So what have we been doing in the last couple of weeks – well we’ve been trying to re-distribute the work which is now pending because Rick and Susan Harrell are hiking it back to the US of A and we need to pick it all up kind of quickly. So with a handover which at best was 3days at worst 1day we have been trying to sort out visa application with 3 girls coming from the US who were having real problems due to an inaccuracy in a letter they sent to the embassy and it looked like they may not get into Italy. That one got sorted after several emails and phone calls and a bit of lateral thinking, thank goodness!! So we still have 3 girls arriving early September – ah but there is another a problem – when they were due to arrive the Harrells would have been meeting them and working thru a programme of study and practical service with them – BUT then the Harrells won’t be here – mmm??? Can you smell a wee problem here?? Yep most of the rest of the team will not be here when the girls arrive and so it falls on the shoulders of our stalwart fixer Anna (solve any problem) Lyman!! She is going to meet them with a bit of a dodgy van (but then most OM vehicles are a bit dodgy!!) and she will keep them entertained for a couple of days until the rest of us return.
Just as if that is not enough to be going on with we are participating in 2 different mission events in Italy and so Rose and I have 6seminars to prepare for the Mission 2010 Conference in Rimini and our colleagues Eder and Denisse have to represent OM at another conference running concurrently. as we have a loss of a couple of our vehicles this means that we all need to travel by train to these places – which is not an easy (or cheap) thing to do.
Oh the fun we have had trying to find train routes on the world famous Italian train network site which almost always directs you to the fastest train – which is great until you realise that it will cost you at least 1 arm and 1 leg to travel. So we end up being very creative in how we plan our journeys and I am sure that OM in Italy should be opening a travel agency as a way of financing our ministry.
In all of this Rose and I thought it would be good idea to try and get a bit of a break somewhere where we can at least smell the sea if not actually paddle in it for a while – well it has been fun surfing the net trying to discover somewhere we can get to fairly easily but which is also in the vicinity of Rimini so that we can go to the conference directly! In the end we know that God knows all our needs and He has given us 2 places for rest plus He has provided accommodation in the conference centre while we are delivering the seminars.
in the run up to transform we were all working very long hours trying to make sure things would go smoothly for the 9teams we had in Italy (and they went wonderfully well!!) and we were telling ourselves that after it was over there would be some respite. That was of course before the bombshell of Rick and Susan going stateside and all that followed on from that.
So we are looking forward to a short break from tomorrow until 2nd September with only a bit of work to do on the conference seminars which I am hoping I can do under an umbrella on the beach with a long cool drink next to me – and the title of the conference is –
‘Mission – it is not an evening stroll’ (that’s a loose translation)