It All Began in a Barn   4 comments

Over 2,000 years ago a baby was born in a barn/stable. His mother was Mary, his father is God. This Christmas season, we await the completion of a chapel dedicated to this baby who is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

As I took the picture above in the doorway of our barn, from next door the pungent odour of the cow shed wafted through and I had one of those precious God moments. The reality of the place of Jesus birth was no antiseptic or even clean nativity scene that we all enjoy and display each Christmas. Cow sheds, stables SMELL!!! As a mother I can’t imagine giving birth in such a place.

Suddenly, the reality grabbed me, filling my nostrils with the pungent smell of cow urine and dung. From the moment of his birth Jesus was faced with the nitty-gritty of life here on earth. I don’t think I will ever enter that cow shed again without remembering Christ’s sacrifice, his life and death for the dung of my sin. Even when it becomes a sheep pen the lessons will only deepen. Lessons from a cow/sheep shed. . . .

The old chapel came down to make way for the new. We had hoped to restore the chapel but it was quickly discovered that the wood was beyond saving. Tomorrow the new framework will begin to be put in place. The picture above shows it being constructed in the barn, it will now be taken down and put up on the site of the old chapel. The new chapel will be a bit closer to the road and slightly larger. We have kept the original altar and it is being re-finished. Today we bought a small blue oriental patterned rug to go in front of the altar for any who would like to kneel and pray. We are looking forward with great anticipation to see it finished. We also bought the red roof felt today and preservative for the outer walls. We would love to have it ready to dedicate just before Christmas, if only a private dedication as people are so busy at this time. We will see what God says as the time draws closer. As always, ‘watch this space.’

This is Ian in a ditch at the back of our property cutting our first Christmas tree at Kalnozoli 1. Add to that it was snowing ever so lightly and you have the perfect Christmas memory. We had fun strolling down our field to this ditch that separates the field from our ‘woodland.’ The woodland is .6 of a hectar, mostly boggy land that was logged before we bought the farm. Ian is planning to replant using fir cones from the nearby forrest. We think that is how our ditch came to have so many firs growing on its banks, planted by birds or perhaps squirrels, God’s natural forrest wardens.

Speaking of forrest wardens here is one on the loose, very loose. I have just discovered the saw doesn’t match my outfit that I especially chose for the tree cutting event. (If you believe that, well – you know the rest.)  If you look carefully in the distance you can see our mobile home.

Ian is just saying, “I cut it and now I have to carry it?” Ah the joys of farm life. Actually, I learned later this is the first time he has ever cut his own tree, so special moment. If you are looking for pictures of it decorated I might add some tomorrow after the job is done. At the moment it is standing naked in the corner of the lounge. Since this is a family site pictures of a naked tree indoors is not allowed, lol.

The other event we enjoyed this week was the addition to Tilly our T25 tracor. Ian found on a Latvian web site a single furrow plow in our area and he and Kaspars went off to have a look.

So Tilly is all hooked up and looking good with her matching plow. Ian won 2nd place in a plowing championship and knows his plows. He has been faithfully surfing the web in search of  a little beauty like this and we felt God provided this one nearby and at a very reasonable price. The fellow spoke Russian and Ian was glad to have Kaspars along who speaks, Latvian (of course), German, English and Russian. They were able to take the plow apart and load it into the Land Rover. That lovely car has proven to be a real work horse as well as good looking, pigs, plows and who knows what else living the Freelander farm life.

Last week Ian also went up to Ergli to the camp teaching the guys how to clat and foot rot the sheep. What is clatting and foot rotting, you ask? Time for sheep biology 101. Before the rams are put to the ewes for lamb making the area around their particular parts (the ewes) must be trimmed, 1) for ram access 2) sanitation durring preganancy and lambing and 3) normal sanitiation. Foot rotting is about trimming their hooves to avoid disease getting a hold in the hoof and if they are not trimmed they can go quite lame. Any questions? A wise decision was made to put the rams to the ewes in December to have lambing take place in May when it is warmer and there is better pasture available for feeding the ewes making better milk productioon and munchies for the lambs. On this particular teaching day the ewes were weighed, clatted, foot rotted and inoculated for worms/ticks and 2 days later the meeting with the rams took place. A woman’s work is never done. LOL

My work this week was eased a bit as we moved our washing machine down from the flat in Ergli. Our newly built pump house has now become the ‘wash house.’  To do laundry I carry the dirties in a plastic shopping bag about 6 metres (at the moment through the bloom’n cold) and do the neccessary, noting the time on my watch that I must return to set it for an additional spin so it dries quicker on the drying rack in the mobile home. After the spin I carry it back to the mobile home (in the bloom’n cold) and pin, hang or drape the laundry on the portable rack in front of the gas fire. During this time we do not use the computers, oven or microwave and we must turn down the electric heaters so there will be enough electrics to run the washing machine. We are still waiting for all the parts to come together so we can have 3 phase electrical power here on the farm. Ain’t life grand? Seriously, I am so pleased to have the machine close by and after one more load the laundry will be caught up. Or maybe 2 if I do the sheets. ‘Watch this space.’


Posted 06/12/2009 by ergliangel45 in Uncategorized

4 responses to “It All Began in a Barn

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  1. Kathleen, I am so happy for you. There are untold struggles in your description of life in Latvia, but your details of daily life are laced with that British humour and brings a quiet chuckle. I must say, you sound more British now than when we were in England together !!! So proud of you and what you are doing.


  2. Yes, British humour abounds around here. I have been dubbed an honorary Brit by several of my British friends. It comes with being married to one, lol. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you will visit the blog often. I usually update each Sunday.

  3. It All Began in a Barn .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.

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