Day Two: Visiting Communitas International Church

Today Steve and I took the opportunity to visit another church in Riga that is part of the Baptist Union. Communitas International is an English speaking body of Christ served by Mark and Vesma Sandberg. We were introduced to Vesma back in 2014 when she translated during our time serving at the Baltic Pastoral Institute. I’ve grown to love Vesma as we’ve continued to skype nearly once a month since we met. She is an amazing servant of the Lord used by Him in so many ways. The passion she has that most speaks to my heart is her drive to see the church love and minister to Orphans. 
Communitas is a family made up of many nations who understand English and long to serve God and see Him move in Latvia. We met couples and individuals who have deliberately chosen to move to Latvia from other countries simply to see this nation won to the gospel. One of the couples we met, Bill and Donna Mauldin, moved from Texas some years back and opened up a small publishing house with the purpose of publishing Christian materials in the Latvian language. This is an important mission as the Latvian language group is small enough that larger publishing houses don’t find the market lucrative. In a God coincidence, we heard today that they are working on translating and printing the Trauma Based Relational Intervention materials (TBRI) in Latvian. I’ve heard our own Kim Simmons speak glowingly of these materials and the help the concepts are to parents raising children they have adopted or are fostering. Vesma will go to a TRBI training later this month in Texas so that she will be equipped to return home and begin reaching the concepts here. Kim also wants to attend this training sometime soon. I hope to get Kim and Vesma in a skype conversation sometime after we return home.

Bill and Donna Mauldin

After church we shared a meal with Mark and Vesma and their daughter Anna. Anna is 12 and full of spunk and it was fun to visit with this family and share hopes and dreams. I’m hopeful we can squeeze a bit more time with Vesma in before we leave Latvia.

Claudia and Anna — jacket twins!
Anna, Mark, Vesma, Claudia, Steve

We got back to our room fairly late afternoon and after a brief rest and change of clothes, we took off on an evening walk into Old Town. God answered a lot of prayers providing a break in the rain today. It was beautiful and we hope it continues as Latvian farmers are hurting due to a very wet year. They need some dry days to be able to complete this season’s harvest.

Soviet Era building – was KGB
Latvian Academy of Science – built as Stalin’s ‘birthday cake’ – seen on walk to church

Orthodox Church – seen on morning walk to church

Latvian Museum of Art

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