It was very interesting to celebrate the publishing of the 200th Perlita story-paper in a church that has stood by me since I was a young missionary. It’s a small town and not a large church, but they have a big heart.
In 1968 I was invited there to have a series of services for children. I learned one of my most valuable lessons there, about numbers. At that time I was used to big numbers in my children’s ministry in Peru. I prepared a series about a boy in the jungle. I decorated the church with an elaborate display for this “Jungle Crusade.”
I expected a reasonable amount of children for the size of the town. A boy and a girl showed up. That was it! God showed me the importance of being just as inspired for 2 as for 20 or for 200! It wasn’t those children’s fault that nobody else showed up. They came faithfully every evening and we had the story.
Isn’t it interesting that 45 years later I was there to celebrate the 200th story-paper? In the service told the story about Paco’s spider and all the interesting things that have been happening in my life lately. My next visit will be a celebration of my 50 years of missionary life.
Let me show some pictures of my weekend trip.
I love to ride the train. This visit gave me that opportunity. Dag Hammarsköld was the first General Secretary of the United Nations. The train I traveled in to Jönköping was named after him. The first clock shows the time I arrived on Saturday. I then had to wait a while to take another train.
There is a Tourist Shop at the train/bus station. I got me the most important thing I wanted to buy in Sweden—a Swedish doll for my granddaughter Brianna’s birthday. That was her special request. Why so important that I found it? Because in the town where I’m staying there are no stores of the kind that sell dolls. Whatever money I spent was worth it.
On the second train ride I had the cute companion you see on the top pictures. The blue bag in the front has the doll. The yarn is for a hat I’m crocheting for my dad. He’ll need one for his rides on the tricycle. That will be a story for a coming day.
The second row, left shows one of the train stops. On the right is a box that contains sand for the winter. I didn’t realize until later that the town with the box is called Sand Home. Sand for Sand Home! But then, there are sand boxes in every town.
A big bicycle parking lot in Skövde, where my friends picked me up to go to Tidan. On the upper right is the biggest clock I’ve ever seen. It’s the outside of a big tunnel that you walk through to get to the trains. It wasn’t easy to get from the train to the parking lot, even with escalators and elevators. But, thanks to many prayers, I made it!
It was a rainy day, so the bright falls colors didn’t stand out very much.
The next morning the sun peeked through the clouds. What a gorgeous drive to church!
In the center pictures is the public. The bottom pictures show those who officiate at the Communion. As you can see on the right they use one big cup for everyone. The man at the far right is from Africa. Tidan is one of the towns where the Swedish government places refugees.
The little girl in red is from one of the refugee families. The boy on the right is your typical Swedish blond and blue-eyed little guy.
If you go to Sweden you have to learn the word “FIKA.” That’s what they love here. FIKA is refreshments, coffee being the most important. For the “fika” everyone was invited apple short-cake and apples from a big basket.
After the “fika” pause they had a business meeting. It turned out to be a long service but it didn’t bother anybody. Here is the lady that led the service together with her husband and son, who handled the PowerPoint for me.
The afternoon I spent at the home of the missions coordinator. A friend told me that there is not a service when he doesn’t pray for the missionaries, each one by name, and I’m one of them. I feel honored.
The hostess, in black, and a friend. Both of them are called Ulla. The people on the right are other friends. They used to be missionaries in Burundi. We enjoyed dinner, talking “missions” since everybody is very involved in missions.
These are Ulla’s beautiful orchids!
Traveling usually takes a toll on the respiratory system. I was feeling problems coming on in my ears and throat and asked for honey and cinnamon. “I don’t believe in that!” said the man of the house. I told him it didn’t matter what he believed, I was taking it on account of my faith. This morning I took another dose. He still didn’t believe. I don’t know about you, but we’re all taking honey and cinnamon to help us get over colds. I believe in it!
A heaping teaspoon of honey with one fourth teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix it and eat it. Add to it lemon, garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar. I believe in all of these things. Have you tried them for your “colds”?
Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures from the travel back from Tidan. I came home and thought I would work with Cristina. I had to call her on the phone and she said the internet wasn’t working. Now I called her again and got the news that tomorrow is a holiday in Peru. Good for her, she’s going on an outing with her sister.
Sad for me, because I’ll miss her. I also found out my grandchildren were in the vicinity of my house. And I missed it! But I’m sure glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to go visit my mission-minded friends in Tidan.
More will follow tomorrow. Now it’s time for some shut-eye!