Author Archives: salla

Auta Jordania käymään koulua

JORDAN on 16-vuotias poika, jonka elämää olemme saaneet seurata hyvin läheisesti jo 12 vuotta. Jordan asuu isoisällään köyhyysrajan alapuolella. Taloudessa on fyysistäsairautta, mielisairautta ja hyväksikäyttöä, jotka ovat leimanneet koko suvun historian ja jokaisen sen jäsenen elämän hyvin surullisella tavalla. Suku ei tue lasten koulunkäyntiä, eikähalua maksaa koulunkäyntikustannuksia. Tiedämme, että hänelläon kapasiteettia opiskeluun, mutta epäterveellisessä kotiympäristössä oleminen ilman muuta elämänsisältöä vie nopeasti elämän vaikeuksiin. Olemme järjestäneet nyt niin, että ystävämme seuraavat ja tukevat hänen koulunkäyntiään. Jos hän käy koulua ja etenee kiitettäväsi, olemme sitoutuneet maksamaan koulukustannukset. Jordan tarvitsee yhteensä noin 900€ vuodessa koulupukuun, kenkiin, reppuun, kirjoihin, muihin tarvikkeisiin ja päivittäisiin koulukyyteihin. Haluaisitko tulla mukaan rakentamaan Jordanin tulevaisuutta? Lahjoitukset voi laittaa tavallisen kannatustilin kautta kertasummana tai kuukausittain, mutta pyydämme sinua ilmoittamaan siitämeille erikseen, jotta tiedämme erottaa tämän summan ja toimittaa sen eteenpäin.

Help Jordan get education

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-28 at 21.10.25JORDAN is a 16-year old boy. We have known him for 12 years and if you have visited Guanacaste you have for sure met him in the Kids’ Club or walking on the village road with his sandals. His mother died and he lives with his grandfather under the poverty line. In the family there is is illness and the worst kind of challenges that have marked the life of the family and each family member in a very sad way. The family does not support the education of the children. Having supported Jordan in his studies during the elementary school, we know that he has the capacity to learn. We also know how studying and getting a high school diploma can be keys for him to break the cycle in the family and the enemy’s plan for his life.

We are trying to support him so he could return to school in a few weeks when the new school year starts. We are committed to raise and send money for his transportation, uniform, books and school lunches if he commits to going to school and doing his best to keep the grades up. He has said that he will. Would you like to be part of changing Jordan’s future? Would you like to give towards his school expenses? We need about $900 for this year. If you want to give, please contact us by e-mail.

When God gave us a car

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God has again provided and taken care of our practical needs. But it never stops there, He always does so much more, He definitely sees the big picture and with God things don’t just happen by accident.

Since last summer we have been thinking of and wanting to get a bigger car. We often have guests, friends or family members, so we don’t fit in a car of 5. For example right now we have our kids’ friend Jonathan from Costa Rica with us for two months. So we have been looking at different options, but at the same time been hesitant to spend money on a vehicle right now. Few weeks ago we did a trip to Oulu (500 km each way). After paying a train ticket to one of us on the way there and to another one on the way back, Diego decided it was time to get a car. He went online and immediately found a car that stood out to him and it had a good price and low mileage.

The next day Diego and Salla’s dad went to see the car. The owner’s daughter asked Diego which country he is from. Diego told him a little about Costa Rica, said that he was actually just returning from a trip there and went on sharing about the Homes of Hope construction project that he was part of. The girl asked which organization he was with and when Diego answered “YWAM”, she started crying. She was thinking about applying to do the DTS in Tampere ( the new Discipleship Training School starting very close to us in January), but was not sure and she had asked God to confirm it to her during that same exact day that Diego shows up at their house and starts telling about YWAM! Sometimes God answers our prayers in a very concrete (and latino) way!

It was so encouraging to see once again how in our “small daily things” we can be part of what God is doing in other people’s lives and even around the world. Even without a car deal the visit would have been well worth it, but we did end up getting the car as well. It was what we were looking for and after meeting Diego and hearing about the ministry the couple first lowered the price a lot from the original good price and then decided to take a huge amount out of the price as a donation. So Diego drove home that night with a car that meets our current needs and paid only 1/5 of the actual value!

We are thankful – praise God!

All of this is part of the big car story that has followed us since we got married. Cars in Costa Rica have always been a challenge – the roads are so bad and cars and their fixing are so expensive. We have had all kind of miracle stories of how we have got each one of our vehicles and five years ago God surprised us with a ‘every man’s dream car’ through a family that gave us a fancy Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck. The truck served us well and still continues being in a daily use in missions in Costa Rica.

