Tragedy in Zolitūde

You may have already heard the news about the recent tragedy that struck Latvia this past week (BBC article here and Wikipedia article here). Last Thursday night at around six o'clock a section of the roof at a local Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people. Three of those were firemen who had rushed into the building to help the injured when a second section of the roof collapsed on them. Many children lost one or both of their parents. It is the largest single loss of life since Latvia regained its independence in 1991. Things like these are hard to make sense of. Latvia is in a state of shock and observed a three-day national grieving period.

Obviously the grieving process will take much longer; but I have been encouraged by glimpses of the hope in the midst of tragedy! The response of the Latvian people to help those affected by this event has been incredible! Within hours there were many people at the site passing out food, hot drinks, and blankets to relief workers and those waiting in the cold for loved ones who were still trapped in the building. Thousands lined up to donate blood for those who had been injured. So far, 796,156 Ls (over $1,541,000) has been donated to local charities to support and care for the families who were most affected. A sea of flowers and candles (below) covered the ground at the accident side. Non-stop news coverage of the tragedy is a norm in our information obsessed world, but the fact that Latvian news stations were broadcasting commercial-free is a refreshing slap in the face of our money-driven world.

All that to say, Latvia needs your prayers! 54 lives were lost, dozens are still in the hospital, and hundreds more were affected that day. We had a girl from our local Rīga Fusion ministry who was working at the store when the roof collapsed. By the grace of God she made it out safely, but she has barely slept since it happened. You could pray for her and the many others who have been affected as they return to a new "normal" life.


YouTube of the Month: Movember Edition

Since this is a special month for us as men, I thought I would post a tribute to one of man's finest features. Enjoy!


Pope Francis

I've been reading quite a bit about this man. I'm not saying he's perfect or I agree with everything he says, but you gotta love the compassion and humility he displays.

It looks a little bit like Jesus!


YouTube of the Month: November

This guys is unbelievable! I discovered him a few weeks ago on YouTube and thought I would share one of his best...



How did I end up here? Playing basketball again?
So far our team has played pretty well this season (4-0). I don't know how its possible, but I seem to be getting in worse shape with every game. If you're interested at all, you can follow our games and stats on the Mārupes novada basketbola līga homepage. Search for our team "T/K Spice" or "the team with an incredibly slow bearded American."