Newsletter 53 - August 2005
We had a pleasant month in Sicily with Pinuccia's family and friends in July. Since there are quite a few people from the church that come from that part of Sicily who were there, as well as some other friends from Trento and from other parts of Italy who were there on holidays, we actually were able to spend some time with our non Sicilian friends as well. Pinuccia's parents had their 40th wedding anniversary whilst we were there, so it was good for them to be able to celebrate that with all of their family. And naturally, everyone was excited to see (and touch) how the pregnancy was going.
When we returned, Pinuccia had an ultrasound for the end of the seventh month, and the baby remains exactly on the 'average' line. And she has been confirmed as a female. There was also a gynaecologist appointment, which was very quick because Pinuccia is having absolutely no problems. So now we are getting ready for the birth at the end of September or beginning of October. This means buying and borrowing the many things necessary this month, whilst we both have more spare time than usual, but also preparing ourselves as parents. It is only starting to hit me now what a change it will be to me. Of course, being a father will no doubt be nothing like I can imagine before the event, but I know that what disturbs me the most is the loss of independence and of time for my own things that having a family involves. This was also the case with getting married, and a child is a lot more exacting than a wife! My prayer is that our daughter will help me to learn even more what it means to think first about others' needs, and to love them more than I love myself.
With one month of the summer break away in Sicily, we are spending the second at home. With more time on our hands than usual, we have been shopping around for the things we will need for the baby as I have already mentioned. I have also been able to develop my computer ministry more in this period, and we are both getting ahead on our preparation for the coming months. Since it is easy to predict that we will have a lot less time than usual from October onwards, this preparation time has been very useful. (Apart from the time taken up by our daughter, we will have the privilege of having a number of different family members and some friends visiting us one after the other from the end of September until mid November.) I am preparing some studies in 2Corinthians, which most of the cell groups in the church will be doing. Not only does it mean that my preparation will be done, but I will be able to pass my notes on to others, to help them lead groups I am not involved in, or to have others lead some studies in the groups that I am in. Pinuccia on the other hand is preparing a training day for the Sunday School teachers and Youth Groups leaders, which she will doing at the beginning of next month.
Since ECM's policy is to set the level of the missionaries' support at what is needed for the family, having a child means that the amount of my support needs to go up as well. But in the past few months there has been an increase in the number of people giving for us, so that this support increase is actually already covered. As Paul says in 2Corinthians 9:11-15, this generosity overflows in thanksgiving and praise to God by us who benefit from it.