Daily devotions



Report from the UK Mission team Latvian trip 2011 from the FSAOF blog:

Fourteen people, relatively unknown to each other, with a mission departed the UK and France the week of June 11. On June 17 we met up in Riga, Latvia and journeyed two hours north east to rural Sakarni, a village inhabited by the country’s unwanted drunks and their families, comprised mostly of children. Four in our group visited the village a year ago including Glad and me; this being our fifth visit for the two of us.

In addition we also travelled a further 40 minutes each day of our visit to Seda, where 65% of the population abandoned the village where we assisted in the refurbishment of the SA outpost there.

This included scraping, sanding and preparing walls for the 2 coats of paint that followed over the next several days. The paint was donated by Repaint Scotland, Glasgow and the painting equipment by Chris & Brett Turvey, Exeter Temple. Our visit also included some fascinating inter-action with the local residents.

Latvia was for a number of years under Soviet Union occupation with hundreds of thousands of Russians moved to Latvia. With the Russians invasion came their language, culture and religion. Although the Soviet Union collapsed more than two decades ago remnants of their power and influence remain, including Orthodox Churches and their many colourful icons.

The word icon (IKON) comes from he Greek and means mirror or reflection. In the early days of the Salvation Army’s initial presence in Russia it was not unusual to find an icon mounted in a SA hall in Leningrad or Moscow. There was the restriction though that they could only portray the face of Jesus, and they had to be mounted on the wall to the left as one entered the SA hall. The Russian Orthodox Cross was also featured on the SA crest in Russia.

On our very first day in Seda we were about to break for a late lunch when three children, well known to the Corps Officers, entered and exclaimed: ‘Our Mom is drunk again and can’t manage to fix us a meal, can we please have some food’ ? Naturally, plates where quickly put infront of them and with love, heaps of food. As you serve the least of these, you mirror Jesus.

Day two, Arturto a young gypsy boy whose family are regular visitors to the Corps programmes came and watched as we began our painting of the exterior walls. His arm was crudly wrapped and I asked him what had happened. He shared that he had broken his arm the day before and having no money and with no medical facilities nearby the arm would simply have to heal as best as possible. I invited Arturto into my car and said: “Come on, we will go and pick up your mother and have your arm looked at by a doctor’. Four hours later we were back in Seda with Arturto proudly sporting a white cast. He was welcomed as though he were a gypsy Prince; well why not? He's the son of a King, portrayed on Icons throughout the country!

Sergey’s eye glasses had been prescribed several years earlier and were now missing one side and the lenses thick and cloudy looked like a London road map had been scrawled on them. When Sergie wore the glasses one eye twitched and crossed and flitted when trying to focus. In that we were planning an excursion to Riga, the capital the next day,

The Wright sisters took it on themselves to take the glasses with them for repair or replacement. They spoke to two different opticians and both warned that any further wearing of the glasses could do irreparable harm to Sergey’s eyes. The sister’s immediately provided he funding necessary to bring Sergey to town for an eye examination and to be provided new spectacles. A new sight and vision; the promise of Jesus.

The sisters traveled to Latvia by road carrying with them in their camper a long list of donated items collected by or given directly by them. Their kindness provided beauty to the windows, updated equipment to the kitchen, a portable childrens cot and loads and loads of candy!

Haircuts in Seda are few and far between.

Ann, a registered nurse, had carried with her all the necessary equipment to first of all provide a hygienic rinse for each child followed by a haircut. The boys lined up and one even invited Ann to his home to meet the family and to introduce his barber to them! Ann also served as our resident nurse. Her association with me goes back 25 years when we both served in the NY Central Corps. She loved and cared for our homeless visitors to the corps and continues to reflect the love of Jesus.

Mark, a veteran missioner joined with Gillian and Helen to organize a steady round of games. And yesterday while enjoying shashlik, a Latvian favourite, the village lads ganged up to give Mark a real football match.

Mark held his own and gained several fans and supporters in the space of just a few minutes; a modern day Loyola preaching as he kicks the ball in a remote Latvian village. We hope Mark becomes a ‘regular’ team member.

Ivan a Ukrainian by birth, and a Salvationist living in Glasgow, Scotland, served as an all purpose coordinator and translator, being fluent in three languages. Ivan, Glad and I went to the village shop to purchase a few food items, including potatoes. The potatoes were moldy and we decided to drive the 20 minutes to town when we spotted the farmer's wife. She'd set up shop behind the village store and her total offering consisted of a large amount of dill and a few kilos of 'last year's potatoes'! After a few seconds of consultation we said, "we'll buy it all"! "All"??? "Yes, all"!

