Monday, 8 September 2008

News hot off the press

This week's hot news is that we are selling "the house" as Mark put it. The house where we brought up our children for 15 years 

(For those who have not seen it here is a picture. The house on the right was our original house and the 
second one on the left of it was the house we bought and knocked the two into one, we sold that one last year. The other picture is a view from out of our front door). 
It is the house we loved because it was out in the countryside. The house where we first stretched our wings of faith as we didn't even have a car when we bought it and Ian had a 13 mile cycle ride to work everyday. Even when we did get a car Ian couldn't drive and on wet days in early autumn I used to have to drive Ian with our two small children into Sheffield and spend the day at one of my friends house until Ian finished. Problem was that you could almost guarantee that Mark would be sick at almost the exact same spot every time, until I stopped giving him breakfast just before we set off. Ian did pass his test that November and I lost my car for the winter, which meant having to stay in Barlow unable to get out and about as the buses were just not convenient, but we adjusted and our children grew. Matthew was born while we were in Barlow. So many memories and so many friends that have come and gone from the Terrace as it was known, which consisted of three blocks of ten houses in the middle of fields. I don't regret moving as it has been quite an adventure since we have moved, I never envisaged moving to so many different countries or our children travelling so much too. By the end of the year our family will have had someone visit most of the continents including North and South America, Africa and Australia, only Asia and Antarctica to go - any volunteers kids? Although I don't regret the move from there, it is a poignant time as it is our connection with a large part of our history that we are severing.
This week we finally got our gas pipe moved and we no longer have a spaghetti junction in our kitchen but we now have flexible hose so we can put the pipes wherever we want them - well within reason. Mind you the guy did not come until Friday and we were hanging around and hanging around waiting for him to come. Thursday we got a text message from our Latvian friend who was our contact person to say there was an emergency and he wouldn't be able to come that day after all. I decided to phone some people who we were told had moved to Latvia because God had told them, but didn't really know what God wanted them to do (sound familiar?). They were free at very little notice and so two hours later we were at Roger & Valerie's house. We got along very well, in fact so well that Valerie made some tea (evening meal) and wondered if we would join them and it was only then that I realised that we had been talking and laughing for 6 hours. Their situation was so similar to ours of having a connection to Latvia for quite a few years and over time realising that God wanted them in Latvia and this year God cleared some obstacles which meant they were free to come and here they are, waiting! It is exciting to think God is moving people here who are prepared to wait on his next move. He is moving people who are patient but also prepared to make big changes. What has God got in mind for this little country? I have no idea but I am looking forward to finding out.

On the way home from our new friends' house we saw a fox running down the road. It was obviously trying to outrun the big red monster and darted this way and that and when Ian tried to scare it off to the side of the road, by revving the engine a little, it ran all the harder. I thought the poor little thing was going to have a heart attack. In the end we had to stop and let it find its way off the road before we could carry on. Wonder how often we get like that little fox, running and running, getting scared of something we don't understand, trying everything to avoid it, when all we have to do is get out of the way and let it get pass. That poor little fox did not understand that the big red monster was not indeed a monster about to mow it down and I think some of the monsters in our lives are not really monsters at all, not every circumstance in our lives is as bad as we make them out to be, they might look big but we have a Dad in Heaven who cares for us and he is bigger than even the big red monsters in our lives, sometimes we just have to get out of the way. 

Talking of monsters, the world economy certainly looks big and scary at the moment but I feel that there is a lot of hope and a lot of opportunity to right some of the wrongs with the way our economies are run. I get annoyed with the testosterone fueled stock markets where much is to be made and greed rules the day. It is interesting though that questions are beginning to be asked about the way deals are done, and the risks people take with other peoples money. I found the following advice by the chairman of Spain's biggest bank, Santander Emilio Botin to London's financial the recent Euromoney Awards Ceremony, very encouraging.

"If you don't fully understand an instrument, don't buy it. 
If you would not buy a specific product for yourself, don't try to sell it.
If you do not know your customers very well, don't lend them any money. 
If you do these three things, you will be a better banker, my son."

Well on that note we are selling our shares this week and finally got around to the bank to initiate the transactions. Not the best of times to be selling but the time is right to stop investing in the old economy and to start to invest in the new economy. In many ways it is a very old method of investing as we will be using the money to pay for the flat (apartment) we agreed to buy last week, but we are doing it so that others can benefit and not just ourselves. 

On the way to Riga in order to sort out the share sale we saw an accident with one of the log lorries (semi). These lorries are usually a truck and a trailer piled high with logs and there are loads of them travelling backwards and forwards in Latvia. The trailer on this particular lorry flipped over and tipped it's load down the embankment towards the Daugava river, all I saw were logs bouncing across the carriageway, a mangled barrier and the overturned rear trailer. Thank God there was no one coming in the opposite direction at that particular time otherwise it could have been very nasty. The poor driver looked so shook up as he was hurling logs off the road, it was not as if he was going too fast but we didn't see what caused the accident, so we have no idea how just the rear trailer managed to flip over. 

I mentioned about three weeks ago that Ian saw a mountain bike that might suit his riding style better, well our trip into Riga also resulted in us buying the mountain bike that he saw and liked the look of. They had one bike of the sort he was interested in and the next time they would get any more with the same specifications would be April! I decided that it was going to be wise to get one now or he would never get one and mountain biking does offer more opportunities here in Latvia than road biking. Ian has been out twice now on his mountain bike and loved it - good job or there would have been mega trouble! 

This week we are able to get on with the kitchen floor which has involved pouring self-levelling concrete onto the undulating floor. It also involves the whole of our kitchen spilling out into the rest of our flat (apartment). There is a table in the living room with the drawers from the sideboard (buffet) on top of it and cups
 underneath. In the office are two cookers (stove), an old one and a new one and the sideboard. In the hallway is the sink unit and the fridge and last but not least our bread, pans, and any other odd and ends are crammed into our bedroom. We hardly have room to move at the moment. 
(Yes Emma it is still "that clock" on the wall) 

Finally Autumn has arrived in Latvia, with the frost last week the trees are definitely turning now. Mind you yesterday was really hot and humid as if to say summer is not quite finished yet.


  1. Does the brief stopover in Dubai on the way to Australia count? Or does it at least have to be over night?

  2. Oh yeah I forgot about that! Well it might be the nearest we get unless we include my Mum's trips to China and India but I don't think they count. :o)

  3. What an intersting week you've had! Glad to know your kitchen is finally being sorted.

    I was interested to hear of your new acquaintances in Latvia who, like you, just did what God was telling them to, even though they don't understand why. I receive a weekly prayer letter from Nightwatchfor Europe and this week they reminded us of a prophecy given by Lee Ann Thompson. In it she mentioned Latvia and I quote -

    I saw the Lord beginning to drip oil down in the Baltic area, with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania receiving fresh resources. The Lord is intending an Antioch in this area with influence being widely distributed. Helsinki, Tallinn, and Riga have a key identity and partnership in this.

    She then goes on to say-

    St. Petersburg is a key City of Refuge. There is an aspect of being 'hidden' which is important right now. We need to pray that she is not drawn out during the time of invisibility. It is imperative that networks of relationships are drawn together now. We need the help of the angels because there is confusion there, and people have their own ideas. The Baltic cities must understand the role of St. Petersburg and partner and protect the work the Lord is bringing there.

    When I read that, I thought of you there in Latvia and the promises you have received. Just thought you may like to know that this week, at least, all those receiving this prayer letter will be praying for you. Blessings.

  4. That is so encouraging Mavis and fits in with how we feel about the hiddenness of what God is doing right now. Thank you for letting me know about it


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