Birch juice and Easter eggs   Leave a comment

A note from a neighbourOne day last week the door bell rang, neither of us answered it a little later it rang again again we being in separate rooms and not inclined did not answer it. This time the door opened and a cheery voice rang out in Latvian. Ian went into the hall to be greeted by one of our neighbours. She was carrying a plastic bucket and talking a mile-a-minute, gesturing at the bucket. Ian led her into the kitchen and took out a glass thinking she wanted a drink but no she gestured she wanted to give him the ‘water.’ He pulled out a jug and she filled it from her bucket. She indicated with a smile and hand gestures it was good for the back perhaps even the kidneys. Language communicated this way involves a great deal of guess work.  He thanked her, “paldies” and off she went. A few days later we saw her walking across the garden with another bucket in her hand, in gest I said “she’s bringing us more water.” To be certain the door bell went and in she came, this time we got out bigger containers and she emptied her bucket with many smiles and words. Again we said, “paldies” and “labdien” and off she went. A while later she returned with the note you see above, explaining that the water was Birch juice.  It was so nicely drawn and so clearly written in English and we were so appreciative of the effort wondering who wrote it out for her.

On Easter Sunday we saw her go down to feed her goat and I encouraged Ian to bag a loaf of his current bread and take it to her. I quickly signed an Easter card and off HE went. A little while later the doorbell rang and upon opening the door their stood our generous neighbour in the company of a tall blond young woman. She spoke saying in perfect English that her grandmother wanted to give us some coloured Easter eggs, a Latvian tradition. Latvian Easter eggs 

She wanted to thank us for the bread and hoped we were enjoying the Silver Birch juice. We learned that our neighbour is called Leotina and her granddaughter is Sonder. We learned many things through Sonder’s translation. We only wished that Sonder lived close but she is an accountant in Sweden. These gifts have made us feel very welcomed here in our little community. There was a real sense of God’s purpose and blessing in placing us here.

As promised last week we have lamb pictures and stories. A very wee lamb. The first event was a sad one, a ewe aborted a deformed lamb and later she died. Ian thinks she had pneumonia. Then came twins puny little things. This one didn’t look like it would survive but she is still going strong. Ian and Santa hand fed her to supplement her food as she was too weak in the beginning to stand and reach for her mum’s nourishment.







Hear is Ian doing what he is gifted at, helping one who doesn’t realize she needs to eat, getting enough nourishment in her for survival.A good shepherd feeds even reluctant lambs I love watching him handle the sheep his hands are so gentle and encouraging. He was able to get her to drink when others could not be quite so successful. How often does my Good Shepherd long to feed me and I turn away but so many times he has persevered and I have more than survived through his loving care. We often don’t know what we really need but he does and pursues us until we yield and are blessed. Ian gains great satisfaction over moments like these and is so grateful to the Lord for allowing him to re-enter this role of shepherd. He is loving reflecting on so many scriptural passages that speak of sheep and shepherding. These are Merino sheep and are quite docile but he is encouraged that this flock is starting to acknowledge his presence.

BULLETIN, just in. The shepherd has returned from a difficult birth of twins. Two large lambs born today in addition to two other sets of twins. Ian was in there with his hands soaped up into an unyielding cervix to find one coming too slowly and born blue. His years of practice and experience took over and he rubbed it down very vigioursly and it came ’round sputtering and coughing. He then went back in to discover its twin, feet forward but the sack had not burst so he broke the waters and out came the second. Dr. Herriot Langridge I’m calling him now. He is so pleased to be able to help in this way.

As he reflected on the lamb activity at the camp the other day he shared his vision that as the sheep flock prospers so shall the human flock of young people who come to the camp be ushered into the Good Shepherd’s flock. We believe the two are joined together in  God’s economy.

Did I mention that we have a mini Oregon state group here in Latvia. I’m from Oregon, Dustin Peterson, pastor of our local Baptist Fellowship is from the N.W if not exactly Oregon, Kim & Bruce Thompson our missionary friends met in Oregon, and Dan Roth, a rancher involved with the camp is from Christmas Valley, Oregon, also Marvin, operations manager for the camp is from Oregon. There may be more floating around but that is it for now. Oh yes, and Paula a friend out in Tilza, Latvia is from Oregon. So if you are reading this in Oregon, come on down and join the crew, even if you are not from Oregon we would welcome you.  Also there are several  from England and me being ‘from’ both would love to see many come and visit and listen to see if God is calling you here. 

It is now Tuesday and we are off to Madona to hopefully finish our registration process for Latvia. We may do a little shopping while there and consider getting another gas cylnder for our gas cooker. You never know when these things run out so it is good to have and extra at the ready.

This week we also received a very welcome gift of fire wood from our friends, Ian and Joanna. They have access to a friend’s land that has a good amount of fallen timber and were able to go out and cut some up and brought it to us just at a very needy point. With our wood stove/boiler we need a constant supply and what came with the house was running low, very low so this came just at a critical point. We now have another source of wood to dry over the summer in preparation for next winter so that will be a rather large collection job after a price is negotiated in the next week or two.

We are preparing to start our garden soon. Ian has planted up some beans in a seed tray and they are really going to town growing ever so fast, maybe too fast. It is still too wet to prepare the ground but we need to get the plants started so they can go in as soon as all the signs are right. For those of you in England it really is ‘The Good Life.” Tom & Barbara we aren’t and not a posh neighbour in sight but it is good.


Posted 14/04/2009 by ergliangel45 in Uncategorized

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