Spending December 25th with a Baptist pastor
Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
28Trip End Jan 11, 2008
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We talked and talked. He asked quetions about Colossians 2 and asked why we didn't observe new moons when they are included in between the Sabbath and Holy Days. He was honest in telling me that my answer wasn't satisfying. Robert is always politely direct and thinks through issues very critically. There is nothing impulsive about his thinking.
He wants to take his family to the Feast of Tabernacles in 2008 and thought that the UCG Feast in Scotland would be best. His entire family knows English and with relatively cheap flights on EasyJet or RyanAir he thought he could swing it. He really loved keeping part of the Feast with us in Estonia back in September/October.
About 10 am Robert/Elita, Bev/I walked to his Baptist Church. It's a building more than 100 years old. He used to live in the apartment attached to it for 14 years before they moved into their current home which is really beautiful.
We decided to walk there to get fresh air. But, it was blustery with the wind blowing. We got the tour of the church which is heated by wood (as well as their home, by the way). Elita stoked up the furnace in the main meeting hall. They showed two new rooms that they had remodelled for smaller meetings, Bible Studies. They had a few rooms for children's Bible School. A very nice setup.
A note about Elita. She at one time had played on a Latvian national women's basketball team.
From the church we walked to the center of Smiltene past the big Lutheran Church and then bach home. Elita showed us where the former Lenin statue had been which was now decorated with shrubs right in the middle of town.
At 12 noon three ladies came. They were Antra, Enita and Dace. It was Xmas day, but none of them had kept this day either. We had a good discussion about biblical topics and discussed a number of questions. Antra speaks very good English. I could communicate with Enita in Russian. Dace, who is the Church's treasurer, was more quiet. This experience is fascinating. We talked about where it COULD go. As Robert put it,right now he is "intoxicated" with the new understanding he has and so are most of his people. The congregation is about 30 people.
About 3:00 pm we decided to head up the road to Estonia. With the new Schengen arrangement, there is no border now between Latvia and Estonia and we sailed through the former border crossing uneventfully to Valga. At Valga, though, there would not be another bus to Tartu for more than two hours and Robert decided to just drive us up to Tartu which took 50 minutes. It seemed so close. We came to Johnnie Lambert's apartment across the street from the train station and here we are! It was 5:30 pm but completely dark. Antra drove up with us. They immediately left for home. What a wonderful visit.
Bev walked into Tartu on this day the 25th and things were open. We went to the Balkan restaurant for dinner. We had gone here a couple of times during the Feast. We then went to a grocery store for some items to get our stay started. This has all been enjoyable!