Will it Really be Extraordinary?

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Reinis Zariņš is a classical pianist who studied in his native Latvia, Yale and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He has won top prizes in 11 international competitions in the Baltics, Russian, UK, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, USA and more.

An Open Letter from Chuck Kelley

Dear friend of BBI,

Ex · traor · di · nar·y – remarkable; going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary; exceptional to a very marked extent (e.g., extraordinary beauty)

I am thrilled to invite you to what promises to be the most extraordinary event we have ever done in Oregon.  We are preparing a one-of-a-kind banquet, concert and art exhibition.

After 21 years I continue to give God glory for the great things He has done in Latvia through BBI. I count it a privilege to share a few wonderful highlights with you.

The pianist, Reinis Zariņš, is extraordinary.  We initially met when he was in the first grade in Latvia. Over the years I have watched him develop into one of the finest pianists of our times.  In the process, it has been my privilege to be his friend and mentor.  I was surprised and honored when he asked me to play piano at his wedding.  Reinis is more than a famous musician.  He views his rare talent as a calling to glorify the Lord all over the world; to the classical music community and to the countless thousands for whom he plays.  At our event he will share about his journey and the impact BBI has had on his life.

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This important BBI event will take place in Oregon on March 10th. If you are unable to participate, we do ask for your prayers and support. Thanks so much!

The art exhibition, What Will Last?, is also extraordinary.  The Kinkades have been friends of BBI since 2004 when Thomas and Nanette along with two of their daughters, Merritt and Chandler, went on a Latvia mission trip with BBI.  Thom created five masterful paintings and connected with various artists, pastors, cultural leaders, students, orphans and politicians.

Since his tragic death in 2012, my relationship with the Kinkade family has deepened. A couple of years ago Nanette invited me to serve on the board of their new Thomas Kinkade Museum/Kinkade Family Foundation.  The foundation is dedicated to sharing Kinkade’s art, supporting the arts and creative process and pursing humanitarian works in the global community, including our ministry in Latvia.

This OSU exhibition is the first event presented to the public by the family.  It is significant.  The show explores the essence of the Kinkade legacy. The 41 pieces displayed will showcase his creative process, reveal the artist’s progression from vision to full studio pieces, and demonstrate the multitude of ways Thom used his art to benefit people in need.

Interestingly, because I paint due to Kinkade’s direct influence, I have been asked to include some 20 of my own paintings in this exhibition, which will be on view from February 23 – March 15.  On Wednesday, March. 9, Nanette and her four daughters will give a What Will Last? presentation at a special reception hosted by Oregon State University at the Guistina Gallery in the La Sells Stewart Center.  Hundreds are expected to attend.

I do hope that many friends of BBI will attend this reception, but NOT INSTEAD of our March 10 banquet…but in addition.  Even though the events overlap a little, they are very different and each wonderfully inspiring.

So will it really be extraordinary? On behalf of the board of directors, staff and missionaries of Bridge Builders International, I welcome you to join us and see.

Still Building Bridges for the King,

Charles Kelley

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