We paid a bit more than she'd asked for... and she wept with gratitude... probably the most delicious potatoes Ive ever eaten; sprinkled with a generous helping of dill!

He also assisted his brother Kostia,

also a Salvationist and from the Paisley Corps, in purchasing and preparing our many meals. Much of the shopping was done in a town some thirty miles away.

On our last day a pamper afternoon had been planned for the ladies but it was as if God had other things in mind as Heather and Glad found themselves washing and massaging an old ladies arms, hands, legs and feet.

As Glad sat on the floor at her feet lovingly creaming them for her, the old lady wept and explained she can’t sleep because of such severe pain in her legs and feet and last night she was so wracked with pain she prayed, begging God to help her cope and ease the pain. Today, He sent His angels to do just that.

Lewis was a key member of the 2010 team and returned again in 2011. In addition to leading the paint team he also provided 2 vocal solos in the Sunday morning service lending just the right setting for the morning’s message and candle lighting ceremony.

Derek, the senior member of our team blessed us with his fine tenor voice and good humour. In addition, he and his home corps provided the team shirts and also 55 children’s SA shirts. And they also donated the money necessary to bring all the children to Riga in December when we host their Christmas party and take them to the circus.

His height helped him reach the very highest areas requiring a fresh coat of paint.

Our mission team came to paint and paint we did; the interior and exterior of a sizeable SA building. But in a sense, we also painted icons. Perhaps not consciously but we were the brushes Jesus used in reflecting His love in that poor abandoned Latvian village.

If someone should ask in five years what were the names of the people who painted the SA hall in Seda, chances are that few will remember. On the other hand, if people ask whose were the hands that touched your heart they may not remember the name of the UK visitors but I believe they will remember that the smile, the loving words and soothing touch were all a reflection a loving Jesus.

Sven Ljungholm
FSAOF in Latvia

Bike tour to Estonia

Last week some of our young people went on a bike tour to Estonia. They seem to have had a great time. But why does Uldis just have one wheel and no bike? View more pictures here>

Headlines week 26

Obama to Gays: Re-Elect Me and ‘I Promise You We Will Write Another Chapter’ in Your Story
CSNNews - "Obama said progress will be slower than some people want, but he added that he was confident that there will be a day "when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, is free to live and love as they see fit."

Watching for His Return
Greg Laurie - "Have you ever put your faith in Jesus Christ? Maybe you have religion. Maybe you have ritual. Maybe you have morality. But these will not get you to heaven. Only Jesus will."

UK Salvationists 'Live Below The Line'
TSA international web page - "Salvation Army leaders in the UK Territory with the Republic of Ireland have stepped up to the line in the fight against poverty by choosing to 'Live Below the Line' – not spending more than £1 a day."


Pictures from ROOTS in Finland June 2011

Here are more pictures.....
.....and here are som more....
.....and here are still more pictures from ROOTS...
...and here is a video clip from the concert with Den of Lion


Early Sunday morning in Piilspala, June 25

Finlly we arrived in Piilspala after 400 km on mainly good roads. Piilspala is a great vacation place in the middle of Finland close to one of the many lakes. This is the third time the Salvation Army arranges a Roots conference in this place and the participants come from all over Finland.
Ruth and myself have had a daily workshop each and we have been speaking in the evening meetings. In the afternoons there were free time for different activities including sauna, swimming in the lake or indoors in the pool.
The worship group Piilspala

After I had preached on Thursday evening the Fire Brigade came! But the reason was not that the fire of the Hopy Spirit was outpoored after my preaching. There was quite other reasons for the Fire Brigade to come.
After the meeting the choir and the band was rehearsing. The band planned to use a "smoke-machine" in one of their pieces. When testing the machine they had problems to get it started but when they finally got i going it was impossible to stop it. The whole building was filled with smoke and the fire alarm went off. Some of the participants had a late evening trying to explain what has happened to the Fire Brigade.

Singing and moving around in Piilspala
During the conference a new book was presented, published by the Salvation Army in Finland. The book was released in three languages, Finnish, Swedish and English. The title of the book is "A sacramentral Army, the Salvation Army view on a sacramental life style in a Nordic context". The book is authored by Vibeka Krommenhoek (DK), Johnny Kleman (SE) and Antero Puotiniemi (FI).

