Part 3 - 11/4/2009 - Hyvää Pääsiäistä

I could call this blog in the style of one of my favourite TV programmes, 'Friends' and start this with a title like - "The one with highs and lows." It has been an interesting few weeks. We have experienced many blessings. For example, we have now rented our house in England, which helps both financially and practically. Then we have just agreed a selling price for our cabin in Ylläs, another significant help. This still needs to complete as a transaction, but we are so grateful for positive steps on these, a real answer to our prayers. We will keep you informed with progress over the coming weeks.

Work continues to be a challenge, however after a number of meetings in the past few weeks, it looks like I will now be setting up a business venture. Not, I must say, in my normal comfort zone but then again I am not sure what one of those is at the moment. In for a penny and all that. It is odd to look back on this, as even a year ago, I would not have even considered it, but here we are and I am determined to see what I can achieve and I am going to do that. So on with the buisness plan and establishing those all important networks.

So now for a bit of fun. How many people does it take to find a drain? Well, first you have to imagine the scene. In the past few months a lot of snow has fallen here, which has then been compacted and frozen etc. In the past month, there have been several periods of defrosting and then refrosting and unfortunately the drains in our drive had been blocked up by the aforementioned!! Problem is that we and our neighbours did not know where the drains were exactly and they were still under about 5 inches of ice. Also, to add to the complication, our plot and parking area are at the lowest point in the estate. So when the weather has turned in the last couple of days, we had a problem - lots of water and nowhere to go. If you are struggling to imagine, just catch the latest pictures (see food and flood in the photo gallery). Drains here are usually heated to avoid this problem, but seemingly that is something to add to the snagging list for the builder, who to his credit, came out on Easter Sunday to help. Anyway, all is well again now and we have found the drains and moved away the bulk of the water. On a positive note, it was a good opportunity to meet a few more of our neighbours and our landlord.

And on the subject of thawing, we cannot help but notice that Spring is definitely with us. These last few days have seen a dramatic change in the landscape. Snow disappearing, rivers defrosting (no doubt the sea also) and birds arriving. I love the spring time. Such a wonderful metaphor of new beginnings as the old is closed and new begins. It is a very different landscape here without snow. Still beautiful, and so much to look forward to. The Finns love to spend as much of the next few months outdoors as possible, and we look forward to sharing this. Long bike rides and walking, evenings spent eating dinner outside and enjoying the midnight sun. We will no doubt provide more evidence of this in the coming months.

I also mentioned some lows, but I do not want to focus on these. So I will sign off and just say that we have a number of challenges remaining. We believe they will all get resolved at the appropriate time and that God will provide for our needs. Hope to speak to many of you in the coming weeks through email, phone etc and we will be back in UK for 5 weeks in the summer. Take care and God bless.