Tuesday, 19 August 2008

A surprising week!

Went to a camp at Norkalni, Ropaži - surprising day and God was so gracious. Nearly the whole team knew of us, either because we have met somewhere before or because they knew one of our children. One guy I met in Holland for the first time, the team who were in Ružina from last week were there, our old friends from our church in England and two of their children, one guy I had met his wife before, one couple knew two of our children from working in camps in England, one we knew from visiting our son in Worthing, one young man has been to other camps that we visited this year and the list just goes on. It even got a bit freaky at times when the connection was worked out. 

I had determined that before we left the camp that we should ask our old friends from our English church for prayer but even before that happened two of the team we had met last week in Ružina came up to us and shared words for us. The first was that Ian dancing with the streamer was lighting a fire of passion in peoples hearts which ties in very well with the word we were to be firestarters which was given us the week after we got to Latvia. 

The second word was that in the next six months God would be opening up doors for us which would be beyond belief - I had seen this young man who gave us this word work and pray for others and I have a lot of respect for him so I was quite exited by this word, it also answered some questions I had on the way to the camp. We have enough money to carry on for a while but I wasn't sure if we are to just carry on living on this money or start looking for other sources of income and then use the money to invest in something within Latvia. I felt God remind me of Abraham with Ishmael and Isaac and I had the sense that it took God 6 years to get us here and he wasn't in a hurry, so
 we are to carry on waiting for the next step. When I got to the camp and someone asked us what we are doing in Latvia and the answer is really "nothing much", we are doing the garden and visiting people and waiting to see what God is doing, God said "Come" and that is what we have done and her reply was straight from God as she said "Oh just like Abraham!" - that was a wonderful confirmation of what God had said to me on the way to the camp. These words were such great confirmation that we are still on track and God does have a plan (that statement sounds kind of daft, of course God has a plan but at least I feel like I am following it). The words from our friends who we asked to pray for us were also similarly encouraging of where we were at the moment and the plans God has for us, nothing specific but encouraging and confirming. 

All day long we had talked with different people about God and what he is doing in our lives, what he is doing in their lives and it was just such a wonderful time of connection with the wider body of Christ. I feel so blessed that God has given us so many people to connect with whilst here in Latvia, we really sense being part of the wider body and being a part of what God is doing here.

On Friday our friends Steve, Natalija, Samuel and Simon came to see us. Steve and Natalija were surprised at the changes we have made to their old flat (apartment), they had been so busy that it was not a priority to make many changes but we were glad they managed to get the new windows done before we got the flat. We had a really good time of sharing of hearts and talked about where God was leading us and them, they also took away a cabin bed which we no longer need but brought anyway hoping someone would have a use for it. While they were here it was a chance to connect with some of our neighbours as they talked and could interpret for us. One of our neighbours is quite involved in going to camps all over Europe as a European Union initiative to bring youngsters together from different countries. We also thank goodness found out which is our apple tree, they are not quite ripe yet but it won't be long. Apparently the apples are winter apples which means they take a long time to ripen fully and will store well but they do make good cooking apples, which I have already found by making some apple sauce to go with some pork.

Saturday we had Marvin round for tea (dinner) and spent a really relaxing time eating, talking and sweating mightily. Why on earth did I do a full roast meal when it was so hot I have no idea 
apart from the fact that there were loads of veggies ready in the garden that were better steamed than in a salad. Marvin gets his veg fix while at our house as it is much more difficult for him to buy veg as he is in camp so much during the summer but it reminded me of most of my Sunday School staff in Timberline Oldtown who were students and they only seemed to eat veg and home made food when they came to me to eat. Still we had some good times or sharing around the table. Sharing around the table is what I feel I do best, probably why my waistline is the size it is, I can really relate to Acts 2:46 "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts", around the table is just such a fantastic place to share hearts and we have been doing a lot of that over the last few weeks.

Sunday was an amazing day there were hundreds and hundreds of people on bikes Our neighbour jokingly said that we just tripled our population for the day, although that might have been an 

exaggeration it certainly felt like that round us. Ian was a little disappointed in that it was a mountain bike race as he loves his road bike but he saw some interesting mountain bikes that he thinks would suit his riding style better - oh dear! I had better confiscate all cards. Lol. Still Ian enjoyed himself taking photographs as you can see!

This week we will be making a push to get the kitchen and rewiring done and we got started on that today. We took some rather nice panelling off the wall which had been ruined when we had the radiators renewed and previously when the new windows were put in. Now we can see what they were covering up and all I can say is "YUCK!" The top of the walls are lime paint, which is supposedly a very environmentally friendly paint which allows the walls to breathe, it might let the walls breathe but not me as I was cleaning it,  it was causing me to cough, I had to use a face mask in the end just to wash them down. Normally I like to be as environmentally friendly as possible but this stuff has to go. The bottom of the walls is a kind of glossy caramel colour and looks terrible, the walls are not very even too which is what we expected. So it looks like a fun dusty week this next week, heh ho! Must remember to take some photos of the gorgeous decor for you all to see.


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