This afternoon, after the service, we will travel back to Helsinki with car and on Monday morning we will take a flight back home to Riga. Then it is only one more day before we will go to the Congress in Sweden together with thirty Officers and Cadets from Latvia.

Have a blessed week
Peter Baronowsky


On our way to Piilsvara

Tonight we start our trip north to Piilsvara. First a flight from Riga to Helsinki and the next day a 400 km car ride north. Then we will reach Piilspala which is the place for the Finnish Root Conference 2011. Reports from the Conference will come.


Report from UK Mission Team in Latvia

From fsaof.blogpost.com:
It has been a very big pleasure to be a part of our UK Latvia Mission 2011 team. I was born and experienced living in Ukraine for 24 years and I thought I had seen a lot in my life until I came here. I knew something of my neighbours to the north but not until this, my first visit here, did I appreciate that the Latvians are a truly good people and a good country. However, the conditions in which some people live are absolutely reprehensible.

Our visit to Skangali, our residence while working here and the focus of our work, Sakarni, a short distance down the dirt road, was the most dramatic I have witnessed in my life. Six derelict buildings.

During our visit we have had the opportunity to meet local people who are alcoholics who are imprisoned in both their dependence on alcohol and their dire living conditions. They have no income and have been virtually abandoned by the state because they couldn’t pay their bills in any of the larger cities. This settlement, Sakarni, is located in the fields between the forests and there is nothing around. All of them are unemployed and receive minimal support from the government and which is all spent on alcohol. There are about twenty five young children growing up in this environment with their alcohol dependent parents and luckily for them the Salvation Army is running kids club programme in two renovated flat (last year’s UK Team), by dedicated Officers and a assistant bringing some hope to the village.

Among the children and their parents lives a man, probably in his 60’s but through the toll of drink and harsh winters looks much older. As soon as our team arrived the children came running from all directions but not far behind came Nikolai looking a bit weary and clutching what must be a very precious possession.

His face lit up in a beautiful smile when he recognized some of the team members from last year, however, what I found so special was that half our team went directly to Kolia and left the children to be entertained by the other half of the team. As soon as Kolia recognized he had an attentive audience, his story began to be told. He shared his memories of his past life, time when we were all part of the same nation, the Soviet Union, I translated his Russian stories to the team members next to me but Kolia’s mind ran faster than his words as he shared the glory of the Soviet’s past in which everyone had an important role. That past guaranteed him job security, income, health care, pension, holiday, accommodation and sufficient comfort for his family; health and happiness for life.

Twenty years ago following Perestroika, and the break up of the Soviet Union Latvia gained its independence and with it fell into free fall. The economy, manufacturing, exports, the military all crumbled. The population decreased from 4 million as hundreds of thousands of Russian troops returned home from Latvia with more than a million emigrating to the west as Latvia joined the EU. Included in those who were caught in the downwards spiral was Nikolai, and we considered that he lost everything since the government ‘sentenced him’ with a score of others to a life without hope living with others in the former Russian military barracks, dilapidated buildings abandoned for more than five years lacking heating, water and toilet facilities. This is one of Latvia’s abandoned villages, Sakarni.

Kolai and I learned that we have a lot of things in common since our countries were joined under the hammer and sickle flag for so many years. He told us some Latvian and managed to say a few phrases in Ukrainian. And in spite of the obvious hardships the glint in his eye expressed his appreciation for our taking time listening to his stories. He clutched under his arm a pictorial history of the famous Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin representing the glorious and golden history of the Soviet Unions triumphant wins in the space race against the USA. Kolia played a part in that race we never learned what part, but that’s irrelevant.

So what now with this proud veteran with his somewhat cloudy reminiscences of the past. Today he moves between bottle and shuffling along the dirt road to the occasional chat with those willing to listen. I am pleased to be a part of this new wave of Salvationist volunteers not only willing to listen but to do so lovingly as a soldier of Jesus Christ. Kolia will perhaps never know much of the Salvation Army but he will know that a small group of Christ’s servants visit his village at least three times yearly providing hope and making it feel just a little less abandoned than it truly is.

Jesus Christ Hope of the World.

Ivan Berezkin, SA Soldier
Glasgow, Scotlan

Headlines - week 25

Knowing God's Will Is Not Always Easy
Greg Laurie - "Let me say something that may surprise you: The will of God is not always easy to discern. Most of my Christian life is one of faith, where I read Scripture and pray for wisdom. Then I make decisions and act on them, hoping that I am in His will."