 

Kun Jumala uuden auton antoi

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Olemme taas saaneet kokea Jumalan ihmeellistä huolenpitoa hyvin käytännöllisellä tavalla. Kesästä asti olemme harkinneet automme vaihtamista isommaksi, koska niin usein täytyy kyyditä ylimääräisiä henkilöitä – nytkin meillä on costaricalainen Jonathan luonamme kaksi kuukautta. Olemme pitkin syksyä katselleet eri vaihtoehtoja, mutta myös epäröineet kalliimman auton hankkimista, koska vanhasta autostamme emme vaihdossa saisi käytännössä paljoakaan.

Kun olimme maksaneet junaliput Ouluun ja takaisin, menin taas nettiin selailemaan autoja ja huomio kiinnittyi äskettäin listattuun Zafiraan. Seuraavana päivänä olimme jo Lahdessa autoa katsomassa. Perheen tytär kiinnitti huomiota siihen, että olen ulkomaalainen ja kysyi mistä maasta olen. Vastasin ja kerroin, että olimme juuri tulleet matkalta Costa Ricasta ja kerroin myös vähän siitä, mitä olimme siellä tehneet. Tyttö kysyi mistä järjestöstä on kyse, johon vastasin, että YWAMstä. Tyttö ei voinut uskoa vastaustani ja silloin juoksi perheen äitikin keittiöstä paikalle.

Tyttö on harkinnut Tampereen opetuslapseuskouluun menemistä ja oli rukoillut, että juuri sinä päivänä Jumala varmistaisi jollakin selkeällä tavalla asian! Joskus Jumala vastaa vähän liiankin konkreettisesti J. Siunaus meille oli nähdä, kuinka Jumala johdattaa ja mikään ei ole sattumaa, mutta loppujen lopuksi tämä perhe päätyi vielä hyvin merkittävällä tavalla sekä alentamaan auton hintaa, että lahjoittamaan työmme tukemiseksi. Jumala järjesti meille erittäin edullisesti ja siunatusti auton, mikä toivottavasti tulee palvelemaan seuraavat vuodet hyvin sekä meitä, että vieraitamme.

 

About Finland

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FINLAND … the land of the midnight sun, bears and moose, the northern lights, wilderness, bravery, Santa Claus

…. and more than that… the land of the FINNS!!

Finland is a country of about 5 million inhabitants in Northern Europe between Sweden and Russia. The location in the North has historically meant fighting for survival with very hard work in rough conditions. The Finns have made their way to one of the top developed countries of the world even though natural resources and conditions are not as beneficial as in southern Europe. What mostly characterize Finland are the forests and the lakes. With its 188 000 lakes it is known worldwide as the land of thousand of lakes.

The location between Sweden and Russia has shaped the Finnish identity. It has had to fight for its independent existence between the west and the east. Historically it has belonged both to Sweden and to Russia, but gained its full independence 1917. During the Second World War Finland had to fight two wars against the Eastern Giant, was able to keep its independence, but lost parts to Russia and had to pay massive reparations. After the wars Finland showed it’s miracle story to the world rising from a war-torn country and poverty to one of the top developed countries in the world in just few decades at the same time becoming the only country in the world that has actually fully paid its reparations. This happened with hard work and determinations – both still being typical characteristics of the Finns. Finland has also strategically identified itself with the west through its economy and joining the European Union in the 90s. Now the big debate is whether to join NATO or not.

Today’s Finland is looking for its next success story after Nokia, Angry Birds and holding one of the 1st positions in the international PISA education qualification for a while. The economy is struggling, the age structure and the job market are changing – as many other nations Finland is searching for its place in a rapidly changing world and circumstances.

While Finland still has a very high standard of living and the society takes care even of the least, it cannot cover the spiritual emptiness. Finland has one of the highest rates for suicide and depression. Wherever you turn your head, with children as well as adults, together with prosperity you see mental illness, family break-ups, people losing the grasp of life, isolating themselves from others and the society. Immigration has changed the traditional dynamics of the society; it is very common to see darker people or covered Muslim women in the streets. They face a challenge of decades to learn the language and integrate into the society. The youth materially have all they could wish for, but there is emptiness and a lack of purpose. Many of them start smoking at a very young age and you see them drinking in the streets all over. Heavy drinking of all age groups is very common.

IMG_4428Traditionally Finland is a Lutheran country. The Lutheran church has set a strong Biblical foundation in the nation, the alphabetization of the nation happened through the church and the laws were set with a Biblical foundation. Finland experienced a revival in the 60s and some of those movements are still alive today. However today the state church has become very institutionalized and seems to please the world more than God. It is step by step compromising the Word of God, which draws more secular people in and pushes the believers out: many real believers feel forced to leave the church and on the other hand side Pentecostal, free and especially non-denominational churches are strengthening and growing. The population of true born-again Christians in Finland is still very small (my guess is much less than 10%) among a very secular, liberal and individualistic population.

