TITLE: Seek the Kingdom of God first 3/29/2015
By Lisa Enqvist
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Anna’s husband, Toimi, had been able to get a single ticket on a ship which was taking missionaries back to China. His family could not go with him. The whole family was on the same passport, which he had to take for his journey. The visa for China for them all was also stamped in that passport.
This was not the first time that Anna would be alone with the children. It seemed to happen all the time! During the war in Finland she was several months at a time away from the bombing in Helsinki, away from Toimi. She had to take full responsibility for her small children. Still, there in Finland were people around her who spoke the same language. Some of them knew her from the time before she went to China the first time. They were prepared to help her. She also was able to help the farmers when they had extra work, and so was given potatoes and milk, sometimes strawberries and apples. She had not worried so much then. Also she had 'war ration coupons' for flour and sugar and a few other things.
But this was a different situation altogether. There was the matter of income. Anna could not go and visit churches as a speaker while she took care of her children. She did not know any farmers who needed help, so she could not expect any pay. Aira Kolkka, one of the three Finnish ladies stayed on in America and was to travel to China when Anna could go, but she was invited to different churches so she was often away.
Anna was worried, and complained that it was too difficult for her. Her oldest son, Toivo, was seven and would have to start school. They had been traveling for six months across the northern part of USA, living in different people's houses. Now they had to stay somewhere where there was a school that would accept him.
They had arrived at the West Coast, in Naselle, close to Seattle. Almost as soon as they arrived there, Anna felt at peace. The Finnish Immigrants there were very friendly and hospitable. A house was found for them, and a school bus would pick Toivo up each morning and bring him back home after school.
She realized that all her fears had been groundless. She understood that God kept his promises wherever she happened to be. She was even able send parcels of clothes and some food to her family in Finland, where the effects of war still were felt. There was a lack of almost everything in the shops. Her cupboards were full of food. She had everything she needed for the children and herself.
When the time came to leave for China, they were given loads of gifts. Also the children in Toivo's school had prepared Christmas gifts specially for him. They boarded the ship Marine Falcon just before Christmas. Again Anna had seen the reality of God's promise: "Seek first the kingdom of God ... and all these things will be added." Matthew 6:33.
That had been her problem. How was she 'to seek first the kingdom of God' when she just had to care for her children. She had thought that she should have been out, speaking in churches, in some way spreading the message of the Gospel. God was teaching her a lesson that she would have to repeat over and over in the years to come, as long her children needed her. They were her first priority - in seeking the kingdom of God.
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