Harold Camping Is (Sort of) Right
Christianity Today - "Harold Camping said something true. The media mocked him. But even Christians who disagree with the radio preacher's Rapture theology can appreciate his basic conviction."

Four Types of Thinkers
Wesleyan life - "There are four different kinds of thinkers in every organization, and they are all equally important."


Early Sunday morning June 19

Weekly review from my point of view:
Last saturday our cadets were "upgraded" to second year cadets and the day after there was a "spiritual day" at the Training School. Ewa-Marie and Markus Kihlagård from Sweden were teaching and sharing their experiences as corps leaders in a growing corps. They talked about all of us having a seed to sow an harvest. They gave us all a Sun-flower-seed as a symbol of our calling to use our "seed" in the best way. They also put the seeds on the altar to remind us of our responsibility for our seed.
Sun flower seed on the altar

During the week we have also had additional interviews with people applying to our School for Officers Training and on Friday we should have had our last Open air meeting before the summer break. But we had to cancel the meeting due to rain over Riga. Too sad. We have really had great opportunities in the park so far, meeting a lot of people.

On Friday, in the rain, the Mission Team from UK arrived in Riga. After a very long evening waiting for a number of flights and a an experience of a car break down, they finally went on to the Seda-Sarkani area which is the goal for their Mission Trip.

Saturday we had a cousin reunion for the Hawkinson family. Ruth´s mother had six brothers and sisters. Three of them emigrated to America and one returned later to Sweden. One the siblings in America became an Officer in the Salvation Army in USA. Of the remaining four siblings in Sweden three became Officers. Now one of the American families visited Sweden and children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren from one of the American and two of the Swedish families met. It was difficult to get them all inte one picture, but here are most of them.

On Monday we will have a day of business meetings in Stockholm. First at the Headquarters and later with the Baltic Children foundation.

After that comes a period of travelling every weekend:
-Next weekend Ruth and myself will speak at the Roots Conference in Finland
-The week after that we will go to the congress in Stockholm together with thirty Officers and Cadets from Latvia.
-The weekend after that it is commissioning and ordination of new Officers in London, and since we have one of our cadets being commissioned we will of course be there.
-The weekend after that we will conduct an Army wedding in Latvia. One of our Officers is getting married.

After that we expect a slightly calmer period.

Have a blessed weekend
Peter Baronowsky


Commissionar Clifton promoted to glory

Commissioner Helen Clifton, former World President of Women's Ministries, was promoted to Glory at 9.20pm London time on Tuesday 14 June 2011. The commissioner, who had been ill for some time, was promoted to Glory from St Christopher's Hospice in south London. Her husband, General Shaw Clifton (Retired), was at her bedside.
Read more>

Last Open Air meeting before the summer break

On Friday 17.06.2011 we will have our last Open Air meeting in Riga before the summer break.
Welcome to Vermanis Park 18.00-19.00

See more pictures from the Open Air meetings here.
See also this videoclip. It is my favorite from the park this summer: Halleluja in Park

Congress in Stockholm

July 1-3 the Salvation Army will have a Congress in Stockholm. From Latvia 30 Officers and Cadets will take part. The picture is from an earlier Congress and you can see the Latvian flag behind the band. Also this year the Latvian flag will be seen in the Congress Parade.
The Riga Staff Songsters will sing on several occations during the Congress.
Officers and cadets from Latvia going to the Congress in Stockholm


Mission trip to Latvia

Sven and Glad Ljungholm have now started their mission trip for Latvia 2011. They will arrive with their team in Latvia in the end of the week. They posted this picture on their blog, but I cannot recognize Sven and Glad on the picture.

More reports will follow.

Headlines week 24

Worldwide Gathering for International Staff Band's 120th Anniversary in London
TSA international website - "The Salvation Army's International Staff Band (ISB) celebrated 120 years of mission and ministry in London, UK, with a weekend of spectacular events featuring eight Salvation Army staff bands from around the world."

Quantity of Disciples or Quality of Discipleship?
The Gospel Coalition - "Some churches excel in raising up a large number of disciples. Others are known for their strong quality of discipleship. What accounts for this difference? James MacDonald, Mark Dever, and Matt Chandler discuss in this roundtable video how God has particularly gifted them as pastors and how they relate to other evangelical churches with different strengths.".

