Newsletter 59 - January 2007

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In the past






In the family

Since last I wrote, there was supposed to be a two week break in my usual activities for Christmas and New Year, which I would have used to do other things (especially my computer work) and to spend time with my parents, who were visiting then. "Supposed to be" because it turned into a three week break, as on New Year's Eve I caught the flu, which took a couple of weeks to fully recover from, and so I did not go to most of the activities of the first week after the break. Nor did I get as much done as I was hoping to. Whilst Stefania, my parents and a lot of my friends caught the same flu, the pregnancy seemed to make Pinuccia immune, as she did feel bad with a cold for a week, but never got the high fevers everyone else did which is just as well, because she can not take many medicines during her pregnancy. It also means that there is a high demand for relief teachers, as the regular teachers are all taking two weeks off sick, so she is having no problems with finding work at the moment. She even managed to have just one child in her class for a couple of days, as the rest were all sick. Pinuccia found that quite restful until the next day, when no children turned up at all, and she really had a good rest!

The pregnancy is going well still, with all the ultrasounds showing a healthy baby. Last week was the start of the fourth month, and as with Stefania the nausea stopped at that point. Pinuccia is on the other hand feeling more and more tired, which is why a class of one or zero children is such a good thing!

Between writing and sending this newsletter, Pinuccia had another check up, and the gynaecologist decided to give her an "at risk pregnancy". She was quite generous, because the pregnancy is not really at risk, and Pinuccia does not have more problems that most pregnant women. But it means that she should not be working anymore for the rest of the pregnancy, although she should continue to be paid at 80%. "Should be", because her contract actually finished the day the gynaecologist decided she was "at risk", so we have to work out the details of who pays her between the school system, social security, and the government office that deals with such issues at work. In the meantime she will probably be working a bit.

Last time I mentioned that the Monday night cell group was planning to show the film Luther to their friends this month. It did not go ahead in this form, as not many friends accepted the invitation, and some that would have come were away the day we had planned. So instead of showing the film in the hall the church uses (which would be too large), we will do it in a house for these friends and a few members of the group. We just have to find a suitable date now.

With inflation, a growing family, and the need to pay more for housing, my support level has been increasing over the past few years. The support I have received from my donors has increased as well (unlike most missionaries), but not as much, and currently is about $360 less than what is sent. This means that I have been dipping into the money saved up over the majority of the time that I have been in Italy when I was over supported, and for the first time my balance with ECM is negative. In the short term, ECM makes up for the shortfall, but in the long term (and especially before I return from furlough in the middle of next year) I need to increase my support. Please pray also for this.

Upcoming events

  • 6-8/2: ECM leaders' meeting at Madrid


The band after having played in the town retirement home, walked through the town playing (with the local fire brigade burning torches to provide the light), and then played a few songs in a square on Christmas Eve. At least the temperature was positive, but it was still quite cold for doing such things. Playing the clarinet is quite difficult with frozen fingers! If you can't pick me, I am the fifth from the left.
Stefania having a rest in the evening after a busy Christmas Day, looking after a few guests.