Christian Missionaries

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Well we are currently in a hotel in Calais awaiting the morning catamerang to Dover. We've driven 2000 miles from Sicily via stops in Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Germany and now France.

The week TOM retreat was fantastic, I'll put up more when I'm less tired. We are good but tired. We'll be in Sheffield on Wednesday after visiting my grandparents in Devon.

See you soon!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Another long break, apologies for those that read this, but hey it is August (not sure what that means).

Andrea and I are due to leave Sicily tomorrow for the long long drive back to Rome where we will be having a day with Marco and Cinzia before heading further North to see my parents in their house in Umbria. This will be our last trip there as they are selling and have a buyer for it. I know that some of you who read this know the house form trips and honeymoons. However, it does mean that my parents can get on with their plans to buy somewhere further south where they can spend more time - so that is good. We will be there a couple of days and then have a week in Umbria on a TOM week. This will be with MArco & Cinzia, John & Liz Lovell, Bob & Mary Hopkins and some other guys from elsewhere in Europe. We are really looking forward to seeing people whom we have relationships with again - hooray! After that week we will be heading back to Sheffield where we will have some time seeing friends, driving around a bit seeing family, before heading back here to Sicily around the 4th October.

Our time here has been quite hard, not knowing anybody and being in a place where there are constantly people coming and going. We had hoped that this would be a time of rest and holiday after the business of Rome but it hasn't quite been like that. INstead we have found it very emotionally draining and it has been a very tough time for Andrea and myself. However, God is faithful and has looked after us, it feels like we are in a place of real brokenness which can only be a good thing. We had a great conversation with Phil & Mags last night which was a real blessing and much needed. We are both definitely looking forward to recharging a bit in Sheffield and catching up with people we love and miss dearly.

It hasn't all been gloomy, we have been blessed in taht we went camping near a town called Augusta - a real idyllic place - and God gave us a house in Naxos Giardino for two days where nobody couold disturb us - bliss and only 30 secs walk to the beach! We we've spent time getting to know Marco and Cinzia's parents a bit better along with two other couples - Dario & Melinda and Allesandro and Anna. This too has been a real blessing to us.

The church that is lead by Filippo (Cinzia's father) and is on the land where we are staying is an amazing community of about 40 people who really really look out for each other and seem to share their lives with one anither in an incredible way - fantastic to see. There's a baptism this evening so at this moment we are filling a paddling pool with 2000 litres of water from a hosepipe - it is taking quite a time!

This whole place where we are staying is amazing and so beautiful, however, it still doesn't feel like a home. We are praying tha things will be better and different when Marco and Cinzia arrive in October.

Other news is that we saw Paolo a little whisle ago in hospital. He told us that he is going to Verona for the operation on the 5th September (tomorrow). So that is good news. He certainly looked very different from when I last saw home - but I guess that is to be expected in the circumstances. We didn't really get that much chance to chat to home as a lot of his family were there too. We will be praying for him over this coming few weeks and would ask that you do the same, too.

I planted 56 brocolli plants for December and two days late there wasn't one left! Bandit wild rabbits crept in and plundered them so I a m scheming traps to catch them so I can eat them.
Thats it there will probably be another break from updating for at least a fortnight and possibly a month. For those that read this in Sheffield we'll be seeing you soon.

Post all this the baptism was cool and Paolo was at church to be prayed for - cool.