Nearing the End of Phase One …

Phase one of our trip is nearly complete! Tomorrow we leave Chuck Kelley’s apartment and travel with Laima to Cesis for the weekend of the Baptist Song Festival. Baptist Church choirs from all around Latvia will be together for a weekend of concerts, fellowship, and prayer and, of course, Matthews Church will be represented there! On Sunday we will remain in Cesis for a united church service with most of the members of the Baptist Churches of Latvia. We are really looking forward to this weekend.

Today was a day to do some shopping. Laima has gained confidence in our ability to navigate the city and so she didn’t join us until a late lunch/early dinner around 3pm. We told her yesterday that the team really wanted to treat her to a nice meal as a way to say thank you for all she’s done. She originally suggested “Subway” and we had to gently push to get her to consider something a bit more elevated in taste! 🙂  We ended up at Neiburgs, a very nice family owned restaurant in Old Town Riga. We spent a restful couple of hours together enjoying an entirely delicious meal. We shared three desserts between us and Laima chose one that was intriguing — parmesan ice cream, a sugared tomato and a crispy turnover filled with berry sauce. It was delicious!

After dinner we headed to Matthews for the summer Thursday evening Bible study. The passage seemed hand-picked for us: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 all about gaining encouragement in our faith from one another. We had opportunity to share greetings from you again and express our appreciation for the way the faith of those at Matthews speaks to us! We also wore the t-shirts we were given by Matthews Church and the creator of those t-shirts, Anita Gercane, was at the Bible study. We were able to thank her and get a picture with her, much to our pleasure and hers. In addition we were blessed with translators who had actually translated for us earlier – Inguna Raudina who translated for us at Matthews Church on Sunday and Lelde Berzkaline who translated for us on Tuesday night, of course along with Laima. It was so good to have just a little bit of time with them again! We invited all of the Thursday night group to Corvallis to visit us — oh how we hope some of them take us up on this invitation!

Just before we ran out the door to catch the trolley to head to Matthews my borrowed cell phone rang and a familiar voice said “Hi Claudia!” — it was Mark Andresen! Mark and Carol, Paula Hewitt, and a team are here for an English language camp and to participate in the marriage of a young friend who spent time with them in Corvallis a few years back.We hope to connect with them tomorrow when I’ll hand over the cell phone and just catch-up with them hopefully hearing what God has done through them so far.

Tonight we are in early and getting ready for the job of packing and changing gears as we head to Cesis and then Segulda to finish out our trip. Thank you for your faithful prayers! We appreciate you so very, very much.

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