Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I met with Edgaras my long time friend and his family. Edgaras lives in
with is talented wife Eimante and their two lovely daughters Auguste and Ugne, I took the bus from Siauliai at and arrived at the Kaunas bus station at where Edgaras met me. We went to his home which is only minutes away. Siauliai
During the brief trip we had a chance to chat. How are you, Kak Dela? How is the Russian coming? As kalbeti Lituviski, Edgaras could tell I wasn’t making a whole lot of progress, but he is a good guy and never one to criticize. I fact, he is the most genuine “Live and let live” person I have ever met. He is a great respecter of elders.
I spoke about my mission and what I was doing in
and later in kaunas . He had followed my journey last Fall and was amazed that I would come all the way here to talk about God. Edgaras is a very practical man and keeping a wife and two children in a city with the highest unemployment in the whole country he has a good reason to be practical. He asked how much do I get to talk about God? Russia
“ So you have to pay for all this from pension? Does the church pay you for anything?”
“Wow, this is some strange thing I have not heard of.”
“Edgaras, I know we spoke of God before, and have you thought of the long discussions we had on our long journey in the summer of 2008,”
“I thought of how you talked on forever about your God, and how I tried to get you to speak in Russian , but you don’t.”
“He is our God, Edgaras. He loves us equally, and he blesses us each.”
“Yes, but He is not hear very much.”
“What is it you want Him to say to you.”
“Say,” I just need a job. But we are ok now.”
It is true, Edgaras has always been thankful for whatever he has in life. It is a quality that many people I know do not have. Many always think of what they need and forget to be thankful for what they already have. Both Edgaras and Eimante always do well with what they have.
Later that day after I arrived and greeted Eimante ;the kids were still a school. This young couple related how the entire country was in poor financial shape, yet they did not complain of their situation, In fact they told me how they had changed their life style to accommodate the situation.
“We just do not go out as much as we once did to dine out.”
“We cook more at home, and do not take the children to the Mall .” Eimante is a fantastic cook, and there is always food cooking or on the table any time I am there . Much food comes from the village. Ad it is great and natural food. In the summer they grow many berries, cucumbers, tomatos, and herbs. They preserve them in jars and they dry the herbs for tea and natural medicines. They have Medus (honey) and all kinds of great tasting vegetables and fruits. The village is so rich and I have been in the garden in the summer. Plants are flourishing like it is paradise and they know what and where each one is producing. These people are so naturally tied to the land it amazes me.
“Yes, I think so,” said Edgaras. “We do the dolls and pillows and this enough for us.”
“Eimante nodded in agreement.”
“ Here was a content couple, and a wonderful family.”
Their wealth was in relationships; not in their bank or wallet. Also, they were happy to share what little they had, and I felt bad I could not bring more, I had small gifts for them, and everyone got a baseball cap courtesy of Selah in
. Fort Lauderdale
We spoke of God and how He does things in His own time. Both were much more receptive to the message of Hope than they were 2 years ago. I could sense a change in their feelings toward god. Previously He did not exist or care. Now they were more open to discuss His presence and how He was working in their life.
I stayed there and watched in Awe at the work of God all around me,
At we donned the 30 pounds of jackets, boots, scarves, gloves an head gear and walked to the school. I had done this many times before but always in spring with no snow, and after school we usually took the girls to get ice cream or some other treat and rented bikes in the park.
Edgaras had a sled he took with us. I was so thrilled to see the girls and they looked so grown at 6 and 3.
On the way back I suggested going to Akropolis ; they just build a new one in
“I think this is not good,”said Edgaras. ‘”Children will want treats and they will cry if we say no.”
“It’s Ok I will buy,” I said.
“No I think this is not good because you on a mission for God and don’t have a money.”
He replied. “Then if you buy today and are gone tomorrow, children still cry.” He was right and firm and being a good father. ‘ Ir Viskis’—end of discussion in Lithuanian.
“We go and children play in snow,” he said.
I thought that sounded cold and I was frozen just from the walk.
“Ok that sounds good and they will have fun.” I said.
“Yes and they want to play with Seniles,” that was me.
‘” Ok but I am not much of a snow sport guy.” I said shivering.
Well, we got to this small snow hill behind their house and I had a great time.
We played for an hour, and I did not feel that cold. Eimante showed up just in time to start a snow ball fight. It was a blast and all the time I was thinking of how much this precious family with little money and a lot of Love was living just as God had it planned for them. I could sense God here stronger than ever.
There was great love there and these people were loving and kind parents doing the best they could with what they have and never complaining.
Later we arrived back home covered in snow and frost. Yet I did not feel bad I guess I was getting used to the cold. Edgaras told me more than once, now and in te past.” It is never too cold ; you are sometimes not dressed warm enough.”
As we warmed Edgaras sat at the table with Ugne (3) and patiently showed her how to color flowers in her coloring book. This moment is so precious to me. Henery Blackberry in Experiencing God tells us to look around and see God working. If we look with the right attitude we will see Him everywhere. Well, here is was right at the kitchen table,and when I was in the snow. Father and daughter experiencing love and trust and learning, as mom right behind them is preparing a delicious meal.
Later, Edgaras sister, Kristina and her husband Audrus and their son Emmanules arrived.
They brought delicious “paraganas” –cake. Wow the pastry here is the best!!
We sat at the kitchen table and talked about the new baby Kristina is expecting in April. She is not checking on the gender and wants to be surprised. Everyone said it is a boy!
Kristina started to open up about the mission, and much to my surprise she spoke openly about the church and her feelings about being in a church of harsh rules and stringent regulations about church attendance ritual.
“ I Love God in my heart,”she said” now I am pregnant and it is really hard to be in church every Sunday, but I go to confession if I miss. And I am questioning about statues ns all these saints. Can you help.?”
“ God is not a religion; God is a relationship.” I said. I had heard pastor Larry say this so many times and I always find it soothing. It was the first thing that came to my mind.
“ Yes I Love Him,” she replied, “But I don’t understand all you say.”
I had te feeling she still did understand even if not every word. Kristina has a good heart. I remember my first encounter when I stayed in her home in 2006. I was the only one there not talking because I knew no Lt. Kristina gave me a booklet of Lithuanian-English phrases, and wrote on a paper all the important ones about food and the bathroom.
I knew she was kind and considerate. It was good to be helped as a stranger is a Strange land.
Kristina had God in her heart from the first, She was just not expressing it in the same words as I.
Everyone gathered around the table and I blessed the house and food and Kristinas Family and new baby.
We all sat after and chatted about a host of things but everyone wanted to know what work I was doing and what all the God stuff was about.
I was getting closer to have them open up and discuss what Jesus had done and what more He can do once they profess His Holy name/