The Finns as people are very generally speaking individualistic, appreciate privacy, hard-working, very honest, loyal and skillful people. Foreigners find them quiet and serious and usually they are reserved when you first meet them. But once you win their trust you find warmth, humor, hospitality and friendship for life. There is a saying that Finnish men talk only in sauna or when they are drunk… and it has a lot of truth in it. They are usually highly educated, organized, and skilled with their hands in different kinds of crafts and woodwork. The Finns generally love the nature and silence; they love to spend their free time in small cottages surrounded by forests on a lakeside.

When we moved we started praying and asking God to show us which are the most important spiritual strongholds in the nation. What we have received are these: loneliness, self-centeredness, depression and alcoholism. There is a longing for purpose, community, and acceptance – a longing for Jesus that people are unaware of. They are generally not receptive and reject opportunities to talk about God. But God, their Father, is patient, loving and creative to bring them home one by one.

Finland needs Christians who are willing to live uncompromised and obedient lives publicly. Finland needs prayer. Finland needs testimony of Christ. Finland needs the word of God. Finland needs renewal and revival. Finland needs evangelism.

Finland has been an active missionary sending country. The founder of YWAM has had a repeated vision for Finland of 2000 young people going as a wave from the North to the nations as missionaries. There has been unseen growth in YWAM Finland in the past 10 years and a moving of the waters for that massive wave has already started. There is work to do to reach these youth, to disciple, train and send them out!

We want to challenge you to become part of our sending team through your prayers and financial support to see the nation of Finland transformed!IMG_5914

Life in Finland – May 2015

IMG_6350 IMG_6373Greetings from a sunnier and lighter Finland! The days are now getting longer, the sun shines more, the snow and ice are gone… we are really looking forward to the summer that is starting to peak from around the corner! Just yesterday we noticed the first tiny leaves in the birch trees.

We now have four months of life in Finland behind us. Everything is still fresh and new, we definitely consider ourselves still in the process of adaptation. We miss Costa Rica very much even though we have seen God open doors here and feel we are where we are supposed to be.

We have found a church community where the whole family feels they want to be in. That should not be taken for granted. We are getting to know people there and finding our place to serve in the church.

A month ago we moved again. We found an apartment that has one more room, so now we have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We live in a complex of two buildings with almost 50 apartments and many families with children in them. Nikkis has many friends to play with in the surrounding fields. We are making an effort to get to know and build relationships with the neighbors. The kids are finding their way to our place more and more often. Friends in Costa Rica helped us to sell Diego’s old drums and some other friends helped some more and now we have a beautiful electric drum set in our living room. Diego and the kids get to play and grow in their skills. Nikkis and Julia are applying to a music academy – Nikkis for drums and Julia for guitar.

We feel very proud of Troy, Julia and Nikkis as we have watched them bravely facing the challenges of a new culture, a totally different school environment and new relationships. It has not been easy – for the whole family it has been emotionally draining. However they have shown maturity, courage and trust in God in their every day walk. Academically all of them surprise their teachers and us; there is a lot to learn and catch up with, but they are doing great. All the new subjects that they have never had before make school exciting and fun. They have made friends, but finding their place is still very much in process.

IMG_6344DIEGO has been diligently studying the language attending a course every day. Handling every day situations in Finnish becomes easier and more natural day by day. In February-March Diego was invited to Costa Rica by one outreach team going there. He was able to drive, translate, help around the base, distribute Bibles and see people. Diego feels that he is to continue supporting the base in Guanacaste, travel when needed and be part of the continuation of the ministry in there. Diego got his residence and work permit, so he is now an official YWAM missionary in Finland. The first focus in on learning the language, he will probably be attending class for the rest of this year. On his heart is especially reaching the youth and mobilizing them to missions, working together with local churches and finding different ways to connect with youth outside the church. Diego has also been playing soccer and helping to coach in the junior league. It has been a good way to get to know people, even though challenging as well, because the coaching mentality is very different. With his outgoing personality, the big smile, an easiness of approaching people and the facility to share about God and to pray for people even in the streets God can really use him in this cold and reserved culture!

SALLA: After our support suffered a major drop and Diego got his residence we felt peace about him continuing as a ywam missionary IMG_6467and me looking for a job. I was preparing myself to do any kind of work, just to get an income for the family, but God opened a door that we had not even wished for. I got a paid job in a Finnish missions organization that has a large local ministry in Finland, but focuses on sending missionaries to the nations, especially the 10-40 window. They have 70 missionaries in 13 different countries. I went for an interview for a different position, but I ended up being offered and accepting a position as a fundraising developer for the organization. They have been praying for the right person for a while, because they want to shift the mentality and the organizational culture to be more relational and faith-based. So pretty much my job description is to teach, share and put into practice what I have been living for the past 17 years. I feel God designed all this and want to do this as service to Him and a continuation of walking in obedience and by faith. But what a privilege to be able to continue being involved in missions instead of spending my days doing something else! However my long days away from home are quite a change for the whole family. I am also continuing with university courses on International Relations.

