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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: On a speaking trip

Vieraskieliset / In-english
19.11.2021 13.21

Juttua muokattu:

19.11. 13:29

Text: Suvi Myl­ly­mä­ki

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

My fat­her ser­ved as a spe­a­ker for de­ca­des. When it was his turn to speak at ser­vi­ces in our home cong­re­ga­ti­on, it was al­wa­ys spe­ci­al for us, his child­ren. I do not think I was ever ner­vous for my fat­her. Ma­y­be I did not even wor­ry about such things as a child. But I do re­mem­ber the spe­ci­al fee­ling I had when I sat at ser­vi­ces, lis­te­ning to my fat­her speak.

So­me­ti­mes, when my fat­her went to ser­ve in anot­her cong­re­ga­ti­on, he took some of us child­ren along. He was of­ten ac­com­pa­nied by anot­her lo­cal spe­a­ker. I lo­ved to come along. I have glimp­ses of me­mo­ry where I sit at ser­vi­ces so­mew­he­re un­fa­mi­li­ar. The vi­si­ting spe­a­kers and their child­ren were al­wa­ys gi­ven a good meal. I re­mem­ber a white wall and a lar­ge tab­le with many sis­ters and brot­hers sit­ting around it en­ga­ged in cheer­ful dis­cus­si­on. I re­mem­ber I ate so much that I thought my sto­mach might burst. And then so­me­o­ne came and as­ked us to have rice pud­ding for des­sert. I won­de­red how any­bo­dy could eat rice pud­ding af­ter that lo­ve­ly meal. I was even more as­to­nis­hed to find that a cof­fee break fol­lo­wed soon af­ter the meal. My sto­mach was still qui­te full, and we were sup­po­sed to eat again.

On­ce when my fat­her had ta­ken me along on a spe­a­king trip, we sta­yed the night on a cat­t­le farm. I slept on a mat­t­ress on the li­ving-room floor, and my bed­ti­me re­a­ding con­sis­ted of a Re­a­ders’ Di­gest no­vel that I had found on the brown books­helf. In the eve­ning I he­ard the fa­mi­ly talk about a bull that had got loo­se from its stall. The ow­ner cal­led his son to come and help catch the bull. I was qui­te small and found it scary. I ima­gi­ned a huge bull with horns run­ning around and the men trying to catch it. Luc­ki­ly, the in­ci­dent en­ded well and the bull was re­tur­ned to its stall.

The in­ci­dent was still dis­cus­sed at bre­ak­fast. Af­ter that we be­gan to pre­pa­re to le­a­ve for ser­vi­ces. Be­fo­re they left, the spe­a­kers were pre­ac­hed the li­be­ra­ting mes­sa­ge of the gos­pel. I re­mem­ber stan­ding there next to my fat­her and ho­ping that the adults would al­so bless me. I do not re­mem­ber if I was ab­le to be­lie­ve my sins for­gi­ven there and then, but I am sure I he­ard the gos­pel at ser­vi­ces.

If my fat­her did not take any of us with him to ser­vi­ces, he al­wa­ys brought us a treat when he came home. It was al­wa­ys the same thing, on­ce par­ti­cu­lar cho­co­la­te bar that he bought from a ne­ar­by ser­vi­ce sta­ti­on. It was fun to wait for him to come home, kno­wing we would get that treat.

We al­so so­me­ti­mes at­ten­ded bap­tisms, eit­her one of us with our fat­her or the whole fa­mi­ly. A few ye­ars ago one of the lo­cal pe­op­le gave me a pic­tu­re of my­self at a bap­tism with my fat­her. I was se­ven in that pic­tu­re.

I am sure I was hap­py to at­tend the bap­tism. I had wan­ted to go on anot­her oc­ca­si­on, but it was not pos­sib­le then. When I was six, I tried to come along wit­hout per­mis­si­on: I hid be­hind the dri­ver’s seat of our car, wor­ried that my fat­her might see me. He star­ted the car, and I was thril­led about ha­ving suc­cee­ded, but he then stop­ped the car and cal­led me by my name. Di­sap­poin­ted, I had to crawl out and stay at home. It is fun­ny how strong­ly I still re­mem­ber the fee­ling of di­sap­point­ment. It is ea­sy for an adult to un­ders­tand that it is not al­wa­ys pos­sib­le to go to pla­ces, but a six-ye­ar-old found it qui­te un­fair.

I re­mem­ber about my last ser­vi­ce trip that I was a bit as­ha­med of co­ming with my fat­her, being a big girl al­re­a­dy. I re­mem­ber fee­ling so­me­how nos­tal­gic, awa­re that I had grown out of one stage of child­hood. Those ser­vi­ces were be­au­ti­ful. They were kept in an old buil­ding where the floor bo­ards cre­a­ked when you step­ped on them. The at­mosp­he­re was just right for my last he­art-war­ming ser­vi­ce trip with my fat­her.


Hyvä ja oikeamielinen on Herra, hän neuvoo syntisille tien. Ps. 25:8

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