Iron Versus Iron: Staying Sharp in the Midst of the Battle
Charisma - "Living the Christian life is a journey toward maturity in Christ. That’s why Jesus gave His Church a handful of equipping gifts. But the practical aspect of being trained as a skilled servant that moves in rhythm with Christian brothers and sisters, (and husbands, wives, daughters and sons) is not always a textbook experience."


More pictures from the Regional Day

Here are more pictures from the Regional Day in Riga.

Early Sunday morning, June 12

A review of  this week from my personal point of view on life.
Another week with tropical heat. More than 30 degrees daytime and over twenty degrees nighttime.

The week has had a lot of activities. We are just introducing a new accountancy system for the Salavation Army in Latvia and Mats Prennmark from Sweden came to Riga one day to help us implement the program.

One full day we had interviews with people applying to our School for Officers Training. We will have another day of interviews next week.

Friday  Ewa-Marie and Marcus Kihlagård arrived to Riga to speak at our regional Day on Saturday. They also took part in our Open Air meeting in central Riga together with Riga Staff Songsters and a worship group from the Training School....

...a drama about the battels between good and evil...

In the Open Air Meeting there was also several testimonies and a piano piece for four hands, played by Ruth and Isabel...

Saturday we had our Regional Day in Riga. People from all over Latvia travelled to Riga to participate in this event.

Macus and Ewa-Marie were speaking and Riga 1 worship group, Bauska Songsters and Riga Staff Songsters were singing.
 Marcus preached about the first day of Pentecost
 Ewa-Marie preached about the dead bones in Hesekiel 37
From the Hall
 Bauska Songsters
The cadets were promoted to "second year cadets"


Now it is Sunday morning and we are on our way to the Training School for a "Spiritual day" together with Marcus and Ewa-Marie, the cadets and the officers at the Training School.

After that there will probably come a new week and I hope it will be a blessed week for you.
/Peter Baronowsky


Channel 23

Last week at the daily morning prayers at Regional Headquarters this paraphrase of Psalm 23 was read:

"The TV is my shepherd, my spiritual growth shall want.  It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for the cause of Christ, because it requireth all my spare time.
It keepeth me from doing my duty as a Christian, because it presenteth so many programs that I must see.
It restoreth my knowledge of the things of the world; it keepeth me from studying God’s Word.
It leadeth me into paths of failure to attend the worship services and do good things for the Kingdom of God.
Yea, though I live to be a hundred, I shall keep on viewing my TV as long as it worketh.
For my TV is my close companion, its sound and picture they comfort me.
It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family.
It filleth my head with ideas which differ from those set forth in the Word of God.
Surely no good will come of my life because my TV offers me no time to do the will of God and I will dwell in spiritual poverty for ever."


Zeligman's Execution... Diary of Adjutant Otto Ljungholm - Part two

RUSSIAN SA CADETS Adjutant Otto and Gerda Ljungholm 2nd row 3rd&4th from left

-Part Two-

How did it go with Zeligman some will ask… and of course we sought to know his fate – warm, heartwrenching prayers were lifted up throughout the night – because we felt it would be at best a very brief legal process… (we had no time to spare) There were many disturbing rumors and reports coming back to us at the training college compound …

But then we heard it; between 5 and 6 a.m. (as we prayed) a pounding at the front portal of the Training College compound… The watchman said, ‘Stand back! Stand Back, who goes there?’ ‘Zeligman’, was the answer, and rushing in to the hall he tells us the following. “Immediately on arrival at the Red Guards’Commissioner’s office the questioning began, and they asked me what kind of meetings were we conducting and what is your personal relationship with God?”

The determination was made that Zeligman would be executed by a firing squad. He was tied up and placed against a wall. But before any shots were fired he yelled: ‘Listen to me before you shoot, I am not afraid to die’ and as he said those words he tore open his shirt and pointed at his heart and said: ‘I am saved and in few moments I will be in heaven, but before that let me tell you something about my life. I was an active party member, but then my life was turned around when I accepted salvation and now my only motive is to help others find salvation.’ This was interesting to them; those who listened and the Commanding Officer said: ‘Take him away from the wall, we will postpone his execution …’ the execution was postponed and then they spoke and decided to halt everything until the next day.

And now Zeligman said: ‘I wish to sleep and at 12 today I am to return to the Commissioners compound in order that the sentence be carried out…’

At 11.00 am Zeligman bid farewell to his wife, his comrades at the training college and slowly made his way to the Commissioner’s compound. At the stroke of 12 noon he entered with the words ‘I am here … I am Zeligman.’ However, the Commissioner in charge of the case was busy handling another matter in a private office and answered through the door: ‘I don’t have time today, return tomorrow at the same time.’

