Cundiff (Latvia) Update – April 2024

pdf icon Cundiff_Latvia_Apr2024.pdf
Click icon to open, read, download or print file.




Next steps for the English program

Dear friends in Christ,

This month marks the end of the third official academic year of the English program with Lutera Akadēmija in Riga and my second year with them. Much has transpired in that time, and I rejoice that I have been able to be a part of it and bring you all along on the journey with us. In the last three years, this English program has gone from merely an idea to becoming a part of the Latvian institution of Lutera Akadēmija, which is truly a sign of God’s grace and blessing upon this endeavor.

Starting an educational program is no small undertaking and often takes much longer than it has for us here in Latvia. That is in part due to the generous work of our Latvian partners. As the institution has now been granted accreditation status, the program offered is going through the process of streamlining and integration. This will bring the Latvian program and the English program together. This next step is just starting, and we welcome your prayers for this process as the partnership between the LCMS and the LELB (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia) is strengthened and grown.

Additionally, we are preparing to host students in Wittenberg, Germany, for the summer intensive courses in June. Unfortunately, our family will not be joining them because we will be back in the US for home service. But the good news is that we will be in and around the Midwest for about two months, sharing the story of what is happening in Europe through theological education with congregations and individuals who want to hear. It seems that our Sundays are all booked at this point, but if your congregation has a Bible study or other event during the week, we would be happy to come and tell the story. Please let us know if you would like us to come in person to share about the awesome work that God has been doing in Europe!

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Cundiff

The street view of Lutera Akadēmija in Old Riga.

Just a portion of International Day festivities at Carter’s school in April. Carter is in the upper right, wearing a blue shirt with the number 7.

Family and Home Service 2024 updates

In addition to his regular teaching and administrative duties, Quintin had a few virtual meetings with groups of various nationalities to further the work of the Academy and the region. He was also asked to speak at an LWML Zone Rally in Iowa (at Lindsay’s home church) while he was in the States for his Ph.D. coursework.

While Quintin was stateside, Lindsay and Carter visited the National Library of Latvia. The photo in the lefthand sidebar is the impressive, five-story “People’s Bookshelf”, stocked with meaningful books donated by locals and foreigners. The photo below, in Carter’s Corner, shows both of them in front of that bookshelf.

Lindsay has been busy with administrative tasks with the Academy and with her own preparations for finishing her Bachelor’s degree with the University of Nebraska Medical Center remotely. She is also the logistics planner for our upcoming Home Service.

We are preparing for Home Service in June and July 2024! While we would love to see all of our supporters during that time, it just isn’t humanlypossible. Because of our limited time and the need to see our families and take care of personal affairs while stateside, we have nailed down our Sundays in a few states. Here is our tentative weekend schedule (subject to change, of course):

June 16th: Holy Cross in Shelbyville, Illinois

June 23rd: St. John in Oberlin, Kansas

June 30th: Holy Cross in Kearney, Nebraska

July 6th: Mission Central in Mapleton, Iowa

July 14th: Trinity in Des Moines, Iowa

July 21st: Immanuel in Beemer, Nebraska

July 28th: Pilgrim in Lake City, Iowa

Our Sundays are spoken for, but we would love to meet with others during the week. If we are scheduled to be near you and you would like us to visit your church during a midweek Bible study time, etc, please contact us. We may be able to work you into our schedule!

We will provide an updated schedule in the next newsletter and likely on our Facebook page as the time draws near.

Carter’s Corner

Sveiki (hello)! In April, my school had International Day. What is that? People register and set up a table with things related to their country. At the Chinese table, people could participate in a “spicy challenge” by eating hot peppers. My favorite display, though, was the American one, where they served homemade Rice Krispies treats—something I haven’t had in several years! Have a great May, everyone!

– Carter (age 12 – soon to be 13!)


  • “Old Missionary Gary” Thies, who lost his beloved wife, Maxine, in April.
  • The health and well-being of our missionaries and their families here on the field and at home in the States.
  • Our students, faculty, and administration as the semester winds down and preparations are made for Intensive Study Week and the Fall Semester.


  • Quintin’s grandmother, Evelyn, who celebrates her 100th birthday this May!
  • YOU – our generous donors and prayer warriors, along with the steadfast workers of Mission Central and Mission Advancement, without whom this mission would be impossible.

Literature and Folk Songs

“The Latvian literature has sprung from the people’s oral creation – folklore. Folksongs or dainas constitute an especially important genre of folklore. An astounding number of Latvian folksongs was collected and aggregated by the Latvian folklorist Krišjānis Barons (1835-1923) who has one of the longest central streets in Riga named after him. Barons issued a collection of folksongs comprising 217,996 songs – it is one of the most extensive folk poetry collections in Latvian literature. There are altogether about 1.2 million dainas.

My fatherland is a beautiful place

More beautiful than any other land:

Its woods are green; its fields are wide;

The waters of its sea are oh so blue.

(Latvian folksong)”

Excerpt from: Kalns, Guntis. The Passport of Latvia. Translated by Bārbala Simsone. Rīga: Apgads Zvaigzne ABC, 2019.

Shown above: The actual cabinet used by Krišjānis Barons to house the papers containing his researched dainas. You can see those slips of paper in the drawers if you look closely! This cabinet is housed in the National Library of Latvia here in Rīga. If you’re interested, all the dainas have been digitized and can be viewed at

Prayerfully continue or consider partnering with the LCMS to support the work of Quintin Cundiff and his family. Make checks payable to:
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
PO Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861


Mission Central
40718 Highway E 16
Mapleton, IA 51034

On the memo line include: Cundiff – Latvia 
Give securely from any device:
Text LCMSCUNDIFF to 41444
Call a donor care representative: 888-930-4438

Cundiffs in Latvia · 3916 N Potsdam Ave · PMB 5434 · Sioux Falls, SD 57104 · USA