Newsletter 64a - July 2008
We have reached the half way stage in Australia now, and with so much to do the time seems to be going by fast. Having the family with us makes us seem busier, because there is a lot more effort involved in going anywhere to talk or to do some tourism. But I think that the children are coping with all these changes better than the parents. Stefania finds new toys every time we visit friends or a church, and loves it. It is though she has a couple of birthdays every week. Daniele is maybe too young to notice all the differences. However the good Australian air is doing good for his growth: he has got quite a bit taller and has three new teeth, and has started crawling everywhere. It looks like he will start walking whilst still in Australia.
So far in our time here we have received some more financial support, which does mean that we are not under supported anymore. But keep praying for more financial support in the rest of our time in Australia, as we need to have a bit more to wipe out our debt with the mission, and so as to not have problems during our next term (three years) in Italy as some supporters may drop out and inflation means that we will require more. Pray also for more prayer partners, and for people willing to support the Trentino Church Planting Project (and especially Jury Cocuzzi, who will start working for the church in September).
Pretty much every time that I come to Australia, I end up doing some talk or meeting that I was not expecting, and which makes the trip more interesting. This time is no different. Last Tuesday I received a request to speak next Friday at St Andrew's Cathedral on "Can we Experience God Directly... Certainly!". For the non Australians that read this, the annual "World Youth Day" organised by the Roman Catholic Church is being held next week at Sydney. My talk will be the last in a series of five lunch time talks at the main Anglican church in the centre of Sydney, which has the aim of speaking of "Certainty" to Catholics. You can find more information on the talks at
Pray for the preparation of the talk. I have very little time (the planned speaker had to pull out) with lots of other deputation things to do in the next week as well, and rather than reworking my existing deputation material I have to create something new on a not easy subject. Pray also for those who will hear the talk. I don't know who they will be, but trust God that he will work through me (even though I do not think that I am appropriate person for this sort of thing) to do things that I can not imagine would happen. I have often talked on Ephesians 3:20 during my deputation meetings this year, and when I had doubts whether I would accept the invitation or not, I thought of what I had been telling people about this verse, and decided that I should say it to myself as well. I can not imagine having a big impact in such a meeting, but according to this verse it does not matter. That way, to God (and me) will get the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever!
In the church
Whilst we have been away, life has of course continued in the church back at Trento. At least it did in June; in July and August there is the summer pause for many of the activities. We have been told that the two camps in June went well. First there was the first children's camp that the church has organized, which saw 14 children of the congregation participate in studies on David. Then at the end of the month was the annual church camp, during which Massimo and Angelita, and Emmanuele were baptised.
We have also continued talking with the leaders of the church whilst thinking about next year. It looks like we will be having a pause from the Youth Group for a year. The teenagers that we have been helping for the last three years will go to the young adults' group, although we hope to continue to meet the two girls occasionally to keep discipling them. Since the next eldest children are not yet old enough to be in a Youth Group, we will get a break for a year. In the meantime, the church will have a third Sunday School class for the older children - basically those who will be the Youth Group the following year. So the current Youth Group leaders - Pinuccia, myself and Gloria - will be leading the new Sunday School class. This will be a new challenge for me. It will be the first time ever that I have taught in Sunday School, and the children are younger than those I have experience with and are comfortable with.