ready, although I still have to finish up a video. It will also be the first Sunday School presentation for Daniele, and he and Stefania have a small part in the choreography of the song together with the rest of the class of the smaller children.

There should also be some preparation for our time in Australia. I said last week that I should have been starting this week, but it just did not happen. I don’t see it happening this week either. Hopefully once the Sunday School presentation is out of the way, I can start work on it.