JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.
Vieraskieliset / In-english

The lit­t­le old lady with dough­nuts in her back­pack

Vieraskieliset / In-english
5.4.2019 14.29

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.

Mart­ta and her fa­mi­ly li­ved in the vil­la­ge school­hou­se, where she al­so wor­ked. She ser­ved the vil­la­ge pe­op­le for 30 ye­ars as the school’s cook and ca­re­ta­ker. Those who went to pri­ma­ry school in the ear­ly 1950s still re­mem­ber the de­li­ci­ous ber­ry por­rid­ge she coo­ked.

At that time Sun­day was cle­ar­ly dif­fe­rent from the busy week­da­ys. Sun­day ser­vi­ce in the lo­cal church was es­pe­ci­al­ly im­por­tant for Mart­ta. If she did not have a ride, she wal­ked the 5 ki­lo­me­ters from her vil­la­ge to the church.

La­es­ta­di­an ser­vi­ces have been ar­ran­ged in Mart­ta’s home vil­la­ge sin­ce the late 19th cen­tu­ry. When the num­ber of be­lie­vers inc­re­a­sed, vil­la­ge com­mu­ni­ties be­gan to ap­point ser­vi­ce com­mit­tees to fa­ci­li­ta­te ar­ran­ge­ments. Mart­ta was ap­poin­ted a mem­ber of this com­mit­tee in the 1930s. She was al­so a mem­ber of the lo­cal La­es­ta­di­an cong­re­ga­ti­on’s bo­ard for ne­ar­ly 30 ye­ars.

A friend re­mi­nis­ces about the lo­cal mid­sum­mer ser­vi­ces: ”They were al­wa­ys so busy. Their cheeks glo­wed in the heat of the wood-bur­ning stove which they used to make cof­fee. And how they tal­ked! Mart­ta was a very cheer­ful per­son, al­wa­ys smi­ling.”

Ser­vi­ce gu­ests were usu­al­ly tre­a­ted to cof­fee, and Mart­ta would bring some ba­king with her. For tens of ye­ars she al­wa­ys came to ser­vi­ces with fresh­ly ba­ked dough­nuts in her back­pack.

Child­ren at ser­vi­ces would keep an eye on Mart­ta’s black hand­bag, where she had can­dy for them.

Mart­ta al­so ser­ved as a Sun­day School te­ac­her for 50 ye­ars. She exp­lai­ned the Bib­le sto­ries in a li­ve­ly way that grip­ped child­ren’s at­ten­ti­on. She la­ter al­so wor­ked with Day Circ­le and Bib­le Class.

She par­ti­ci­pa­ted in a buil­ding crew when the new rau­ha­nyh­dis­tys buil­ding was being const­ruc­ted and al­so did wood­work as a hob­by. She made the fur­ni­tu­re for her small hou­se and va­ri­ous uten­sils for her kitc­hen. She even built a pla­y­hou­se and a slide for child­ren on her yard.

As Mart­ta aged, she re­ti­red from work but con­ti­nu­ed to be ac­ti­ve in many ways. She still ba­ked de­li­ci­ous bread for the cong­re­ga­ti­on’s bake sa­les. She al­so had more time for her grandc­hild­ren. She went to help her daugh­ter Kat­ri’s gro­wing fa­mi­ly al­most dai­ly.

Over the ye­ars Mart­ta vi­si­ted many ho­mes in the vil­la­ge. She li­ked to dis­cuss faith and al­so tem­po­ral mat­ters. She was ne­ver bit­ter about her own life but li­ked to point out the hu­mo­rous as­pects of her ex­pe­rien­ces. Her po­si­ti­ve at­ti­tu­de and sen­se of hu­mor shed a spe­ci­al light on those near to her.

Her friends and neigh­bors re­mem­ber that she ne­ver coun­ted the hours when hel­ping ot­hers. She did things vo­lun­ta­ri­ly and wil­ling­ly, wit­hout as­king anyt­hing in re­turn. Ac­ti­ve­ly and cheer­ful­ly she ser­ved both vil­la­ge pe­op­le of all ages and ser­vi­ce gu­estss.

Text: Rai­ja Lo­hi­lah­ti

The text is an ab­rid­ged ver­si­on of an ar­tic­le tit­led “Koko ky­län Mart­ta” (Mart­ta of the whole vil­la­ge) in the book Nai­set vies­tin­vie­ji­nä (Wo­men as mes­sen­gers, SRK, 2017). Trans­la­ti­on: S-L.L.

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä kie­li­liit­tees­sä tam­mi­kuus­sa 2019


Jee­sus sa­noo: "Kun paas­to­at­te, äl­kää ol­ko syn­kän nä­köi­siä niin kuin te­ko­py­hät. He muut­ta­vat muo­ton­sa sur­ke­ak­si, jot­ta kaik­ki var­mas­ti huo­mai­si­vat hei­dän paas­to­a­van." Matt. 6:16

Viikon kysymys