Experiences from Latvia

Posted on June 9th, 2024

Today marks the fifth day of our trip and we are now in Poland. I’ve been meaning to blog more often, but our days have stretched so long that I’ve just fallen asleep as soon as the car has arrived at our destination for the evening. Today I’ll tell you how our trip went after Estonia.

After finishing our work in Tartu, we entered Latvia by driving through Vöru in Estonia. We arrived deep in the neighboring country late in the evening to spend the night. In Latvia, we stayed at a free travel park on the shores of a lake, just the two of us, if you don’t count the local fishermen. The morning dawned in the village so bright and we headed cheerfully to the first church, which to our surprise was a huge cathedral. The church was beautifully decorated, but we didn’t know why, at the time. It was only later that we realised that it was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated on the third Friday after Pentecost.

That church bears a very beautiful name, the same as the feast of the day, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As we sat in the church, three dark-robed gentlemen descended before us, looking very inquisitive. As we sat doing our own light work, they recognized our work and one of them announced, now you have come and we can move on, for we know the work continues. After saying that they moved on to the Light and we experienced a moment of emotion at their gratitude. We have experienced before how some faithful have remained in their spirit bodies somewhere as if to ensure that the work or the message they have been upholding or guarding will have someone to continue it. A blessed moment for us.

From the church, we went to a small local market where we bought perhaps the best loaf of bread in the world that had lots of plums, apricots, and seeds in it. Cheers to Latvia! A healthy and very filling travel meal had been found for the next few days. We also bought wool socks from the market, as the neighboring table’s sales needed to be supported too. The happy lady at this table taught us the Latvian word thank you, sweetly encouraging me as I repeated it a few times. It was pronounced spaldiaz, with a very soft letter z.

In the next village, we came across a beautiful church and a priest inside who was very talkative. He told us that this church was not his, but he was the pastor of the previous church. We complimented him on his large church and told him about our mission when he asked the purpose of our trip. He told us in funny English about the history of the place, and how the Latvians are now trying to preserve and rebuild their historic sites because the neighbor “destroy all”. We got a good trip wish and a bunch of tips on where tourists should visit on their long trip in Europe. He had traveled and studied, among other places, in Venice. We wished him a blessing and he wished us a good trip! 

Our journey continued and we found yet another church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and were once again taken by the fact that on that particular day, we had been guided to places where there were even more churches with that name. After that, no churches with such a beautiful and unusual name came our way, although we stopped at several places during that day.

As we drove towards the border, we saw long queues of trucks waiting patiently with their noses pointed towards Russia. For a while, we also drove in the border zone and saw how high fences with barbed wire were being built as if in preparation as we had done in Finland. There was also a beautiful old monastery area close to the border, which we toured with a Russian-speaking old woman. She was so happy to show us around that we ended up calling the Russian interpreter in our community. It was so much easier to follow the guidance when you understood more than just to look at the place that the animatedly waving hands pointed towards. The sweet old woman burst into tears when we explained through the interpreter the reason for our trip. We gave her our flyer in Russian to read, to which she said: Aha! missionaries! in Russian. Maybe so, but we still hope to unite, not preach the superiority of any one religion. Of course, we have already noticed that devotion to one’s religion is very deep in those areas where community traditions have remained strong from one generation to the next, but perhaps a new idea of creating peace can find its way into the heart of some seekers.

On the Latvian side, the terrain is hilly and we are surrounded by fertile fields together with those wonderful oak trees, which guard their surroundings with the great aura of love and wisdom. At times the precious wood forests push up to the minor roads as if reaching out their arms towards us. I love forests and these you can really call forests. The small, unpretentious villages, as if they had fallen out of time and peonies growing so abundantly in every courtyard, were also pleasing to the eye. Indeed, they were behind every fence, in the flowerbeds of squares and churchyards. It was the time of the peony blossom. I believe that their beauty made the inhabitants forget, at least for a moment, the everyday struggles in the poor villages we drove through.

It took us two days to cleanse up the Latvian border area and visit churches, and we believe our work was important, even if we might not get to see the results in our lifetime. But sowing the seeds is all the same so important. At nightfall, we drove towards Lithuania and the journey ended up dragging on as we winded up on a road with 60 kilometers of roadworks.

Thank you for supporting our journey. I will try to get a report to you soon about Lithuania and the work we did there.