Newsletter 52 - April 2005


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In the family

Pinuccia's pregnancy is going well - there was a bit of nausea at the beginning, but since she entered into the fourth month that has stopped. I have not yet really realised what will happen to me, but that might come during the summer when we really start to prepare for the new arrival, although I am still that it will only be after the birth that I really understand what changes will happen to me and in me.

In the church

I mentioned previously the constant new arrivals in the church since the beginning of the year, and the challenge to help them become a part of the congregation. Since then, there have continued to be new people arriving, still at a rate of about one every week. As a result, last week we had 50 adults in the service, not counting guests. There has been some progress in their insertion into the life of the church, especially through the three cell groups at Trento which have all seen new members added to them. But we will also be starting a new group, which will be the fulfilment of a 10 year dream, vision and prayer of the church and of me and of many of you. Because since the beginning of the year two couples have started attending that live near Rovereto. Last year we also came into contact with another couple, who are not able to come to Trento for meetings. Since Rovereto, the second largest city of the province (35000 people, plus another 15000 in the surrounding towns) has no evangelical church, we have had for many years a desire to start something there, but the church does not have the resources to start something from nothing. But now that there are six interested people, we will try to start a group, with the vision of forming a church there out of the group in the future. There are not a lot of free resources to be able to lead a new group, but I have come to the end of my time in the Valsugana, as now there are other leaders there able to take on the responsibility of the group (Massimo and Jury), so until the summer break in July I will only go to the Valsugana group every second week, and in the other weeks go to Rovereto to lead the group there (with a bit of help from Angelo). The first study is on the 15th of April. Then after the break, the idea is that I will not go to the Valsugana group at all, and we will change the Rovereto group from fortnightly to weekly. One part of me is sad to leave the Valsugana group, as it is that which I most enjoyed during the seven years I have been going there, and for which I really had a heart to see grow in order to create a witness in that valley; but another part of me is happy that I will have done what is my main aim (as a missionary, but what I did in Australia as well) - create or build up a group, train people to take my place, and then go somewhere else to start something else. Pray for the people in this new group: Pietro from Rovereto and Sandra from Brazil; Ettore and Marta from Argentina; Salvatore (Italian, not a Christian; he is blind, which is why he can't come to meetings at Trento) and his Ukrainian wife Olga. In the last couple of months, there have also been three friends of the first two couples at church and who expressed interest in a group, so I'm not sure exactly how many people there will be at the meetings. Pray that from this group a church will be born one day - a process that will take a lot of time, so it is prayer point for the next many years. But I know some of you are seeing now the fruit the 10 years of prayer for Rovereto, so thank you for that and keep praying for that city. Pray also for new missionaries to come to the province to help out - the church really is stretched to the maximum and would like to do more (a youth group will be started after the summer, and we should start a new cell group at Trento because the current three groups are full), but do not have the human resources and leaders to do all that we would like to do.

Upcoming events

  • 20 April: Presentation of a book and a discussion in the public library, by Pippo (one of the elders)
  • 25 April: Picnic with some of the churches in north Italy at Modena
  • 9 May: ECM-Italy field council meeting
  • 13-15 May: GBU weekend at Pescara (not just for students, but also for graduates and supporters, which is why I and a few others from the church are going)
  • 18-19 June: The fourth annual church houseparty - and the first that I will be able to attend completely (even if it means missing the first day of the next event)
  • 19-24 June: Meeting for the Australian ECM missionaries in Ireland
  • sometime in July: In Sicily, coming back to Trento before Pinuccia gets too pregnant

Photos

Jury and Gloria (and the view from our balcony). Pray for Jury who co-leads the group in the Valsugana, as well as helping in many other ways in the church, and for Gloria will be one of the leaders of the youth group when it starts in the new school year in September.
Robyn and me at the church bookstall at the town market day.
Pinuccia and me at the wedding of one of her cousins.
Same wedding, with Pinuccia showing off her belly. Only three and a half months at this stage, so there is not too much visible yet.
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