I am spooning porridge into my youngest child’s mouth. Or trying to. He is shaking his head right and left, stretching his back, turning his body around, trying to reach things, keeping his lips shut tight. He pays no attention to my threats that he won’t stay on the healthy growth curves if he does not eat. I give him pieces of cooked vegetables that he can pick up himself and eat. He takes a couple of bites and pushes them away. Frustrated, I wonder why simple eating can be so difficult. But then I remember something from my childhood. I was around 6 years old, sitting on the floor with my sister. We were surrounded by dolls and dolls’ clothes, our own clothes, drawing paper, crayons and stickers. We had been ordered to take away the glass jar full of ladybirds that we had collected the previous day, although we would have liked to have kept them as pets. Mother had told us to tidy our room, but it seemed too much work. We had not even started tidying when mother already called us to eat. We wondered which would be less fun, to tidy our room or to eat. Both seemed like punishments. Time has eliminated this problem, at least as far as eating is concerned.
Tying the belt, I walk quickly to the door. It could be the chairman of the housing association. Have I forgotten to pay my water bill?
I lay in bed curled up, staring into the darkness. As the pain intensified, grief encompassed my mind, my body, my whole being.
When I woke up the first-grader, she felt and looked feverish. Was that why she had slept so restlessly? She had wanted to come into our bed and had then tossed and turned all night. I felt I had hardly slept at all. I took her temperature, gave her some medicine and made breakfast.
Imagine yourself at a normal weekday meal. You hear the clatter of spoons and smell the aroma of hot soup. There is the hum of conversation with occasional silent moments. And then, all of a sudden, you feel small arms around you and see the sunny face of a child. “She is so nice. This mommy is so sweet. I love you very, very much.”
The camp of the Lutheran Church of Estonia, Talu, is located in Saku twenty kilometers away from Tallinn, the capital city. Talu is Estonian and means a ’farmhouse’. And we actually saw cows and horses grazing around the camp. Hens were pecking for food on the yard, and our little daughter was allowed to collect their eggs. The April sun was shining so warmly that the people who had gathered at Talu for a Bible study course decided to keep some of the lessons outdoors.
During my recent mission trip to Guinea we visited many homes in Nzerekore and Conakry, keeping services in village halls and gardens. I was traveling with the Togolese speaker Nicholas Deh and Guinean Alphonse Haba, who lives in Gambia. Alphonse also translated our speeches and served as our guide.
When people say goodbye, they often also say: ”Remember me when you pray to the Heavenly Father.” Or simply: ”Remember me.” I have thought that this request is not merely a beautiful phrase. It is the petition of a poor Christian that I would pray on his or her behalf. For a person who makes this request the most important thing is to remain believing and to get into heaven.
Sergei Gerasimov is a Russian vicar from Primorsk. He received the grace of repentance during a confirmation camp for Russian believers in Jämsä.
The last few kilometers of the ride to the location of the services are bumpy. The children in the yard notice us and run to greet us. The older children can speak English well. An interpreter helps us visit with the rest – everyone is able to greet and say their name without an interpreter.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Trusting in this promise, we often gather to listen to the word of God and its explanations. The promise is great, but how is it possible?
God created the world and all was well. The situation changed when the enemy of souls tempted Eve in to taking fruit from the tree of good and evil. The woman did not have the strength to resist the temptation. Instead she took the fruit and ate it. Then she gave it to her husband and he ate it also.
God is almighty. As the Almighty, God is the foundation of everything. He is present everywhere, sees all, knows all, is right-minded and perfectly good.
Kristillisyytemme toiminnan eräs perusarvo on vapaaehtoisuuden vaaliminen. Toiminta on vapaaehtoista myös taloudellisesta näkökulmasta, sillä se pohjautuu lahjoitusvaroihin. Toiminnan organisoiminen auttaa tehtävien ja vastuun jakamisessa. Jotta rauhanyhdistys toimii, se edellyttää jäsenten sitoutumista, vastuun ottamista ja luottamusta.