“and on this rock I will build my church . . . .” Matthew 16:18b   4 comments

When I looked at this picture that Ian took this morning the verse from Matthew came immediately to mind.  Of course Jesus, in that verse, was speaking of Peter’s confession that He is the Christ and upon that truth His church, His body of believers is created and not even the gates of Hades (powers of death) shall overcome it.  It is an encouraging word for us as this week has been about sickness for me and moments of frustration for Ian. I have had an intestinal bug that is now waining after 4 days while Ian has had literally sticky moments in our water logged ground. Friends of ours have a piece of land near Ergli and are now calling it, fondly, “The Everglades” as a result of all the standing water. At times our land feels like Waterloo and we are the French, LOL.

The good news is we have begun to rebuild the chapel. Today for the first time I stood inside the chapel and with Ian we prayed and then sang the doxolgy.   What a blessing to walk in through the doorway after all these months of waiting to get inside. The door has been removed to be a pattern for a replacement door probably using the old glass window with its cross-shaped central panel.

When the chapel was opened this past Thursday the cross that had been laying on the altar was found to be made of solid lead and may have been on top of the old steeple. We hope to put it on the new steeple. Our prayer is that the rebuilt chapel will be done by Christmas. In faith we have purchased a star with lights to put on the roof, even if the chapel is not quite finished. Four of the foundation rocks are in place and we hope to purchase the wood this week. We will keep the original altar and just refinish it. Our neighbour, Lauris is in charge of the work, enlisting his brothers when needed.

Our neighbours, 3 young men, Lauris, Kaspars and Dave have rescued us numerous times when we have been stuck in our driveway. Even today as the car sat just a bit off the gravel track we were stuck again and Kaspars came rushing over to help. Within minutes the other two were on hand to push us onto the gravel standing. So another job soon will be more gravel and more grueling work to level it out so we can park closer to our mobile home. The reason the other guys were not on hand, immediately,is that they had gone to another farm with their horse and cart to pick up bales of hay. They came back at just the right God ordained moment for us. PTL!!!

The reality is, this mild winter weather is lovely for keeping warm but the amount of rainfall keeps our ground saturated and makes it impossible to move our belongings down from the flat in Ergli. Our friends and landlords are coming for their first visit on Tuesday so we will be able to express our dilema. We had hoped to be out by the first of December but that looks impossible at the moment. God knows and His plans never fail so we wait and trust, listening and continuing to encourage.

We contiue to stand amazed as God speaks through his creation. The ‘pillar of fire’ appeared in the sky behind Kalnazoli 1 a few weeks ago. It was a pillar of cloud turning into a pillar of fire as the sun set. To us it seems God’s message is a reminder that He is indeed continuing to guide us, do not doubt. A reminder, perhaps, to wait on Him, listen and continue to encourage. The photo does not really show the intense red colouring of the pillar but it was spectacular. For you scientific types, yes, it may have been a pillar of smoke that caught the sun but God still spoke to us and by eyes of faith we saw a ‘pillar of fire.’

On the left you see one of our 3 bird feeding stations. This was taken during our second blessing of snow a few weeks ago. We are delighted to be feeding the ‘little birds’ during winter right outside our kitchen/diner window. Their antics are amusing and their delight at being fed ‘gourmet’ food is charming. They are so wise, when their seed supply dwindles they actually come and peck on the window asking for more. We have seen mostly sparrows and tits and they seem to be getting along pretty well. The sparrows seem the shy ones and tits quite bold and ready for anything new. The feeder you see hanging is filled with rendered lamb fat stuffed with budgie seed. It has lasted for over a month now while the one filled with margarine and seed has been emptied twice.The little red barn feeder proved a real hit in the snow as they were able eat inside out of the wind and weather. The margarine filled feeder can just been seen in the background hanging from a roof timber of the small timber house. This picture might appear on a Christmas card if I get busy and get them designed and out.  These bird moments are such a wonderful reminder of God’s care for the smallest of creatures so why worry?

Our neigbour’s fawn, Beka continues to grow into a handsome buck, roe deer. He has taken to spending time in the woods behind our farms which caused me great concern the other day as men with bright orange hats came across our land carrying hunting rifles.

I later learned from Kaspars that Beka was safely indoors during their hunt and they came from the woods with nothing other than their rifles. Later that day when I was outside I did hear a rifle shot but it was not near our farm. We did learn that we could write a letter and have our farm listed as a no hunting farm but since we do not actually own any forrested land it would not be of any value though it would keep them from entering our land to get to the forrest and if they carried game off through our land we could claim it from them. But, think about it, would you protest to people carrying loaded rifles? Not me.

What of our neighbours cows and horse, are they still grazing our land? Not in a planned way, they have been moved back onto their own land but Friday and again yesterday they broke out of their fencing and came grazing right up to our kitchen window. It was amusing to be startled by staring at a cow smack in the face through the window. Kaspars and Lauris were here helping Ian with work projects and the cows were eventually moved on after they had a good snack, LOL. Ah, country life. We continue to enjoy fresh milk, eggs and homemade cheese from our friendly neighbours.

We were able to do them a good turn the second Sunday this month when we took Kaspars and his mother Agnesis to the street market in Valani where she bought a male pig for her two girl pigs. The pig had caught Ian’s eye as its markings were similar to the English saddle backs he used to breed. We really do live in the country and our car is truly contrified with mud all over it and briefly embracing a decided pig odour.  It only lasted a few days, the odour that is, the pig is happily ensconced with its two female pen mates.

No, they are not killing the tractor or trying to get it unstuck! They are levering a foundation rock, for the chapel, onto an old door with the goal of hauling it around to the chapel site. You can see from the top picture that it worked. We may not have a front loader but we make do and mend, quite well.

We have other projects in hand in the small timber house and the barn and they will hopefully be featured in the next blog. With the chief photographer out of commission and the governor having to do double duty of house and farm things haven’t happened exactly to plan, ah well, it is normal and all part of the learning process called LIFE!!! Amen?

We have accomplished some rather important paperwork which gives us legal right to make all decisions concerning our property even though our Latvian friend is still  listed as the owner on paper until May1, 2011, when our name goes on the deed. It helps to live in a country within the European Union, at times.

Every day in our times of devotions each morning we thank God for bringing us here a opening the way to have Kalnozoli 1. We also thank Him daily for our friends and prayer supporters who uphold us through the good and the difficult times. Those ones we can text or call in a moment of distress. Things like frozen pipes after we thought they were OK meaning more work was needed. Getting stuck time after time, wet ground when we need frozen ground, moments of frustration with communication with both English speakers and Latvians or Russians. Normal everyday items that take us to God’s throne room, on the run. In our moments of faith we see clearly and are quick to confess our lack of trust when we have panicked or become frustrated. God’s grace never ceases to amaze us, the depth of His love cannot be measured and we rejoice.


4 responses to ““and on this rock I will build my church . . . .” Matthew 16:18b

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  1. So good to see you back, we think and
    speak of you often. It’s great to see some more progress, God bless you both.

    Roger and Val
    • It is good to be back, we hope we can get together with you soon. Any chance of a visit in this direction?

  2. Beautiful!

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