Days Three and Four: Visiting the Aizupietes Family in Sigulda

I’m pretty sure no one would use the word ‘adventurous’ to describe Steve and me. That may change! On Monday we stepped way out of our comfort zone and boarded one of the regularly scheduled commuter trains that run between Riga and Sigulda, about 60 kilometers away. Riding the trains is really no big deal and people here do it everyday. But there is this whole language barrier thing and the not knowing the rules and expectations thing that we had to overcome.

Our reason to go to Sigulda was to spend time with Sandijs and Martina Aizupietes and their children, Toms, Emils, Reinis, and Elizas. Some of you following the blog may remember Martina from her visit to Suburban in November of 2014. Her husband Sandijs is a bi-vocational Pastor of Sigulda Baptist Church and attended Baltic Pastoral Institute (BPI). When Steve and I team taught at BPI during our first visit to Latvia in January 2014 I got to know Martina.

Watching Martina and Sandijs navigate life reminds me of our middle years of ministry when we both worked full time, we were raising three kids, and we carried our love and concern for the church and for a world yet to know Jesus. For Sandijs and Martina you can add Sandijs working full time in construction work, Martina working at her own bookkeeping business and one additional child and you can imagine the daily juggling act that is required to keep all the balls in the air. It was a complete joy to sit with this family, converse with each of the amazing kids, walk around town with them and see the beautiful fall colors, and enjoy a 4 hour breakfast and deep conversation at Martina and Sandijs’ table. I love this family and their desire to serve the Lord, love His people and see more people come into the Kingdom. Would you join me and Steve in praying for them as they serve Jesus in Sigulda?

Martina, Claudia, Sandijs, Steve
Inside the train, a very efficient way to travel
The house that Sandijs built (and the character who built it)
Sigulda Baptist Church – next week is VBS!
Fall colors through the train window
Martina and the beautiful, golden valley
Morning at Sandijs and Martina’s table

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