OUR PLACE IN FINLAND –

AS A FAMILY we continue striving for the things that God has brought us to Finland for. We don’t want to miss the opportunities, our call and task nor stop the lifestyle of asking God, listening and obeying to serve and to reach out. The longer we are here, the more our eyes and understanding open to the spiritual condition and needs of Finland – and the more we understand that God has brought us here with a great purpose.

We feel that God has brought us here to live out our faith and testimony among the Finns, to be an example of a Christ-centered family to the youth and other families. We feel we are here to do our part to rise a wave of young missionaries from Finland.

Locally in the city of Tampere we have started YWAM fellowship, prayer and worship meetings. There are many people in the area who have been part of YWAM in different parts of the world at different times, are not connected to the ministry or missions at the moment, but miss the fellowship and the opportunities. We meet together with an open heart for God to grow this into what He wants. We were also able to take part in national YWAM staff days to get to know people and to see the many things God is doing in and through the ministry in Finland and beyond.

King’s Kids is one of the largest ministries of YWAM Finland. Next week we will be attending a national KK camp to see how involved we will be with this ministry. The defining factor will be our children and how involved God leads them to be. This was such a big part of their lives in Costa Rica that now they are having difficulty just switching to the same involvement in a different country with different people. Julia will be attending a mini-DTS organized by KK this summer; three weeks of teaching, discipleship and an outreach to northern Norway.

We are already having the first opportunities to challenge Finns to missions. On Easter we were able to speak to a full church in Kangasala. This weekend we are speaking in another church. Next Tuesday we are hosting a meeting in our home where our co-workers Kimmo and Laura from Costa Rica and Vivi who has been in the Middle East are coming to share and encourage people. In May we have a public event in Tampere to share more specifically about missions in Central America and challenge people to participate. We are starting to recruit participants for a Bible outreach to Costa Rica in July 2016. While we try to mobilize people to go out, we also pray to start seeing more missionaries and outreach teams coming to Finland. So please pray about organizing a group and come to share God’s love in the North!

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PRAYER & SUPPORT

We ask for prayer for our family and ministry. Especially for Diego, for opportunities and open doors to walk in his call and reach the Finns! Also that we as a family could continually and still be used by God here – even though we miss Costa Rica very much! We ask for prayers for our children – the worst culture shock might very well still be ahead. Pray with us that they would find close Christian friends. The change to a new beginning in Finland has not been an easy process, especially emotionally it has been challenging. It will still take a long time until we can say we are fully adapted.

We want to invite you to become a monthly supporter for Diego. Cost of living is very high, so both of us need to have a full income to be able to cover the basic expenses. The monthly goal for support is 2000€ a month, which would make it possible for Diego to stay in full-time ministry. We have been thinking about this a lot since I started working. My days are long and the short evenings and weekends go fast with the children and house chores. Hitting the limits with time and energy for the first time in my life I have had to say no when I have been asked to counsel, to pray or to get involved with women’s ministry… This has been difficult, but has proven the importance of supporting those who are in ministry, so that they really can dedicate 100% of their time to these things, because those who have secular jobs simply cannot do it. So we kindly invite you to become Diego’s sender and supporter by committing to a monthly tax-deductible donation.

Thank you for your prayers and support during these months of transition for us, we really appreciate them! Please keep us in your prayers and also continue praying for the ministry in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. In our next newsletters we will be sharing short updates from Guanacaste as well.

Thank you for being on the journey with us!

Please use these links to find our donation and contact information.

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Elämää Suomessa – huhtikuu 2015

Keväinen tervehdysIMG_6373 aurinkoisesta Lempäälästä! Talvessa ei ollut mitään valittamista, mutta kyllä kevät on tuonut iloa mukanaan, kun on päässyt pyöräilemään, kun jalkakäytävät puhdistettiin hiekasta ja Troy pääsi skeittaamaan, kun lumet ja jäät sulivat ja omin silmin näemme kirkkaansinisinä välkkyvät Lempäälää kaikkialta ympäröivät järvet, kun on päässyt pelaamaan jalkapalloa ulkokentille ja lenkkeilemään hiekkateille. Vielä kun opimme nukkumaan valoisaan aikaan, niin kyllä elämä hymyilee!

