Newsletter 48 - February 2004
In the family
As I looked back over the last three months, I realised that most of what I wanted to say revolved around Pinuccia – probably not a bad thing! At the end of last year I went with her to Sicily for 12 days, staying with her family – no doubt the first Christmas and New Year of many with the family and in the church there. We also organised what remained to be done for the wedding. It was great to be with Pinuccia almost all day every day (except for some preparations that I was not allowed to be involved in), talking about different things, working and planning together, reading the Bible and praying (every day instead of every two or three days, that is our usual system) and studying English together. We were a bit spoilt by the experience however, and it was difficult to return to our usual routine of a bit of time together when we can find a common hole in our respective schedules.
The preparations for the wedding and for being married and proceeding well. A big step was finding an apartment, despite a difficult market for rented apartments at the moment. Once again we saw an immediate response to our prayers, as we have for Pinuccia's work and other matters lately. At the moment we are transporting our things and buying furniture and objects that we need. I will be moving in at the end of the month, and then Pinuccia after we get married. So make sure you change your address book, otherwise mail and phone calls will not reach me. The new address is
It is a bit out of Trento, but not much; it has though in a great location – directly above one of the classiest ice-cream parlours in the area! Apart from the material preparations, we have also started a seven week course, which so far has been helpful in giving us matters to discuss together that we had not thought of.
As a teacher, Pinuccia gets a two month summer break each year, in July and August. I was due for furlough in any case, so we will coming to Australia together in the middle of the year. It will be good for her to meet my past, and to learn some English, although it means that my usual furlough (one month holiday and time with family, followed by three months of visiting churches and groups) will need to be compressed into two months. It would be helpful for me to know some dates already, as the schedule will be tight and thus needs to be planned well. So if you would like us to come to speak, please get in contact with me by the end of March, or alternatively in May. Since we will be staying at the ECM apartments this time, we will also need a car for our travelling around Sydney and nearby cities – if you have a vehicle that you could lend us for most of those two months, please let me know.
In the church
The church life continues on, without any outstanding events lately. The new groups continue to develop and improve, even though there was the usual downturn in numbers attending typical of the winter period – once the spring arrives the attendance will improve. At the moment I am preparing the groups for April, when I will be absent for the best part of the month and the group members will have to take on more responsibility. It turned out that the marriage preparation course clashed with the best group that it could have, that of the Valsugana, which is the most developed and most able to look after itself. In fact, there I just do the studies (which Jury and Massimo will do for three months in my absences), whilst they are able to do, and do do, the individual pastoral care and follow-up, evangelism as a group and service in the church as a group.
On the computer
I continue to develop the program to study the Bible – this month I released a new version, with a Greek-Italian interlinear of the New Testament included. But in this newsletter I wanted to quote two messages that I have received lately:
I don't know if you remember me, I am Andrea and a bit more than a year ago I wrote some e-mails to you in which I asked you about the Lord and the Bible. Now I know that you were the first (true) Christian that I had known (even if only by e-mail). I wanted to tell you that a while ago I was born again and the Lord saved me and yesterday I was baptised by the pastor of the church that I now belong to.
In my October newsletter, I mentioned someone who had written "Recently, maybe from curiosity or maybe for another reason, I am beginning to browse through the Bible, not even I'm sure why I did, maybe to look for something, maybe an answer to many questions or, better, to many doubts, rather MANY, perhaps coming from delusions or something else, I don't know, I am sure however that I am not a good 'Christian'..." In the following couple of months we exchanged a few messages, and then he sent me a copy of a four page poem that he had written to the Lord, of which this is an extract (and as is usually the case with poetry, it loses a lot in the translation).
I want to always know more, maybe to get back the time lost, it is never too late.
I think that since I get such follow up messages from only a few people, there are probably a lot more that get to know the Bible and God better through my site, my computer program and the correspondence I have, but that I never hear about. Pray that God's Word read and studied on the computer will continue to transform Italians.