youtube of the month: december

allow me to introduce to one of my favorite groups, deepspace 5. this is the music video for the song "from the outside," off their upcoming cd. before watching it, please be forewarned... they are a hip hop group *gasp* so you may here a rap or two in the video.

hope you enjoy!

and yes, some white people can rap :)


two years? really???

i arrived in latvia on november 11th, 2007.

it is now november 23rd, 2009.

it is hard for me to believe that even as i write it. the last two years have literally flowwwwwn by!

since time here is rushed and it is easy to lose sight of God in the busyness of life, i thought it would be cool to pause and reflect on God's faithfulness over the past two years... this is like a sneak peak into my journal (haha)... and since it is close to turkey day, i thought it would be cool to share a FEW of the things that i am thankful for over the past two years...
  • amazing friends & family on both sides of the atlantic
  • a wonderfully loving & supportive team on both sides of the ocean (THANK YOU for your many prayers!!!)
  • seeing God's faithfulness in a very tangible way on a daily basis (THANK YOU financial supporters!)
  • seeing how God is continuing to pave the way for me in latvia and how i am perfect for what He has me there to do
  • finally getting to do with my life what i should have been doing all along!
  • seeing my weakness and utter dependence on Christ and the immense freedom i can experience through that
  • experiencing and practicing sabbath
  • learning to pray continuously
  • growing in my understanding of who the Holy Spirit is & what His role is in my life
  • experiencing God as my Father and the joy of being His son
  • understanding a lot of verses in the Bible in a practical sense rather than just theoretically
  • getting to hand over all of my relationships in the states to God and trusting Him with them... and seeing how He has blessed them!
  • living a simpler life
  • having "visitors" in latvia, and being able to see my two "worlds" collide in some very cool ways
  • coming to the end of my first two years and being sad to leave latvia, but excited to be back in the states! and on the flip side, being sad to leave the states but being excited to be back in latvia! (a huge victory)
  • being able to see God use me! (a miracle)
  • good health and a new appreciation for the sun and warmth :)
it would do me little good to only recognize the blessings in my life and stop at that. it is another thing to recognize these things and to turn and thank the Person from Whom all good things come. i can see now more clearly than ever in my life, that all of the good things in my life have come from God's hand! He is my Father and on thanksgiving i am most thankful for Him and the love He has shown me over the last two years! He is GOOD!!!

youtube of the month: november

a collection of ridiculous dunks (that you need to watch in slow motion to realize what you just saw)

(the other players reactions are almost as good as the dunk!)

and i had to throw at least one dunk FAIL in there too...



it feels good to be home again!!!

had dinner with the family last night and then came home and feel asleep. woke up at 9am this morning. hoping to get on US time schedule quickly.


leaving on a jet plane

its 7:23am, and i just finished packing my bags and cleaning up the house. i havent slept at all! hooray. i leave for the airport in four hours. i have a 24 hour layover in berlin and then... HOME!!! cannot wait.


reason why latvia is the bomb #15: anna & anete's class

i visited two of my friends at work today and got to see the kids they are with every week. anna and anete are elementary school teachers and it is obvious that they are great at what they do!

i am hoping that i will be able to make it to their class more often when i am back in january!

good music

if you 1) like hip hop music and 2) love Jesus, then you need to download this song from one of my favorite artists braille! the song is called "give myself" and it addresses the role of a husband in view of Ephesians 6:25-30. you can download it for free here!


the countdown

i am very excited to see friends & family again! it is hard to believe i leave for the states in six days!!!


we have heat!

hooray for warmth!

apparently they turned on our heat today. no more sleeping in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

edit: NOT! i spoke too soon. radiators are still cold to the touch. darn.

kinda proud of these too!

verona, italy

salzburg, vienna

(click on them to see the bigger version)



a panorama i took in gimmelwald, switzerland...

