Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Off to India - 2

Peter, a friend of a friend was waiting for me when I cleared customs in Helsinki. It is a delight to be met by a friendly face in an unknown place!

Peter pastors a church called "Living Word" in downtown Helsinki. Peter and his wife Pia are a little younger than me, and they have three 20-something children. They are "Finn-Swedes", and speak Finnish, Swedish and English....and son Andreas also Hebrew and daughter Cecilia some Russian. They all switch back and forth between languages with agility. I have really enjoyed getting to know Peter and his family and seeing where and how they live. Peter is an intelligent and passionate church leader and we have talked quite a bit about the Church here in Finland and Helsinki. He is a friend of Frank and Leena, with whom I am traveling to India in the next two weeks.

Peter and Pia went two years to the Word of Life Bibleschool in 1987-1989. He was earlier an assistant pastor in a Swedish-speaking pentacostal (pingst) church. This is not the same as the United Pentacostal Church in the USA.

Before the days of nationalism, this part of Finland was ruled by Sweden. ....from the 14th to the 18th centuries. It was captured by the Russians in the 18th century and gained its independence only 90 years ago. The long domination by Sweden is the root reason for the two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, which are very different in their roots. Swedish is no longer as important in the life of the country, but it is still very much in evidence.

As I looked around the room normally occupied by one of the daughters (who is now on a trip), I saw a picture of Starla, a friend from Bibleschool! Starla is a friend of Johanna. It is fascinating to me how these human connections work.

No comments:

Post a Comment