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.
It was Friday. The week had been busy and full of unexpected events. I had taken one child to a dental appointment and another to the health clinic and had attended the parent-teacher meetings of several children. I had not been able to fit all of the seven parent-teacher sessions into one week, so there would be more to do after the weekend.
The child in my arms reaches out his hand to brush my face. His dimples slowly deepen and laughter sparkles in his eyes. I see his absolute trust, the light that shines forth. I quietly save this moment in my memory and let myself be immersed in tenderness.
When I read the Bible I notice the richness of the language and the multiple meanings of the words. I can understand some Finnish Bible texts more clearly when I read the Russian Bible.
Martta Koistinaho (1918–2008) lived in a small village in northern Finland. For years and years she helped her friends and neighbors in many different ways.
What is it like to be serving in a Laestadian congregation in Africa? Nicolas Deh from Togo tells us about his duties as a speaker of a local congregation and the process of establishing Laestadian Christianity in West Africa.
When Paul writes about God’s congregation to the congre-gation of Corinth in Greece, he refers to it as the body of Christ.
I have moved back to my childhood home. I am sitting at the kitchen window with my mother. My mother says:
We all need a tongue: without it we could neither eat, nor speak. In Finnish we use the same word to refer both to our physical tongue and to the language that we speak.
What do we do for a weekend with the girls? We talk and laugh and talk some more. We enjoy delicious meals and some special treats. And we talk again. We walk and drive around, looking at all the lovely houses. We shop for a winter coat for the mother and fairy lights for a sister. We talk about what each of us has been doing and how the fall time has gone. What things we have screwed up, and what things we could celebrate and high-five.
I sent my first letter to my wife – then the target of my distant admiration – 50 years ago. We still have that letter, but I have not read it since I mailed it. Now I decide to read it. If I remember correctly, the letter ended in an explicit question, to which I expected to get an answer. I do not remember how precisely I formulated that question, but in plain language I meant to ask: “Would you like to be my girlfriend?”
Raamatun mukaan jokainen Jumalan valtakunnan jäsen on avoin lähetyskirje omassa toimintaympäristössään (2. Kor. 3:2–3). Tämä asia voi olla kipupiste uskovaiselle ihmiselle, sillä henkilökohtaisesta uskosta puhumiselle on korkea kynnys nyky-yhteiskunnassa.