Monday morning — our host Chuck Kelley was scheduled to speak at the Baltic Pastoral Institute (BPI) Chapel today so we headed off together to the institute. It was a beautiful morning, cold and frosty, but clear! The walk is about a 1/2 hour walk and picturesque all the way there and back.
We were blessed to finally meet Liva Fokrote, Dean of Academic Affairs; Nora Rautmane, Program Administrator; and Vesma Sandburg, Interpreter. We’ve been speaking to these women over the last few months, so it is very nice to meet them face-to-face!
The current class for the BPI consists of 14 men from all around Latvia. They are varied in background – several are from Riga with several of those men from Matthews Church. In addition we met a man working in prison ministry, men interested in planting home churches, men who want to build redemptive communities, and one man who hoped to start a Bible College. The men have huge hearts for the Lord, for His mission and for the salvation of others. Some are quite young, some older, some are relatively new to the Lord and others grew up in the church.
The variety of men and missions brought an additional challenge to the interesting challenge of teaching through an interpreter! I think we learned some things today that will help us as we teach tomorrow.
Please pray for us and for these men! Our desire is to be an encouragement and support to them as they seek to serve Jesus with their whole lives!
I’ve included a few pictures taken on our walk today. Of special interest to me was a man that Chuck seemed to know who was standing on the sidewalk near the wall. Chuck bent over to put a coin into the man’s cup and the next thing we knew a beautiful operatic voice filled the little plaza where we stood! Amazing! Chuck said this gentleman works as a waiter in local restaurants where he also uses his singing gift and then stands in the streets and sings for coins in his off hours. It was a blessing to hear him sing.
Tomorrow is another full day of teaching at BPI, a trip to the domed church nearby, and then a chance to share tomorrow evening at the Celebrate Recovery group at Matthews Church. Love to all of you from me and Steve!