Wednesday on the way to Latvia.
It always amazes me when I walk through and sit in airports. So many people hurrying around to get to their plane. They want to arrive at their final destination, their final stop.
But I am also thinking about their final stop. They are focused on their earthly arrival and I wonder about their Heavenly arrival. Do they know where their final stop is?
Helen picked us up from airport, she is married to Pastor Artis. From Helen I learned about the city of Riga (Reega) and the difference of living under Communist rule and life today. I can never understand what they experience. It is eye opening to see their discussion of how life is different. The freedoms they have today and the work ahead in proclaiming the Gospel.
We stopped to see where Helen works – Lutera Akademija / Luther Academy. It is old town Riga. We walked around and saw the St John Lutheran of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. The building are a combination of styles, the old style built in 1500s, those built during the communist time, and more modern buildings. Then we drove 2 hours South East to the meeting house in Saldus.
Thursday night was good meeting with pastors from around Latvia. It was a different kind of challenge for me. Normally when I travel to other countries I work mostly with the Deaf people. Signing and communication is easier. Meeting with hearing Pastors and workers is a challenge – first because of my hearing. It is tough to trying listening when you are not used to the pronunciation of their language. A few Pastors and wives know some English, so we can find common words. This is a different experience for me.
I Thank God we had a good discussion. I was able to answer their questions and share with them about Deaf Outreach. Several Pastors have contact with Deaf people. One has Deaf friends, others have done weddings with interpreters, other are connected through members of their congregations who have Deaf people in their family. I will be meeting with and talking more with these Pastors today and also next week.
First night in Latvia.
Hotel was top floor, 3 flights up with luggage:) Nope, no elevator here. But was nice clean room with Latvia TV. Breakfast in the morning was good with eggs and sausage. Now on way to meeting with the Latvian Pastors and their families.
Tonight we will be staying with Pastor Artis. Saturday We will be discussing about Deaf Outreach and what they would like to see happen. Then he will share with Bishop Hanns and the Latvian Lutheran Church.
Sunday we will be meeting with Pastor Ingus, meeting Deaf people, learning about their sign language and seeing what is possible. Monday and Tuesday working with church leaders from other countries about Deaf Outreach in their countries. Then Wednesday until Sunday working with Deaf in Riga and ???
Thank you for your prayers!!
Some of you have shared your contacts with people in Latvia – Thank you.
Also to all of you who give to support World Lutheran Deaf Outreach – Outreach like this is possible because of your financial support – Thank you!
People here are great and I am praying see where God opens doors.
God’s Peace to you as we serve Jesus together!
World Lutheran Deaf Outreach Missionaries
Rev. Dr. John Reinke