Paris in the Spring Time
Posted by Philip and Rosemary Halliday at 15:58 on 27th April 2012
Remarkably, Philip has been home for the whole month of April! Having been on the road for around 40% of the time since September, it has been great for him to work from Massy and so also be able to renew his passport, visit the dentist, do some marriage-preparation classes, fill in the French tax forms, enjoy hosting a few friends, etc. The extra time at home has also allowed Philip to work on next year’s financial planning for BMS, a larger and more complicated task since his region was expanded, and to make several Sunday visits to French Baptist church-plants.
Right now we are gearing up for the visit of one of our BMS couples from the south of Italy, on their way to the Baptist Assembly in London. David and Ann MacFarlane have ministered in Italy without interruption since 1993. They took up a fresh challenge two years ago by moving to a new location, Reggio Calabria, just a 15-minute ferry-journey away from Sicily. There was a time when the problems of the Italian south seemed urgent not just for Italy but for all of Europe. With even poorer regions joining the European Union, however, the issue slipped off the agenda in Brussels and Rome. Yet the south still accounts for a third of Italy’s population, half its unemployment, and an immeasurable share of organised crime.
The Baptist Church in Reggio Calabria has been there for over 100 years, meeting in a prime, town-centre location on one of the main pedestrian precincts. The warm and dynamic congregation is engaged in various expressions of holistic ministry, responding to the poverty and associated social problems of the Italian south.
After the Baptist Assembly in London, which Philip will be attending too, we will both be heading to Albania for a week to visit all the BMS personnel and partners there and then, shortly after our return, going on to the French Baptist Congress.
In May, we also look forward to Lydia visiting from Edinburgh, to Charis finishing her degree, and to Luke coming home for the summer to look for work.
Thanks for reading the blog,
Philip & Rosemary.