Newsletter 54 - November 2005
Stefania has now arrived at six weeks, and continues to grow well - right on average in most measurements. She seems to have inherited more physical characteristics from me than from Pinuccia - I'm not sure if that is a good thing - like long eyelashes (more useful on a female than on me) and long fingers (future piano player?). The jury is still out on the final eye colour, and who it comes from. We are of course also starting to discover behavioural patterns, and so personality, distinguishing for example the "I'm hungry" cry from the "I want to be held" cry. She is quite kind to us at night as well, sleeping always at least five hours, and often more, which means usually just one wake-up during the night. She is a joy to be with, and she is continuing my education on looking after others before looking after myself.
After a few irregular meetings due to the overdue birth, Pinuccia and Stefania settling in to home, and the influx of visitors, the Youth Group has got back into a pattern again. At least every second week we do a study, this year working through the doctrines of the Bible. The other weeks we prepare a sort of magazine that we will print in a couple of months, do some craft or some social outing. Jessica's friend Giulia continues to come, and it is gratifying see her understanding what is taught. Pinuccia, Gloria and I take turns with the studies (it is the first time that Gloria has prepared studies, and she has done it well so far). Since the meetings are at our house, I can look after Stefania if Pinuccia is running the meeting, and the opposite; sometimes we do 'relay' meetings, as Stefania gets passed between us depending on her needs, whilst the non carer takes over the meeting at whatever point it had arrived it.
The leadership training in the church is progressing well, with monthly meetings for the 10 people leading groups or who we are thinking of for the future. Carmelo is also taking on more responsibility for one of the cell groups, gradually taking my place over the course of this year until the northern summer. Having established the small groups in the past couple of years, we are also now pushing them to serve others more, to think outside of the group and not just for themselves. The Valsugana group, being older, has already been doing this for a couple of years; now the groups at Trento are starting to plan activities for others, either for other people in the church or evangelistic events for their friends.
Thanks to my financial supporters, and in part Pinuccia's maternity leave pay, we are able to buy a new car without having to pay instalments – a Hyundai Matrix. It is larger with more boot space than the old car (and so "family-proof" for the next few years, and ready for some long trips to Sicily in a couple of years' time), a lot safer, and it isn't banned from the roads for three days a week either. And having functioning heating in the winter will be a bonus. Interestingly, with the offers they make on trade-ins to encourage you to buy new, I got back more for my car than what I paid for it eight or so years ago.