Immanuel - "God is with us"

merry christmas!!! i hope you are able to find the time to reflect on the significance of Jesus' birth. what a wonderful day!


im baaaaaaaaack!

ill be in the states from december 17th-january 13th

if you want to reach me, my stateside mobile number is 602-505-8024


reason why latvia is the bomb #8: the sandwich grill

i got this from my roommates as a christmas gift.

needless to say, it was a wonderful gift. and it is one that i hope will continue to keep giving for many years to come.



90 hours

only 90 hours left till i fly back to the states!!! im getting pretty antsy to see my stateside family and friends again.


giving thanks

i know i am a little late on this, but i wanted to share what i am thankful for. this thanksgiving was a cool time to reflect on the things that i have seen God do over the past year. on the train ride back from czech i decided to write some of these things down in my journal and by the end i had filled up six pages!!! i was almost in tears. i am so thankful to be able to serve a God who is truly Good. i am thankful for Jesus Christ! i have so much to be thankful for! what do you have to be thankful for?


reason why latvia is the bomb #7: battery

beautiful isnt it?

battery is not made in latvia and im pretty sure you can buy it in most european countries... but that doesnt change the fact that i discovered this wonderful beverage in latvia! its the closest substitute that i have found in latvia for the wonderful energy drink "monster." if you ever make it overseas, do yourself a favor and purchase one of these.

reason why latvia is the bomb #6: sniegs!!!

it snowed here the other day... a LOT.

pretty fun. it makes winter worth it.

seeing it in person also brings new meaning to verses like Isaiah 1:18; "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."

praise God for that!



reason why latvia is the bomb #5: mandarīni

give it up for winter fruit!!! yahoo.

in a long, dark and cold winter, these little oranges are my "ray of sunshine." they give me hope that one day the sun will return and it will be summer again! haha. besides being a great snack and tasting great, they are also a great source of nutrition. i have been known to eat an entire bag in a matter of minutes without even realizing it! they are delicious!



a few pictures from the runzos halloween party last night...

edmunds was dressed as "starsky" & i was dressed as "crime scene evidence"

"invisible girl," "ice queen," "catwoman," & "thugs"


bobbing for apples

judging the pumpkins

our subimission to the pumpkin carving contest, the "lord of the rings eye" pumpkin

scary faces!

a few pictures from pumpkin carving with kitija & krista...


reason why latvia is the bomb #4: sula

i am a big juice fan.

latvia is a pretty good place to live if you enjoy juice. my personal favorite flavors of juice here are; pineapple, strawberry and raspberry. the brand of pineapple juice that i like is actually the knock-off-brand-watered-down-version of the more popular brands (i feel as if i have come full circle from hating the generic food brands that my mom bought for me as a kid). also, there is something magical about drinking juice from a box. seriously, you should try it.


why biola rocks

students from biola have recently entered U.S. News and World Report’s “Why My School Rocks” video contest. their video is competing against 28 other college videos, and the ten videos with the most views will go on to the final round of judging.

watching the video brought back a lot of memories of the "good ole days" and at the same time made me feel like an old man! haha. anyways, i thought it was worth sharing with you all.


fall conference 2008

the theme of the conference was "The Bride of Christ." it was obvious that God was at work in some big ways throughout the conference. we were blessed by the many different speakers who taught on the expressions of The Church... The Bride of Christ, The Body of Christ, The Family of God, and The Temple of God. i was also challenged by caesar kalinowski and jeff vanderstelt from soma communities in tacoma, washington (check these guys out, they are doing some really cool things in their community). the talks were life changing for me as The Holy Spirit exposed my lack of love for His Church. i had allowed myself to become hardened by years and years of seeing what i called "ugly people" in The Church. during this conference God quickly showed me that i was part of the problem and i was actually one of those "ugly" and sinful people (thank God for His grace, amen?)! i had not loved my brothers and sisters well, and therefore had not protected and loved His Bride. needless to say, i returned to latvia changed and encouraged! God sure is good, isnt He?

another big highlight of the trip was having four latvians with us to the conference!!! really good people.


reason why latvia is the bomb #3: staigāšana

i officially love to walk. i walk almost anywhere i can.

i love walking out of my apartment building and seeing so many people on the streets. it helps living in a city the size of riga, where most of the places are within walking distance. its relaxing. its healthier. why not walk?

fall is here!


reason why latvia is the bomb #2: nutella

nutella is completely unhealthy, but tastes delicious. i cant believe this stuff has not caught on in the states!

reason why latvia is the bomb #1: cilvēki

meet my roommate, ilja.

this country is full of tremendous people like ilja. i have been blessed by the many people God has brought across my path over the past 10 months. it is hard for me to explain what it is that i like about latvian people so much, but i think if you have been here, you understand what i mean.


what now?

i have had a lot of people ask me, "so what are you doing now that camps are over?"... well, let me attempt to answer that question.
  • in the next week or so i will be starting a Bible study with a few latvian guys. i am very excited to read God's Word with these guys and to get to know them better.
  • our team has decided that we will focus all of our energies on a local youth group here in riga, so please pray with us as we are seeking out where that will be. we want to come alongside the leadership in the church to help to create excitement and momentum for the youth ministry. we want to see the youth group become a place where all types of people can be part of a loving community and hear from God's Word.
  • now that the summer is over i am getting back to language training. i have started working with my language tutor and i will begin formal class this week. i would appreciate your continued prayers for this!
i hope that gives you more of an idea of what i will be up to in the near future. what about you? what are your plans for the next few months? anything i can be praying for?


the land of the irish

this country is breathtaking... unbelievable landscape... lovely people... great food... those are the main three things i look for when when i travel and ireland blew away my expectations on all three! here are a few pictures from the trip...

at the blarney castle

dursey island

chasing sheep

fletchy & mikey climbing on the rocks

we went on a hike & ended up taking this boy band picture in the fog

fletch fell a few times on the hike

very relieved to be done w/ the hike

beautiful beach

irish breakfast

"gorrrrgeous!" (in the crocodile hunter voice)


mike on the ferry

the cliffs of moher


holly was very gracious to let us stay at her flat for a night