Tämä on nyt se kirje, jossa pitäisi selkeästi antaa teille kannattajille ja esirukoilijoille tietoa elämästämme, työstämme ja suunnitelmistamme täällä Suomen kamaralla. Selkeän esityksen antaminen tuntuu vaikealta, mutta kyllä elämämme jonkinlaiseen alkuun on asettunut, joten tässä on nyt tämän hetken tilanteesta:

Tampereen seutu on elävää hengellisesti; seurakuntatarjontaa ja tapahtumia on paljon. Olemme kuitenkin asettuneet paikalliseen Majakkayhteisöön Lempäälän ev.lut. seurakunnan yhteyteen. Majakka on elävä, moderni ja vapaamuotoinen seurakuntayhteisö, missä on koko perhe viihtynyt ja olemme alkaneet tutustua ihmisiin. Olemme nähneet siellä paljon terveen ja vahvan seurakunnan merkkejä. Toivomme, että saamme olla vastaanottamassa, mutta myös antamassa ja palvelemassa, rakentamassa yhteisöä eteenpäin.

Pääsiäisenä muutimme Lempäälän keskustan eteläpäähän, mistä saimme yhden huoneen, yhden vessanpöntön ja 6 m2 suuremman kerrostaloasunnon. Olemme nyt siis taas vaihteen vuoksi purkamassa laukkuja ja asettautumassa uudelleen. Tällä kertaa talomme on huomattavasti yhteisöllisempi – vai olisiko vuodenajalla sen kanssa tekemistä? Olemme jo tutustuneet useisiin naapureihin ja Nikkiksen pitäminen sisätiloissa on äärettömän vaikeaa, kun ulkona jyllää aamusta iltaan lapsijengi pihaympäristön pellolla, ojissa ja pusikossa. Jotenkin alkaa tuntua siltä, IMG_6350että nämä meitä ympäröivät ihmiset ovat nyt se meidän ensisijainen kenttämme täällä. Riemua elämään lisää vielä se, että Diego sai rumpunsa Costa Ricassa myytyä ja nyt on ostettu tilalle sähkörumpusetti sievistämään olohuonettamme. Pääasiallisia rumpaleita ovat isä ja kuopus, mutta kyllä teinitkin soittavat muilta harrastuksilta ehtiessään.

Sukulaiset eivät aivan lähellä asu, mutta heitä on mukava tavata useammin kuin kerran parissa vuodessa – varsinkin kun on upouusi serkkuvauva! Vanhempani ovat jaksaneet ajaa Lempäälään enemminkin, auttaneet käytännön asioissa ja äitini oli esimerkiksi kotona lasten kanssa, jotta me Diegon kanssa pääsimme Missionuorten henkilökuntapäiville.

NIKKIS on pahimmasta muutoksesta selvittyään sopeutunut kouluun ja itse sinne kulkemiseen mukavasti. Hän on saanut opetella ystävyyttä suomalaisiin lapsiin, mutta joutunut myös vähän kokemaan koulukiusaamisen raakuutta. Serkkujen tapaamista odotetaan aina suurella innolla.

JULIA kestää tylsiä kouluaineita ja inhottavia opettajia keskiviikkojen odotuksessa, koska silloin on musiikkia ja käsityötä, jotka ovat kaiken kärsimyksen arvoisia. Kevät on raastavaa, kun on niiiin ihania aurinkoisia kevätpäiviä ja sitten tulee niitä hirveitä tyhmiä kylmiä takatalvipäiviä. Kitara kuitenkin soi, piirustuksia syntyy ja tanssikengät kuluu…

TROY on hakenut yhteishaussa sekä suorittamaan yo-automaatioasentaja kaksoistutkintoa että paikalliseen lukioon. Kesäkuussa odottaa ripari. Vapaa-ajan täyttävät muun muassa skeittaus, koripallo ja seurakunta.

DIEGO on tunnollisesti käynyt päiIMG_6466vittäisellä suomen kielen kurssilla Tampereella. Haastavinta on löytää niitä, jotka todella harjoittelisivat hänen kanssaan, eivätkä heti vaihda kieltä englantiin. Arkitilanteiden ja –asioiden hoitaminen suomeksi ja suomalaisessa ympäristössä alkaa kuitenkin hoitua luontevasti. Helmi-maaliskuussa Diego teki 3 viikon matkan Costa Ricaan siellä olevan aktioryhmän kutsusta. Hän sai olla kuskina, tulkkina, auttaa keskuksella, jakaa Raamattuja ja nähdä ihmisiä. Diego kokee, että tulevaisuudessakin hänen tehtävänsä on edelleen tukea keskusta Guanacastessa, matkustaa sinne tarvittaessa ja olla mukana työn jatkumisessa siellä. Diego on nyt Suomessa YWAM (=Missionuorten) -lähetystyöntekijä. Hänen sydämellään on erityisesti nuorten tavoittaminen ja mobilisointi lähetystyöhön. Diego etsii mahdollisuuksia työskennellä yhdessä seurakuntien kanssa nuoria haastaen ja etsiä eri kanavia nuorten kohtaamiseen ja tavoittamiseen. Diego myös auttaa juniorien jalkapallovalmennuksessa, vaikka onkin kokenut sen vaikeaksi kielen lisäksi hyvin erilaisen valmennusmentaliteetin takia.