(click on it to see a bigger version)


youtube of the month: october

kinda old, but still hilarious...


my brother tim & i got to see some wonderful places on our trip

here are a few of the pictures...

it was a great trip & i hope that we will be able to do it again next year (rob included)!


vacation time

i will be "away from the office" for a few days. i am taking a few days off to meet up with my brother, tim, in munich today!!! he is flying to europe as i am typing this and i am almost giddy at the thought of seeing him in a few hours! we will be traveling around europe for a few days and (to make it even better) there is an outside chance that my other brother, rob, will be meeting up with us later on the trip!!! i will put up pictures from our trip when we get back to riga. take luck.


fall conference 2009

our team arrived back in riga early this morning after the lonnnnnnnng drive back from czech. for the past week we were in the czech republic for our annual fall conference, and once again, it was a great week with an amazing group of people!!!

allow me to introduce team latvia...
(from left to right) edgars, agnese, david, fletch, adam, anna, agija, myself, anete, donna & kelly

throughout the week our team managed to get our butts handed to us in the annual soccer tournament, spent a lot of quality time in the van, walking around ikea, bowling (seen below), and visiting auschwitz. a very interesting week.

the theme of this years conference was "passing the baton," and it was focused on how we can pass on the life of Christ to others through discipleship. it was an amazing conference for me, as i felt the Lord reminding me of the basics of what it means to walk with Him daily. i also felt an urgency to begin applying what i had learned about discipleship in a culture where i have seen little to none taking place. please pray for our team in latvia as we work to make disciples of Christ!


rīta zvaigzne

morning star is one of the churches that our team has been involved with over the past year and i have been blessed to be a part of this group of wonderful people. i appreciate how they have welcomed our team with open arms, their beautiful heart for prayer, and that they are one of the only churches i have seen that are actively seeking out both russians and latvians!

we spent a few days this past week moving into a new building and it is exciting to see the possibilities for this facility. here is the "moving committee" praying for the new building...

today was also the first service in the new building and here are a few pictures from that...

pastor rommel

please join us in praying for our next steps as a church!


youtube of the month: september

i finally joined a gym yesterday, so i thought this would be an appropriate video...

these kids are hilarious!


rīgas ūdens

gotta love the water here in riga!

they have already turned off our water twice four times this week and they were nice enough to warn us about it one of the times. i am working on my computer and waiting for them to turn the water back on so that i can take a shower. im hoping it will not come out looking like this again! :)

language course

yesterday, our team finished an intensive language course at the university of latvia. after three-weeks of classes, we received a certificate of completion! yahoo.

our class w/ our wonderful teacher (in the middle in the red blouse)

it was great to get back to formal language learning & refresh a lot of the things that i had forgotten over the summer. please pray for us (americans) as we seek out the best way to continue learning & speaking this crazy language!


miks wedding

miks is a youth leader at matthews church who i have worked with a lot over the past year. over that time he has become a good friend of mine. he got married this past weekend and it was great to be part of his bachelor party & wedding!


a tid bit of bad news

a few weeks ago, i lent my car to a friend who needed to drive to estonia. on the way back to riga the driver fell asleep and drove off the road... the miraculous news is that THANKFULLY no one was injured!!! there were four very dear people to me in the car when it happened, so i was more than happy to have them all in one piece. the bad news was that my car was totaled in the process. obviously, the friend felt terrible and offered to buy me a new car. here is what we ended up with...

1991 BMW 318
not bad for $1,400 right?


3sixteen footwear

many of you know that i have a "thing" for shoes... and by "thing," i mean an obsession. after i had payed off my school bill in college, most of my paychecks would go towards buying shoes. i cannot tell you how many times i drove to marshalls, ross, or nordstroms rack just to check out what shoes they had in stock. not much has changed since then (except for not having the money to buy shoes, haha).

having said that, let me to introduce you to a thing of beauty... the 3sixteen duck chukka

if you find an extra $345 lying around your house, make your way over to 3sixteen.com and get yourself a pair.

you can thank me later.

intern debrief

look familiar???

this weekend i got to face my "fears" in the form of the swing i fell off a little over a year ago. i did not swing much, but it was good to be back at the same place where we had debriefing last year w/ great people. this team has been a huge blessing to my life!!!


unexpected reunion

i got to visit with a few old friends last night. one of my buddies from college, obie obien, plays in the band christafari and they happened to be touring in riga this week.

i went to the concert to see obie and after it ended i ran into my only latvian friend from biola, simona talberga. it was good hearing a little bit about the last few years of their lives and where God is taking them next!

yay biola!!!