Sunday, October 24, 2004

And then there was rejoicing in Heaven

Tonight our church (and team) reached a huge milestone, our first baptism. Agnese is a young woman who has been coming with Marta and Amedeo made the decision to be baptized tonight. We were at a restaurant called Tunital Foods (kebabs, similar to gyros -pita bread stuffed with vegetables and grilled meat) with a visiting missions group from College Heights CC when Jason received the call from Amedeo. Agnese wanted to be baptized tonight in the sea. She has a special spot that she frequents when she needs to think and pray; it was in this spot that a new sister in Christ was born. Since Marta has been the one discipling and evangelizing Agnese, it only made sense that she be the one to baptise her. We sang an Italian hymn and Amedeo asked Agnese why she was doing this. She said to have Christ as my only God and for salvation. Marta and Agnese went in the cold cold water and Marta then baptised her. After they came out of the water, we had some communion waiting for her to take her first communion as a baptized believer. We were all very excited. There is only one first baptism. As we were walking up from the beach, I thought it would be a neat idea to pick up a rock off the beach for every baptism we have. We can write their name on the rock and the date they were baptized. it will be a great reminder as we win souls for Christ, one soul of a time.

Marta and Agnese right before Agnese's baptism in the Adriatic Sea.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Google Does It Again

I love I even have it as my homepage. It is simple clean and loads fast. Google is rarely down and so if it doesn't come up, there is an instant tip that something is wrong with our internet connection. Google keeps amazing me, setting the standard for new services, like mega-space for online email storage and even ownership of which I use for this blog. And now, they have done it again.
Today, released their first beta version of a desktop search tool. It is easy to install and easy to use. If you are familiar with at all, you will be totally at home with the Google Desktop Search tool. I downloaded it on both computers and instantly was in awe of the power of this new search tool, it blows the search tool that comes with windows away! If I type in "kids time" in the Google search space in about 1 second it brings me every document, photo, video, text file, or email with those words included. It doesn't only look in the file name either, it looks in every word of every document. If you use quotes when you search it will bring back items that have the words in quotes in that exact phrase. Once you install it, it does a one time scan, which takes several hours, but only works on it when the computer is idle. After ten minutes I already found files quicker with it, than with the traditional search capabilities. You can check it out at And you can see a snapshot of it below. Best of all it's free, so check it out and save yourself some time in your searching.

Google Desktop Search Screen

My new photography class

A community school here in Ancona is offering classes for a very low price. We are able to enroll in up to three classes. They are all for fun and potentially a great way to meet people. We went to a cooking class the other night (see previous entry Cooking Class). Tonight I went to the first session of a photography class. It lasted about an hour and is for the basic beginner in photography. I would not classify myself as a basic beginner normally, I take up to 1000 pictures per month and had classes in school growing up where we developed our own pictures in a dark room (the old fashioned way). However, 'basic' is great here in Italy. You see when you are learning a new language your ability in conversations is directly dependant upon vocabulary knowledge in the field of conversation. In other words, I am fluent in English, but I still may not be able to talk to someone about nuclear physics, because I am not versed in the vocabulary related to that field. Or some people may feel that way when talking to someone about sports. In this case, my vocabulary is gaining momentum everyday in Italian, but my vocabulary related to photography in Italian is still in a stage of infancy. Fortunately, he used overhead slides so that made it easier to follow. There was one point in the middle of the lecture where I had no idea what the lecturer was saying and was fighting the urge to get sleepy (for those of you wondering, I never closed my eyes - my college professors would be proud and quite possibly a little bit jealous). At the end I wasn't sure if the class was over or not, because for several minutes everyone kept sitting around not gathering their things as if in anticipation of something else. I asked the woman behind me when we were suppose to finish, she said, "about an hour." I said, "so about now?" She said, "I guess so." Apparently I wasn't the only one confused then. The teacher had stopped talking to the class, but was talking with individuals. Finally, I saw a few people get up and start for the door. Seeing my clue, I gathered my stuff and headed out of the classroom. Soon we are supposed to move from lecture into more lab photo style work. At the end of the class, we will put on a show of our work. Who knows who I will meet or what will result of the class, but at least there is much potential.