SALLA – Diegon saatua maassaolo- ja työluvan sekä kannatuksemme reilun laskemisen myötä meille tuli selkeys siitä, että Diego jatkaisi lähetystyöntekijänä Suomessa ja minä etsisin palkkatyötä. Henkisesti valmistauduin vaikka minkälaisen työn tekemiseen, mutta odottamatta sain paikan Ryttylästä Kansanlähetyksestä. Vaikka alun perin hain järjestöstä toista paikkaa, päädyin vastaanottamaan varainhankkijan kehittäjän työn. Järjestössä on tarvetta ja halua jonkinlaiseen kulttuurinmuutokseen ja uskonvaraisuuden lisäämiseen. Minulla on tietysti asiasta 17 vuoden kokemus sekä henkilökohtaisen että järjestön rahoituksen puolelta. Nyt olen ollut kolme viikkoa töissä. Haastetta riittää, työkulttuuri on todella erilainen, mutta koen, että tämä on Jumalan järjestämä paikka ja voin olla Hänen käytössään siinä monellakin eri tavalla. Saan olla edelleen mukana lähetystyössä; Kansanlähetyksen missio on ”Evankeilioikaa kansa evankelioimaan kansoja” ja sillä on kotimaantyön lisäksi 70 lähettiä 13 eri maassa. Minun pitkät työpäiväni ovat iso muutos koko perheelle, joten niihin tässä totutellaan. Kansainvälisen politiikan opinnot etenevät omaa vauhtiaan avoimen puolella.IMG_6362

PERHEENÄ jatkamme sen tavoittelua, mitä varten Jumala on meidät Suomeen tuonut. Emme halua jättää huomaamatta mahdollisuuksia, tehtäväämme, pakkaamme emmekä lopettaa sitä elämäntyyliä, jossa kysytään Jumalalta, kuunnellaan ja ollaan kuuliaisia palvelemaan ja tavoittamaan. Mitä kauemmin täällä olemme, sitä enemmin silmämme ja ymmärryksemme avautuvat Suomen hengelliselle tilalle ja tarpeelle – ja sitä enemmin huomaamme Jumalan tuoneen meidät tänne suurella tarkoituksella.

Olemme alkaneet kokoontua säännöllisesti Tampereella YWAM (Missionuorten) – ryhmän kanssa, joka koostuu ihmisistä, jotka jossakin vaiheessa ovat olleet jossakin päin maailmaa Missionuorten toiminnassa mukana. Tampereella meitä on paljon, joten nyt olemme kokoamassa porukkaa, rukoilemme Tampereen puolesta sillä asenteella, että ”Herra näytä mitä haluat tästä synnyttää”.

King’s Kids on yksi Suomen Missionuorten laajimmista työmuodoista. Vapuksi menemme valtakunnalliselle leirille, missä tunnustelemme paikkaamme tässä työssä. Julia osallistuu kesällä King’s Kids mini-DTS ohjelmaan, jossa kolmeen viikkoon mahtuu opetusta, opetuslapseuttamista ja aktio Pohjois-Norjaan.

Ensimmäiset mahdollisuudet suomalaisten innostamiseksi lähetystyöhön ovat jo avautuneet. Pääsiäismaanantaina saimme puhua aivan täydelle kirkolle Kangasalan Majatalo-illassa. 28.4 pidämme kotikokouksen, johon saamme vieraaksi Sarajärvet Costa Ricasta ja Etu-Aasiassa syksystä asti olleen, Guanacasten keskukselta lähteneen Vivin! Ota yhteyttä, jos haluat tulla mukaan, niin osaamme varautua sopivaan ihmismäärään. 18.5 pidämme Tampereella isomman ”Missio Väli-Amerikka” -illan Sarajärvien kanssa, missä jaamme työstä, haasteista ja kutsumme ihmisiä mukaan. Heinäkuuksi 2016 olemme järjestämässä 2 viikon Raamattuaktiota Costa Ricaan, tavoitteena ainakin 20 henkilön ryhmä.

