Cundiff (Latvia) Update – September 2023

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Living through disasters

Dear friends in Christ, 

Jesus tells us that there will be signs accompanying the end. In Matthew 24, He says there will be false prophets, wars, rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes. Truly, these signs have been visible in our world for a long time. Christians know that our world is ending. 

Much of the concern of the Church in the United States is regarding the false prophets, who are rightly quite troubling and are indeed an issue in many other parts of the world. In truth, the majority of the false prophets found in many of the countries that I have contacts in have been influenced by the false teachings coming out of places in the US. 

Of course, in Europe, there is also the ever-present concern about the continuing war between Russia and Ukraine. People don’t know if the fight will escalate or if it will come to a conclusion soon. There is no shortage of experts and opinion makers who will give their thoughts on the situation. Do not fear for us, though, as Latvia remains quite safe. 

But what about natural disasters? These are frightening because they are not driven by people. A false teacher can be ignored. A war zone can be avoided. But what happens when the earth itself brings destruction upon us? This is truly a fearsome thing. And it is something that has touched the lives of our students at Luther Academy. 

Last year, the earthquake in Turkey had an impact on the lives of a few of our students who live in Turkey, which caused an understandable delay in studies. But just this week, an earthquake in Nepal caused significant damage to many structures and brought about loss of life. This has impacted many people, including Christians. One of our students currently serves as one of the only pastors in his area of Nepal, which is relatively isolated. Please pray for him and for the people of Nepal that they might recover from this devastation. Truly, we often in the LCMS say, “It’s a small Lutheran world.” Indeed, it is, and our work at Luther Academy makes it even smaller as new connections are being made among fellow Lutheran Christians in many other parts of the world!

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Cundiff

One of our students supplied this photo of the devastation in Nepal following the recent earthquake.

The Cundiffs reunited in Late September with many of the CTSFW students and Dr. Schulz, who toured Latvia in May 2023. Special thanks to Dr. and Cornelia Schulz, who hosted this gathering in Fort Wayne!

Celebrations all around

September 2023 saw the Cundiff family in celebration. The Latvian version of Father’s Day (not altogether different than the US version except for the date) rolled around on Sunday, September 10th, so we took Quintin out for some BBQ, which was really tasty!

We also celebrated friendships; Carter and his friends (from Latvia, Italy, and South Korea) gathered in a local park to hang out for several hours.

Many celebrations happened during our brief return to the States in September, too, for Quintin to begin his PhD studies in Fort Wayne. 

Lindsay completed the last step to have her nursing license endorsed in South Dakota. Once that is done, she will be able to enroll in an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, likely at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, as she will only need to complete 20 more credits!

We celebrated family as we made very quick stops in our hometowns and met up with parents, grandparents, siblings, and other beloved extended family.

We celebrated with many of our donors, as well, as we presented in Lindsay’s hometown in Iowa and had short meet-ups in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. 

Lindsay and Carter celebrated a safe return to Latvia while Quintin completes his two weeks of courses at CTSFW. Carter definitely celebrated being back in school with his friends.

We would have loved to see and converse with so many more people during our trek through the Midwest, but we simply did not have time, as we had to rush to complete our business in multiple states and make it to Quintin’s classes in Indiana. Fear not, though, as the Cundiff family will likely be on home service next summer, and we will be able to meet with more of you!

Carter’s Corner

Sveiki (hello)! Our family went to the States recently because we had some business to take care of, and Dad is back in classes for his PhD. Mom and I returned last week, and I praise God that we made it back safely!

Now, Mom and I are getting back into our regular routine. I’ve made a new friend at school, and he is from Greece. I also joined new after-school clubs: cooking (Indian food!), reading, and Greek legends. So far, they are a lot of fun!

– Carter (age 12)


  • The students, instructors, and staff of Lutera Akadēmija as we continue the Fall Semester.
  • Our students dealing with civil/political unrest and natural disasters in their home countries.


  • Safe travels for the entire Cundiff family during September and October.
  • The connections between the LCMS and the Latvian Lutheran Church body for the sake of the English stream of Lutera Akadēmija.
  • Our generous donors and prayer warriors, and the steadfast workers of Mission Central and Mission Advancement, without whom this mission would be impossible.

The Freedom Monument

The Freedom Monument (Brīvības piemineklis) stands on the edge of Old Rīga. It was completed over a four-year period – 1931 to 1935 – as a symbol of independence in Latvia and was funded entirely by public donations. 

On top of the 42-meter (137-foot) tall monument stands a copper statue of a woman named “Freedom” (Brīvība). Over her head, she holds three gold stars representing Latvia’s three regions: Kurzeme, Latgale, and Vidzeme.

At the base of the monument (only partially visible in this photo), are sculptures and reliefs that depict important moments in Latvian history. An inscription under one of these groups of sculptures reads “For Fatherland and Freedom” (“Tevzemei un Brīvībai”).

Information from: 

Kalns, Guntis. The Passport of Latvia. 2nd Ed. Bārbala Simsone (trans.). Rīga, Latvia: Apgāds Zvaigsne ABC, 2019.

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

Make checks payable to The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and send to/through:
Mission Central
40718 Highway E 16
Mapleton, IA 51034

On the memo line be sure to write: Cundiff – Latvia 

Give securely from any device:
Text LCMSCUNDIFF to the number 41444
Call a donor care representative: 888-930-4438

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