Epistle 3

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MAY 16, 2007



Sunday we drove to Madona for church.  (about 30 miles).  We sang old stand-by hymns.  Those that I recognized I sang harmony (humming of course as they were singing in Latvian.)  One song that I didn’t recognize, the tune so touched my heart and spirit so deeply that I was humbled to tears.

Dustin Pedersen, the pastor, and his wife Kristine gave the sermon in both English and Latvian as Kathy and I were not the only Americans present.   You are going to love this, a couple from Lake Oswego were there.  Bruce and Judy are financial planners/retirement specialists specifically for Pastors in the field.  Scott and his family were there from Riga, another missionary family.  Kim and Bruce, of course, were there and Kathy and I.

When it came time for testimonies, one of the older women, Zenina, who had been at the sewing retreat thanked God for bringing Kathy and I to them. And that we had such sweet hearts and we were so beautiful.

Because it was Mother’s Day, the children prepared a short program for all of us.  While one little girl played the flute, they sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Then they sang two songs in Latvian using hand gestures, similar to sign language.  Both songs were about mothers.  It was so sweet.  The children then brought tulips to each of the women in the congregation.  Kathy and I were included.

What touched me most was when they went to take the offering.  They passed around a small box and these little women carefully dropped their widow’s might into the box.  You could hear the plink of their one little coin, all that they had, they gave freely.  I would suspect most were in their late 70’s or 80’s and were widows, but Kim clarified for us later that the women who had been sitting right next to us were in their early 60’s.  It shows what a hard life they have lived, physical labor, long hours, many responsibilities.

As we left the church, we were greeted with hugs and “God Bless You” (Lai deivs sveti).  These were precious moments that I never want to forget.

On our way home Bruce introduced me to Korzeki, a type of cookie bar that has dates and raisins in it and brushed with a  slight glaze.  They were absolutely yummy.

Kathy and I walked from the hotel about one mile to have dinner with Kim and Bruce.  Kim had done our laundry and fixed us a scrumptious dinner.  We emailed our kids and Mom and then sat and watched “Jazz Singer.”

It was a wonderful Sunday – with traditional food and fellowship.

As always, in His service,

Leslie and Kathy