Pyydämme esirukousta perheemme ja tehtävämme puolesta. Erityisesti Diegolle mahdollisuuksia ja avoimia ovia kulkemaan kutsussaan ja tavoittamaan suomalaisia! Että perheenä voisimme jatkuvasti ja edelleen olla Hänen käytössään – vaikka Costa Ricaa kaipaammekin! Pyydämme rukousta lastemme puolesta -pahimmat kulttuurishokit ja sopeutumishaasteet saattavat hyvinkin vielä olla edessäpäin. Täyteen sopeutumiseen menee vielä pitkä aika. Muutos uudenlaiseen elämään ei ole ollut helppo prosessi, erityisesti emotionaalisesti se on ollut kaikille haastavaa.

Olemme nyt lähettiurallamme jonkinlaisessa risteyskohdassa, jakso Costa Ricassa on ohi ja nyt alkaa uusi IMG_6148jakso Suomessa. Noin viiden vuoden kuluttua suunnittelemme palaavamme Costa Ricaan jatkamaan lähetystyötä siellä. Kaikilla lähettäjillä ei kuitenkaan ole kutsua lähettien tukemiseen Suomessa tai ehkä ei vain jaksa lukea kirjeitä tai jostakin muusta syystä haluaisi jättäytyä pois kannatusrenkaastamme.  Jos et halua enää vastaanottaa kirjeitämme, voit vapaasti poistaa sähköpostikontaktisi listoiltamme sähköpostikirjeen mukana tulevalla linkillä tai ilmoittamalla sen meille sähköpostilla.

Samalla  esitämme kutsun jatkamaan kulkua ja lähetystyötä rinnallamme. Tästä lähtien taloudellisen kannatuksen kerääminen kohdistuu nimenomaan Diegoon, vaikka tietysti se on osa koko perheemme tuloa. Tavoitteena on, että vähintään minimipalkka, joka mahdollistaisi ajankäytön hengelliseen työhön. Tämä ajatus onkin ollut mielessäni usein töiden aloittamisen jälkeen. Päivät ovat pitkät, lyhyet illat ja viikonloput sujahtavat nopeasti lasten kanssa ja kotihommia tehden. Aika- ja voimarajojen tullessa vastaan ensimmäistä kertaa elämässäni olen joutunut vastaamaan kieltävästi, kun pyydetään sielunhoitoa tai rukoilemaan tai naistyöhön… Tämä on minulle vaikeaa, mutta näyttää sen, miten tärkeää on, että kannatamme hengellisen työn tekijöitä ja mahdollistamme sen, että he todella voivat antaa aikansa 100% näille asioille, koska me työssäkäyvät sitä emme voi tehdä. Joten ystävällisesti kutsumme sinut tulemaan Diegon lähettäjäksi! Jos haluat jatkaa kannatustasi tai sitoutua uudeksi kuukausilahjoittajaksi, voit ilmoittaa siitä meille sähköpostitse.

Tästä lähtien sähköiset kirjeemme tulevat luottamukselliseksi, ne toimitetaan vastaanottajille sähköpostilla ja nettisivuilla niitä pääsee lukemaan ainoastaan tunnuksella, mikä toimitetaan kannattajille ja kirjeensaajille.

KIITOS KAIKILLE TEILLE, JOTKA OLETTE KULKENEET KANSSAMME LÄHETYSSEIKKAILUSSA COSTA RICASSA KULUNEIDEN 17-VUODEN AJAN TAI OSAN SIITÄ! Työ, rukoukset ja kannatus eivät ole menneet hukkaan – viimeistään taivaassa saamme tavata monia niistä, joiden elämä ja iankaikkisuus on muuttunut meidän yhteisen panoksemme kautta! Jatketaan tätä edelleen!IMG_6467IMG_6344

 

The move!

IMG_5856 IMG_5499 IMG_5338The last month in Costa Rica was busy, full and overwhelming. Even though we had been working towards the move the whole year, at some point it seemed impossible that we would have the house ready and empty, all the paperwork done, all the meetings and goodbyes done by Christmas. Secretly we were hoping to somehow be able to jump few months ahead, have all the hard work and the move done with and already be settled in Finland starting the new chapter in our lives. Well, it didn’t happen magically, but with hard work, patience, God’s help and grace here we are! We live in a town of Lempäälä, about hour and half north of Helsinki. We found a two-bedroom apartment in the center of the town and have been here for one month now.

Costa Rica

It was hard to say good-byes… we have invested the last nine years in the people of Guanacaste and so many of them had so many special things to say about us when we were leaving. Leaving the ministry is like leaving a child… but our hearts were thankful, because it is possible to see that there is fruit growing of many of the seeds planted in the last nine years.

In the last minute all the missing pieces seemed to find their places – thank you for your prayers and help! We were able to finish the major improvements in the house and a day before we left it was rented to a French-Nicaraguan family. All the finances came in for the fixings, insurances, tickets, taxes… Even our dogs and horse found good new families! God is so faithful, even when things around us seem like chaos and when there are so many unanswered questions. He works everything out in His way and in His timing!

