Serving the Lord and Latvia from Both Sides of the Ocean
By Charles Kelley, President
PHILOMATH, Oregon – I just landed back home in Oregon following a stellar 7-week ministry trip in Europe.
My summer kicked off at the end of June in Riga – just in time for the opening of the National Song and Dance Festival. Some 43,000 from Latvia and 21 other nations took part; the effect was profound. The spiritual concert “I Am” was exceptionally powerful.
BBI organized and led imagiNATIONS, two specialized camps for some 70 artists from all three Baltic nations. The first retreat took place in Uzava, Latvia and the second one in Tartu, Estonia. Our group consisted of painters, musicians, graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, architects and more. I spoke and led discussions on life, faith, art, and health. The artists shared creative ideas and strengthened one another’s faith.
In July, I invested one week in Cambridge, England helping launch an important exhibition of Liviu Mocan’s sculptures based on the five foundational Biblical truths… the Five Solas. Entitled “Archetypes,” the installation rests on the lawn of Great St. Mary’s Church across from King’s College at Cambridge. What a powerful testimony of eternal truths! I spent the week of the exhibition opening guiding visitors and sharing the Gospel with some passersby. Art has such an incredible ability to open the mind and engage curiosity.
The Partners staff and I met frequently. We enjoyed strategic meetings covering a wide range of topics, including future ministry plans. The Secret Double exhibition will open soon in yet another Latvian city, with invitations from international locations coming in. BBI’s exhibition strategy has struck a chord in many hearts. Please continue to pray that God will use this work for His glory and the furtherance of the Good News.
My last week in Europe was spent in Finland with my longtime friend and mentor Johan Candelin. I have tried to visit Johan every summer since 2005. It was also my privilege to address the board of directors of Friends of the Martyred Church, one of the ministries he leads. This vital organization has helped needy pastors and key leaders in some of the most difficult and sensitive areas in the world for more than 35 years.
And now I am home. I’m thankful for God’s blessings on a fruitful season of summer ministry in Latvia and beyond, and equally grateful to be home and sharing life with my family in Oregon. I want to thank you all – So many of you who have prayed, encouraged and supported BBI and me during these weeks.
You are truly bridge builders.