Newsletter 49a - June 2004
I have now completed all my commitments for the academic year, with the church, the band and most other things in Italy going into summer mode for a couple of months. In the church, that means that the four cell groups that I lead have stopped meeting, as well as the Sunday School and ladies' group that Pinuccia is responsible for. This leaves a few days until Friday, when we leave, to say goodbye to friends here, and to prepare for our trip to Australia. At least we got a few days of hot weather before heading off for the second of our three consecutive winters. Remember to pray for this time in Australia, for all the meetings I will have to speak at in half the usual time, for the first taste of deputation for Pinuccia (in a language that she does not understand much of, before people she does not know), and for our time with my family and friends.
Married life continues to be great. We are learning each other's habits and to live with someone is different. I have started drinking coffee in the morning, to keep her company, although she still has not learnt to eat Vegemite yet. Learning to love someone, discovering and doing what is best for them, is great as well. We have been able to realise our desire to use our house for hospitality, with our guest book rapidly getting filled. We had Pinuccia's sister and brother-in-law, and then her parents, make the long trip from Sicily to stay with us. We have also been able to invite quite a few friends for a meal, although my commitments (out every night from Tuesday to Friday, and Monday night is usually our night together by ourselves) have limited a bit our opportunities. But the fact that now our wedding gifts have arrived from Sicily helps a lot – it was difficult with only two borrowed plates, knives, forks, cups, etc.
As a final request, pray for Tiziano. He started coming to church in April whilst Pinuccia and I were away, and the first I heard of him was when Angelo (one of the elders) asked me to ring him to tell him where the Thursday cell group was meeting, as he wanted to go. Simplifying a lot a complicated story, he has a Chilean wife who is an evangelical, and who has multiple sclerosis and so is not very mobile. In February he began to look for God and reading the Bible, and after a couple of months looking for an evangelical church he has been attending regularly on Sunday and Thursday, with his wife Veronica. He is coming to the point where he understands the Gospel message; pray that he will also put his faith in Jesus, so that there will be some good news for us when we return to Trento at the end of August.
Looking forward to seeing lots of you in the next couple of months.