Well, we made it to Latvia on August 13th and made a mad dash to IKEA in order to furnish our apartment. The following week consisted of building said furniture. Temperatures were over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and air conditioning is not a common sight in Latvian homes and apartments. Luckily, the temperatures finally cooled down to the 60s by the end of the month – a welcome change!
Eight days after we arrived in Latvia, Quintin preached at Svētā Jāņa Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca (St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church) in Old Town, with about 15 others in attendance. Services in English will continue twice monthly, thanks to the three missionary pastors (Quintin, Cory Rajek, and Jerry Lawson) who will rotate liturgy and preaching duties.
For non-English service Sundays, we have been attending Old St. Gertrude Lutheran Church not far from our apartment. Worship there is in Latvian, but, with the help of their bulletin and hymnal, we could follow along with the familiar liturgy.
Carter is doing well in his new school (see his own update below). Lindsay has taken on two challenges: editing the missionary newsletters for the Eurasia region and monitoring all the papers for the English stream of Luther Academy for plagiarism. Quintin is looking forward to teaching at Luther Academy beginning September 12th!
If you have been waiting to support this mission until we have gotten onto the field, now is the time to act. We appreciate all the support thus far – continued support from the United States (from people like YOU!) is what will keep this mission moving forward!
You can follow our Facebook page “The Cundiffs in Latvia” for presentation dates and more stories of our travels.
Quintin preaches from the elevated pulpit at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rīga.
The Latvian flag in the foreground with the Russian flag in the background.
Steadfast in the faith
If you attended any of our presentations in the United States before we left, you heard about the suffering of the Church in Latvia under Soviet rule.
On my first visit to the Luther Academy in Riga, I was given a tour of the school. Each classroom is named after an important lecturer or theologian in the Latvian Church. On that day, I heard many stories about those who were martyred for the faith during those dark years of Soviet occupation.
The scars of that terrible time are very much visible in Latvia today. The Russian and Latvian people share the city peacefully, but they exist in largely separate communities.
It can be hard to think about Christians dying for the faith so recently, but it is happening today in many other parts of the world.
I was reminded of the quote from the Church Father Tertullian, “The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
Let us thank God for the continued faithfulness of the Latvian Church and for those who are coming to faith now in these days as the result of the work of missionaries and our local partners!
PLEASE PRAY FOR:
The people of Pakistan, as they endure intense flooding
The Latvian Lutheran Church, as she continues reaching out to local people
GIVE THANKS FOR:
Safe travels for Eurasian missionaries who gathered in Greece in August for their retreat
Successful relocation and settling of the Cundiffs in Latvia
PRAISE GOD FOR:
His work in Eurasia and across the globe to bring the good news to all peoples!
Hi! I am very excited to be in Latvia! We do not have air conditioning or a clothes dryer, so that is interesting! We are also figuring out public transportation and use that quite a bit. I have a desk in my room so I can work on homework, but I love to use it so I can build and paint my Warhammer models! I was even able to start and lead a miniature wargaming club at my new school!
– Carter (age 11)
Centrāltirgus (Central Market)
The Central Market is near the banks of the Daugava River that runs through Rīga. Constructed from 1924—1930, partially from old German Zeppelin hangars brought from a base on the Lithuanian border, this is the largest market in Europe.
During Nazi occupation, farmers were not allowed to sell their produce freely. Instead, they were forced to supply the German Army and the market sold only limited amounts. Several of the hangars were used to house German military implements.
The market saw growth again after Soviet takeover, though it was supplied by kolkhozes (collective farms).
In the 1980s, the market’s heating and refrigeration systems were updated. Even more renovations were completed after Latvia gained independence.
Today, the five hangars (along with several streets in the vicinity) are full of meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, dairy, cheeses, clothing, and flowers.