People are beginning to ask me if I've fallen of the face of the planet. It's been a long time since I've really posted some deep thoughts.
I've been quite busy the past two weeks.
This weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting two Latvians in our home. Maris and Inguna Gruzninas from Talsi. John and I met them two years ago on the choir mission trip to Lativa. Our first Sunday in Talsi, all of us were farmed out to spend time with Latvian families in their homes. Inguna got up and asked who the craziest American was. My name reverberated off the white walls of the sanctuary. Inguna and Maris took John and I to their home, along with our friends Darwin and Marilyn. (Darwin happens to be half as crazy as I, which makes him the second craziest person in the choir.)
In the car, richochetting down a dirt road, Inguna smiles asking if we had bathing suits with us. We all nodded. She told us we were going to be inducted into the Latvian culture by experiencing a true Lativan sauna. Hearing the word "sauna" makes me break into a sweat. I couldn't imagine the difference between the sauna experience here in the states, and the one in Lativa.
Clad in bathing suits, with towels wrapped around our heads, Maris lead us into the sauna that he built himself. On the wall was one of those monster sized thermometers. The big red needle pointed at 100 degrees...
In case you don't know, 100 degrees C, is the boiling point. Some 200 + degrees F, depending on your altitude. Maris saw us hesitate to step into the ceader boarded room and coaxed us in. In fact, two of his three kids aged 7 and 15 joined us.
"You stay in sauna for 15 minutes. After that, you jump in pond."
Did I mention the fact that lattitudinally Lativa is as far north as Ankorage Alaska? That the highs in June are in the 60's? The waters are still only a little above freezing? And the mosquitoes...
For me the torture was the sauna part. Never in my life had full submersion in near freezing water felt so GOOD! John dipped his toes in and tried to "adjust" to the water. Me? I dived right off the dock. First one in. I think Darwin was second.
Any how, back to the present...
Inguna is the principal and founder of Talsi Christian School. It is the ONLY school in Latvia that educated students with special needs both physical and cognitive. Special education does not exist in Latvia in the public or private systems. Kids with special needs are institutionalized far from home. She and Maris came to talk to our church about the orphan camp they host each year at the school.
Another big even this weekend was the 3rd annual Phat Choir Classic. The purpose was to raise money for our choir's mission trip to Latvia next year. John and I both are going. Kyle will spend two weeks in PA with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom already warned me she may not be able to part from him:) John and I want to model to Kyle that missions is one of the highest priorities for us. Especially to Latvia. God has called us to serve along with our Latvian brothers and sisters.
Oh, sorry for the lack of pictures this time. My computer is behaving in a most litter-box way. My tool bars never loaded, and I can't get graphics to show up. May have to call the Geek people to fix it.