Learning photography in Italian.


Collegamento is the name of our church's bi-monthly prayer event. It means "Connection." It comes from the idea that we need to have a connection with God. And the way most 'connections' go it should be two way. During the one last night we prayed about the future of our church and the vision that we feel God has led us to follow. Usually we start out with everyone together and after a bit we separate into adults and kids so that we can participate in prayer suited to the different ages. Check out the pictures below to see the adults and kids times in action.

Angie with the kids during collegamento (our bi-monthly prayer event).

Collegamento (Our Bi-monthly Prayer Event)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Smoked Cooking Class

So Tuesday night Angie, Heather and I went to a cooking class that was made available through a community school. We arrived a little early to make sure we found it, so we went to a nearby cafe to have a quick cappucino. After we downed the quick pick-us-up, we headed to class. As we walked through the gates, into the yard we saw it was a home with a cooking school in a building in the back. The hostess/teacher greeted us and walked us all around to the building where the cooking school is located. We walked in and the setup was in a small room, with a make shift kitchen on the wall directly across from the entry door. In between the kitchen and the entry way was two tables with a total of 14 chairs. The kitchen was setup like a tv kitchen, with the refrigerator, sink and cabinetry on the back wall. On the long island facing the class there was a stove and countertop space for cutting, mixing and the like. At each seat was a folder with the menu and itinerary for this and future classes. There was also a name tag (with our names on them) and an apron. Yes, I put the apron on and no, it was not the first time I put an apron on. Informally, I am sure I put on an apron at home some time when I was young, to help mom in the kitchen. Formally, I put my first apron on working for my uncle's restaurant, Martin's Bar-B-Q in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In all, I have worked for several restaurants, sit down and fast food. The restaurants I have worked in are Martins' Bar-B-Q, Briarbrook Country Club, Subway, Applebee's and the Banquet department at Holiday Inn. Almost all of them had aprons involved.

Throughout the course of the evening we watched and took notes while our teacher Lina made a several course dinner, consisting of potato soup, pasta with a sun dried tomato sauce, baked fresh fish over a bed of vidalia onions and a light dessert made of custard glazed orange slices. Good stuff, the class lasted for four hours and fortunately we were able to follow most of it. One of the main differences between a cooking class here and one in America is that every thirty minutes our teacher would light up another cigarette for a smoke break inside, from the front of class. Ahhh, it was almost smoked fish. Now, I guess we will have to try out the recipes at home. We will probably put some, if not all, the recipes in some of our newsletters.

Our Italian Cooking Class

Friday, October 08, 2004

Rats with wings

We live on the fifth floor of our apartment building. It is also the top floor. From the windows on the front side of our building we can look out over the piazza in front of us. There is a rectangular park that sits among the walls of apartment buildings. There are places for kids to play, benches and trees. The trees which are pretty tall are not higher than our apartment windows. Every once in awhile I look out to see the strange creatures flying over the tops of the trees in circular patterns. I have a love/hate relationship with these black winged creatures of the night. I enjoy watching them as they glide across the sky like competion skaters completing figure eights. I also enjoy the fact that they eat small bugs, especially mosquitos, for that I cheer them on. However, I would hate to find myself within a small confined space with them flying overhead. Or whizzing by my face screeching. Tonight though, before going to bed, I watched as a lone bat flew around and around our piazza, above and through the trees. Mesmerizing much like our fish tank. As I watched, my ears were opened to the sounds of the city once more. It is 1 in the morning and the city is still alive with sounds. First the chirping of the bat as he swoops, far in the distance a dog barks solitarily, a couple of cars drive by on the street in front of our piazza and music is stilled heard, albeit softly, from windows across the way. These are the echoes of life that tickle ones' senses and the remedy for insomnia. Fortunately, insomnia is not something I usually deal with, I am normally a night owl. I guess owls and bats go together.