Then, on December 24th, we were in that plane! It was – and still is – hard to grasp that this is not just another trip, but a permanent move! A HUGE change! A jump to unknown… a new adventure with God. Diego left behind his home country, his family, culture and everything he is comfortable with – over 20 years of being a missionary in his own nation. For me (Salla) it has been 17 colorful years in my second home country. All of us left behind our home, familiar surroundings, friends, a country and a culture that we love… and many special people, villages, neighbors… those that we have shared God’s word and love with in many different ways. All the memories, cries and laughs… The beauty of the tropical nature, the heat, the greenness, the fruit… this list could just go on and on. To put it short: A LOT was left behind! The pictures in this letter show some of those things.IMG_5696 IMG_5681 IMG_5610

Finland

During the long flights and layovers we took few deep breaths and then relaxed for few days with family in Finland. The the next busy season started… driving across Finland and moving to the new town, getting our own place, looking for furniture, doing all the official paperwork, getting permits, opening phone lines, getting insurances, visiting offices etc. it has been another endless project that still goes on.

We had just a little over a week to get the kids to school with proper winter clothes, winter sports equipment and more or less adjusted to the time and weather. They have done amazingly well. Especially Troy and Julia have made friends fast; they enjoy their new school and all the new opportunities. All of them are already involved in sports; Troy was accepted in a good basketball team, Julia is finally living her dream being in a dance academy (hip hop and break dance) and Nic Markus is part of a soccer team and involved with scouts.

Diego started language school the first week of January. He takes the train to Tampere every day to go to class. He is also taking an evening class twice a week. Even though the school is a little expensive, we are thankful that he got in to these classes, because knowing and being able to use the language will be important for whatever God will have him do in this nation. Diego applied for the residence permit right away in December, but will have to wait for them to process it – it will take a few months.

I have been working on the paperwork, unpacking, kids transportation and been home to support the family in the adjustment. I have been helping with a ministry to young mothers and making contacts with other Christian workers and organizations in the area. Once a week I have been getting together with a small group of women to pray.

We have visited different churches in the area to look for a home church for us. Diego has been asked to play in some churches as well.  There are two refugee families arriving from Kongo to our town so we have signed up to be a support family for them. There are quite a few immigrants here and we feel drawn to reach out to and help them. Diego, Troy and Julia also have muslim friends at school.

The big question that is still asked a lot is what are we going to do in Finland, what is God’s place for us in here. We are praying and waiting, trusting God to be clear and specific with us. What we know is that we will continue as YWAM workers. What that will look like, is a process of prayer and talking things through with YWAM Finland. We know we want to reach and mobilize the Finnish youth and we have a dream to receive and host foreign outreach teams in Finland. We also feel that this is a time of preparation and further training for us. We are mostly praying and slowly seeking and knocking on opportunities, even though we also know that now is a moment to stay still, to listen, to wait and to rest. The Lord knows everything, will speak and open doors. We hope that in the next update we will be able to give you more details.IMG_5744 IMG_5519 IMG_5433 IMG_5432

Prayer requests:

Please pray with us for the following requests: The fast processing of Diego’s permit, that the kids would find good Christian friends and continue growing in their relationship with God, God-appointed ministry, church and social contacts for us, the healing of Diego’s back (he hurt it and it has taken a while to recover),  a bigger apartment/house, continuous daily provision and overall God’s help and grace in the transition and adaptation process.

Support

It would be very important to us to have your prayer and financial support during this time of transition! Unfortunately we have lost many of our Finnish supporters, because of the usual problem that people have hard time supporting missionaries in their own country. As for now, we are trusting in God’s provision for our day-to-day needs. The cost of living here is very high, so if we are to continue in ministry we will need new supporters. Would you consider continuing your support or becoming a monthly supporter to us if you haven’t until now?

In our next update we will be writing more about Finland as a nation, about its spiritual condition, history and the needs. We want to invite you to be part of what God wants to do in this nation by partnering with us!

 

There is a new way to send your support to us through Mission Enablers International. It is tax-deductible, easy and can be done by check or online:

– ONLINE (credit/debit card):

https://meigiving.com/mei.php for donating via Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover. Use our name and number # S3390.

– THROUGH PAYPAL:  PayPal = meigiving@gmail.com
You should indicate that we are to be the recipient in the “Message” field of the Paypal AND website screens (name and number # S3390).

– BY CHECK: Make your check payable to Mission Enablers International or MEI, send it to: MEI
P.O. Box 2127 Bentonville, AR 72712 and attach a separate note stating that the donation is for us or put the number # S3390 in the memo line.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers and support!