We wanted you to know that we arrived safely in Latvia. The trip to the airport, parking the car, and shuttle to airport all went smoothly. The flight to Helsinki and then on to Riga were uneventful. We were able to see both the sun set and sun rise on the same flight within a couple of hours as we picked up several hours during the course of the flight. We are 7 hours ahead of you here. There was a stuffed reindeer in the Helsinki airport by where they were selling reindeer pelts in the airport.
Today, we toured Riga a little with Victor Barviks, the preacher here. We visited the Museum of Occupation which describes the occupation of Latvia by the Soviets, the Nazis, and then the Soviets again. Over 550,000 people died during this time. We went shopping to a local market buying locally grown berries. We also got to go to the 26th floor of the Hotel Latvia where we had a panoramic view of Riga. No skyscrapers. This evening Victor and his wife Sarmite and Anna (Sarmite''s mother) had us over for a wonderful dinner!
Tomorrow, we will visit a castle on the way to picking up Janeks and then on to visit Camp Ganchauskas! Keep us in your prayers that all of our communication with church members, Camp and orphanages will pave the way for an ongoing effort here next summer to assist Janeks in making a spiritual difference in his home country.
Eric & Mark