A Visit To Latvia   Leave a comment

The lake behind the Ergli townhall

The lake behind the Ergli townhall

Lovely Latvia in the autumn. After visiting in May we wanted to return to see what God was doing in Latvia, especially Ergli where we have friends; American, English, Swedish and Latvian. We were in time to see the autmn colour parade. The days were cooling bordering on crisp and we had several days of sunshine after a rather damp start. We returned to the Hotel Ergli and it felt like coming home. The staff are so lovely there and the Mayor’s wife who owns the hotel always comes to greet us personally when we are there. This time we made time to pamper ourselves using their sauna and jacuzzi. It was Ian’s first time in a sauna and I had the privilege of showing him how to raise the temperature by pouring a little water on the hot coals. Though the hotel keep the Jacuzzi quite luke warm we were glad after the hot sauna. They also have a cold pool but we were not that brave, or should I say foolish. Nor did we use the cold shower but hustled back to our room for a warm shower and then a lovely breakfast each morning.

Much of our time was spent waiting for our flat, that’s right

    OUR flat

to be cleared out so we could try camping out in it. More about that a bit later.

We also had the privilge of making new friends through our American friends, Bruce and Kim. Kim and I met at Multnomah Bible College in the 80’s and I had visited her in Riga, Latvia in ’99. Now we are both married and all four of us have heard God’s call to Latvia. She and Bruce have been there for five years and are old hands, so to speak. Anyway they have met some sheep farmers who are Latvian by way of Australia. So out we went because they wanted to ask Ian some questions, Mr. having been a contract shepherd with agricultural college background and an experienced farmer with estate farm management on his CV. We met Maira, John and their son Karl. They have begun remodeling an old farm house which is looking very rustic at this point but with plans for more modernization after their roof has gone on, which should have happened by now. They have a growing herd and Ian gave them some answers but longs to have more input on ways they can improve and manage their sheep. They have a large barn in better shape than the house, really. Typical of many farm settings. We were treated to a lovely meal of lamb, vegetables and lovely Latvian potatoes with fresh picked mushrooms.

In our second week we went back to the camp and Santa the shepherdess and her wonderfully filled out sheep. She is doing a good job with them and was the one who had met Maira on sheep course they took together. So God continues to bring people together for his purposes. Ian is in his element talking about sheep, when he can get a word in edgewise. Sometimes his humility and quietness even frustrate him. When others talk over him he just goes quiet and if I am there I can get a bit defensive.
But he and Santa did have a few moments to talk on their own until a well meaning friend came up and entered the conversation. Both Ian and Santa are quiet types and stand little chance at cutting through those with more forceful communication skills. It reminds me of times when I get so busy and fail to listen for the still small voice as the Holy Spirit tries to speak to me. I can easily ‘talk over’ Him with words or actions and even thoughts, missing choice moments. How often have I, as a strong communicator done this to others who are more reticent or quite communicators? By grace God persists and is faithful to lead me to a point where I can listen. But what of the quiet ones, do we take the time and give space for them to speak? I am learning this lesson, sometimes well and other times not at all.

We had some lovely meals and fellowship during our fortnight in Latvia. Some at the hotel and some as mentioned in friend’s homes. We also had a lovely day out at an arbouretumn with a personal tour, tea and biscuits and Belgian chocolate. Our friends Bruce and Kim had gone earlier to celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary and we went with our English friends, Joanna and Ian. Yes, there are moments of confusion with 2 Ians. Joanna suggest nicknames but none are forth coming at the moment.

Now about that flat, our flat. This is a view of our kitchen and bedroom windows. Our flat is located at the edge of the village of Ergli. Very quiet

lovely views. We know that God has called us to go to Latvia, lock stock and barrel. One of the confirmations of this was our friends purchasing this flat so that we could live there.

The view from our kitchen window. These are the garden allotments each flat has one and we could have two if we wanted. It costs 5 lats a year.  That’s about £5.68. With this comes 2 apple trees near our allotment and about 5 more across the road, not to mention a row of gooseberries and currents. So ‘The Good Life’ here we come.

What are we going to ‘do’ out there. We have been called to wait and listen and while we are waiting and listening, to encourage. No strategy no ‘doing’ plan just go. We are the third couple, that we know of, who have received the same call. The other two are English as well. So our journey begins.


Our flat in Hastings is on the market and the first viewing is tomorrow. Before we left Latvia we planted bulbs and a rose bush. On our last day in Ergli I planted 4 stargazer lilies and 4 pink Hyacinthe’s and  Ian finished off with 10 tulip bulbs. When we move in March we will be there, hopefully, for when they’re blooming. So our journey to Latvia begins.

 Ergli means eagle in Latvian and so I leave you with one of the verses God has used to encourage us: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31


Posted 09/10/2008 by ergliangel45 in Uncategorized

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