My life in Latvia is never dull, but then I think that is possibly true of the life of a Salvation Army officer anywhere in the world. Here’s some of the highlights from last week’s diary.
Especially for the Swedes who read this blog, you will be pleased to know that your National Day was celebrated in style here in Riga! The Salvation Army in Latvia being administered by Sweden, we two Brits, myself and Sarah the Assistant Regional Leader here, found ourselves at the Latvian celebrations. There was an amazing concert to begin with featuring a famous Latvian pianist, and then some beautiful Swedish songs sung by the current Ambassador’s wife, Biljana, and her twin sister. We then went to eat. What an amazing amount of Swedish food! In honour of the day I decided I had to eat pickled herring, not my favourite food, but I missed out on the Swedish meatballs which are more my style. I understand that strawberry cake is traditionally eaten on this day. I managed one strawberry dipped in chocolate so I hope that did due homage to the day. As you can see the Swedish flag was hanging outside the venue to mark the occasion and festive yellow and blue balloons adorned the stairway to the concert hall. Each year a Swedish flag is presented to a deserving charity. I understand that last year it was presented to The Salvation Army here in Latvia.
By contrast Tuesday was the day of our monthly Leaders’ meeting. It is a day when the officers and managers from all over Latvia come together for a mix of fellowship, good food (again!), worship, teaching, and business. Andrejs and Irina from Riga 2 conducted our worship, which was a lively mixture of Russian, Latvian and English. The rest of the day was spent discussing a book about how we mature as Christians and help others to mature, and exploring ourselves to see how our own world view affects our relationships with other people. On a lighter note, the guest of honour was Diana, the newest member of our officer family. She was born to Ilona and Dmitrijs in March and made her first public appearance resplendent in a Minnie Mouse outfit!