Latvia day 2

Today we attended Mathews Church. With the help of interpreters, we were able to follow along for the most part. The teachings were mainly out of the book of Mathew and 1 Peter among other supporting scriptures.  The message today reminded us that our cornerstone should be Christ alone and not the things of this world. The Latvian word for cornerstone is “Stūrakmenis”. There were several songs, many of which were familiar to us albeit in Latvian. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences in our style of worship. 

We had a planning meeting after church.  We spent time going over the schedule and getting to know one another. Everyone seemed to hit it off and we have a sense that this is going to be awesome camp!

Later that evening, the men got together and loaded the supplies for camp. Several of the guys and one gal stuck around to throw the football and discuss sports. Tomorrow we get up early and head to camp.



Hello church family!

As Claudia mentioned, we’ve arrived safely. The flight from Portland to Frankfurt was pretty uneventful, However, as we boarded the plane to Riga, we discovered a  hole just below one of the wings. The ground crew and pilot investigated the damage and deemed the craft still flight worthy. Although it made us feel uneasy, we boarded the plane and trusted God will get us there safely. The flight was fine.

We were able to pick up some groceries before bed. Our bodies adjusted quickly as we all woke up early and cooked breakfast.

After breakfast we ventured around Riga visiting the sites of the city on foot. According to KC’s Garmin, we walked over 28k steps. Throughout the day we spent time in devotion to God, sharing testimonies and getting to know each other on a deeper level .

Tomorrow we will attend Mathews Church. Afterward, the team will meet with Matiss to plan and load the supplies for camp. We appreciate your prayers and support. We will keep you posted!

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The Latvia Link team is calling all prayer warriors to pray for this summer’s trip to Latvia that begins Thursday, July 25 and ends Tuesday, August 6. Our Sister church, Matthews Church, has invited us to send a team to help with a Youth Summer Camp that will meet at Camp Hope Latvia.

Our team this year includes team leader, Randy Tryon and his son Taylor; Anastasija Balakina, our intern from Latvia; Jennifer Miller; Zach Enas; and Brandon and CJ Stewart. These seven individuals will be under the direction of Matiss Babrovskis, recent graduate of Baltic Pastoral Institute, staff person at Matthews Church, and Suburban’s intern for six weeks in the fall of 2018.

Please pray that:

  • the team will be ready physically, spiritually, and organizationally for the trip
  • all travel plans will come together and flow smoothly
  • clear communication for all things needed for camp programming
  • the camp will fill with young people – both those who know the Lord and those who have yet to know Him
  • all needs will be seen and provided for by the Lord and His people
  • the Latvian and American teams will work well together, bless each other, and bless the Lord.

If you’d like to see more of the camp environment, click on the link below and then look for the video titled Camp Hope Latvia 2018. Our camp will be a bit smaller and have some different activities, but this is the facility at which the camp will happen.

Camp Hope Latvia 2018

We’ll keep you informed as the trip grows closer! And the team hopes to update you during each day of the upcoming trip. If you’d like to give toward the team’s expenses, go to the link below, select ‘one time gift’ and choose Latvia Summer Trip under the choose fund option.

Latvia Financial Support

Thank you for your prayers!!!

They’re Off!

After a day of being flexible (our word, remember?) the team is winging their way to Frankfurt, Germany and from there to Riga. The flight ended up being delayed by about 3 1/2 hours. Thankfully that was not an issue as they had a 9 hour layover in Frankfurt, so now they’re down to about 1 1/2 hours in Frankfurt, honestly about a perfect layover time.

They used their airport time to play “Go Fish”, a true team-building endeavor – :-). Keep on praying – we’ll let you know when they arrive……

Countdown Prayer

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We’re in the last few days of preparation for the Latvia Team trip to partner with Matthews Church in providing a Youth Camp outside of Riga. The team leaves Portland about 3:30 this Thursday afternoon. We covet your prayers!

One of the things we pray into as a team is summed up in the word ‘flexible’! Every year from trip prep to trip completion we run into surprises – it’s the nature of developing projects over a 5,000 mile distance. We’ve already had some surprises and seen God provide what we needed to meet the need of the moment. So pray for flexibility for us! We want to flex with what God has for us, even if that means detours or last minute adjustments or changes to plans. Pray that we will have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to follow all that God has during our travels, during the camp, during our time with Matthews Church’s Family Camp and even on the way home.

Three more sleeps and we’re on our way! Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers!

This is the Week! Thursday is the Day!

Recent Family Picture

In just 2 1/2 days, on Thursday, October 11, Matiss, Elina, and Emma arrive to spend just over 6 weeks in Corvallis. Their journey begins at 7:05am in Riga, which is 9:05pm on Wednesday night here in Corvallis, and ends in Portland at 5:38pm on Thursday night. By the time we see them at PDX they will have been nearly 24 hours in transit with another 2 or more hours before they arrive at our house. Ugh.

They are young, resilient, and they’ve traveled before, but please keep them in your prayers for safe travels, for sufficient energy, for smooth connections and that even in this time of travel God will use them for his purposes. It has been years since I traveled with a 17 month old and I never attempted an international flight with a toddler. Pray for Emma that this will be as comfortable as possible for her and for her parents as they work to keep her entertained, fed, and rested up.

Thanks to all of you for the items you’ve contributed to make their stay a blessing to them. You will have a chance to meet them this Sunday in Suburban’s services.

Thank you for your faithful prayers!

Claudia Lee


Waiting for the Brabovskis Family

The 2018 Volleyball Camp Team
SCC’s 2018 Volleyball Team (left) with Matiss, Elina and Emma Babrovskis (center) and Ance and Gatis Olte (right).

See that darling little baby in the picture? That is 14 month old Emma Babrovska, daughter of Matiss and Elina. Emma and her parents are coming to visit Suburban in exactly 1 month! They touch down at the Portland Airport on Thursday, October 11 and will join the Suburban family in a six week internship for Matiss and frankly, we can’t wait!!!

A little back story — Matiss is currently the Youth Pastor at our Latvian sister church, Matthews Church in Riga. For the last two summers Matiss has been a huge part of the program portion of the Volleyball Camp that Matthews Church and Suburban partner together to provide. It is such a blessing that he is fluent in English and can bridge the language gap for us Americans. Everyone from the SCC camp team loves and respects Matiss so much and really believe he is a gifted servant of the Lord. In addition, over the last two years Matiss has been a student at the Baltic Pastoral Institute  (BPI) studying to become a Pastor, now entering his third and final year of studies.

A year ago in October Steve, Claudia, Mike and Randy visited Matthews Church to join in their 150th anniversary celebration. While we were there the idea was raised of Matiss coming to Suburban for an internship during his third year of BPI. After a year of prayer and planning this internship is becoming a reality!!

Please join us in continued prayer as we work on the detail planning related to this visit. So  much is ready – financial provision through a couple of generous donors, a place to stay, a car to use, scheduling of various opportunities for Matiss, for Elina, and Emma to enjoy. But there is more to come, so your prayers are much coveted! And of course, please pray for travel mercies on the journey and for God to teach us all through this amazing adventure!

And in just a few short weeks, be sure to look for Matiss, Elina and Emma in the halls and gathering places of Suburban. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to say ‘hi’ (or maybe ‘ciao’ pronounced chow … yes I know it is Italian, but Latvians say it too!!!) to this sweet family.