Thursday, December 18, 2008

Return from Latvia: Economy class seats need thicker seat cushions!

As an author one thinks in terms of titles and subtitles. I wanted to let you know that I arrived home from Latvia yesterday evening. And in reflecting upon waking today, I realized just how much economy class seats need thicker cushions. Title and subtitle.

In reality, our subtitle would be diverse based upon the experiences of the last dozen days. Relationships are of course the most significant part of any mission experience. More important than what we may be allowed to do, are those we come to know as friends. We now have dear friends, associates, colleagues in ministry, brothers and sisters in Christ in Latvia. I will look forward to sharing some of their stories with you in the next days.

Latvia is just now seeing the first generation to become adults whose only experience has been freedom in Latvia. They never personally knew the depth of pain associated with the occupation of their country. They are none-the-less aware of the privilege that is theirs.

On my final day in Riga, Pastor Peteris Eisans spent an hour with me describing lessons that the Latvian church learned during and immediately following the occupation. Lessons that can be shared with those of us in the west. He spoke of the importance of being able to adapt to culture shifts that take place and the church’s challenge in this regard. The wisdom and insight of this key Latvian pastoral leader will be a blessing. I am excited about getting the interview edited so that it can speak into our experience as God’s church in the west.

In our final session at Baltic Pastoral Institute, my class presented me a box of Laima chocolates as a gift. I am learning that most nations in Europe have their own chocolate company…and that it is perceived as the world’s best. After Pam and I opened the box today we think the Latvian’s may have earned the right to say theirs really is!

Being home with a hot cup of coffee and a rich piece of dark Latvian chocolate can almost make me forget just how thin economy class seat cushions really are. Almost.

Thanks to the many who have faithfully prayed during our time away. Please keep praying for our new friends in Latvia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear about chocolate:):):) Liva