The following day Zeligman arrived again, promptly at 12 noon. The results were the same as the day before and in due time the entire matter was washed away like sand in the sea. It was so very close, in fact only seconds from his death – the whole matter was now turned upside down and Zeligman continued as a Cadet …

Truly a strange land...
Otto Ljungholm
From fsaof.blogspot.com



Acts 5:40. "His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ".
Petrograd, Russia 1919 (Personal Diary: Otto Ljungholm)
During our initial period of service in Russia we enjoyed enormous freedom to conduct our religious services in city squares, on street corners and in fact, wherever we wanted. And, we took advantage of each opportunity. In each instance we met bewilderment as well as empathy and interest. Every meeting was conducted without specific expectations and with some trepidation.

One day when I was on the streets of Petrograd (Leningrad) with Cadets to conduct open-air meetings, as we set up our circle we were suddenly surrounded by a large number of armed soldiers. They ordered us to halt our activities immediately. That command was followed by yet another; “One of you must return with us to the Commissar!” Brother (Cadet) Zeligman immediately stepped forward – “a brave and wonderful man…”

A passing horse-drawn carriage was commandeered and the soldiers with Zeligman securely tied up set off bound for??? We feared for the worst!

One thought immediately entered my mind; How will Mrs. Cadet Zeligman take the news when I break it to her. I was preparing in my mind what I might say as I approached the gates to the compound when I heard the Cadets’ voices cry loudly “Zeligman’s been arrested! Zeligman’s been taken captive…” And then the little wife comes out and approaches me… how will she take the crushing news? I sense she is about to faint in a heap, or at the least to cry out, “what will happen to me and my little ones? Maybe I’m aleady a widow, and the children without a father”?!

No one could have predicted what happened next…

Mrs. Zeligman shouted, with her arms raised toward the heavens, “SLAVA BOGA, SLAVA BOGA! PRAISE BE TO GOD – PRAISE BE TO GOD – THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME WORTHY TO SUFFER FOR JESUS’ SAKE!!

Here is one example of the willingness to serve and the courage displayed, indeed the willingness to suffer- so readily offered and witnessed in serving these poor Russians.
(Part One)


Petrograd, Russia 1919
Personal Diary
Otto Ljungholm

(translated from Swedish by Sven Ljungholm)
From fsaof.blogspot.com


Headlines week 23

Orthodox rabbis seek ties to Christianity
Orion Gazette - "After collaborating and working with various Christian organizations, leaders and scholars over the past three years, the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel has released a statement of “a Jewish understanding of Christians and Christianity.” CJCUC is the first Orthodox Jewish entity to engage in dialogue with the Christian world."

Is God unjust?
Words of hope - "Is our God just, “behaving according to what is morally right and fair,” in his dealings with humanity? If God is just, how can he allow the innocent to suffer? If he is not just in his dealings with humanity, then why follow him? This is the question that derails many people’s faith. If God is just how can he allow suffering to exist in the world?"

No Adam, No Eve, No Gospel
Christianity today - "Christianity Today likes to emphasize the biblical sources. The story of creation, told in Genesis and elaborated in the New Testament, pictures a rational intelligence creating an orderly and predictable cosmos."

A word from Mr. Wesley: ‘You must be born again’
Methodist thinker -"Just as the new birth and baptism are not the same, they do not always accompany each other. One may possibly be “born of water” and yet not be “born of the Spirit.” There may sometimes be the outward sign where there is no inward grace. I do not now speak with regard to infants. Whatever is the case with infants, it is sure that all of mature years who are baptized are not the same as born again."


Early Sunday morning, June 5

Now we are already in June. The first of December I put in a new webcounter in rupeba.se and after six months we have had 52.324 visits on our website, coming from 91 different contries. Most of them came of course from Sweden. After that comes Norway, USA, UK and Latvia.

This week the Norwegian cadets had been running a family camp outside Riga together with the Latvian cadets. Since it was a Norwegian-Latvian project we invited the Norwegian Ambassador to come and meet the Norwegian cadets before their departure to the camp. Here you can see the Ambassador in the middle surrounded by Norwegian and Latvian cadets.

Yesterday evening Ruth and myself visited the camp, and here are the participants waiting to be pictured by the photographer from the Norwegian War Cry:

Friday evening we had our weekly open air meeting in Riga. This Friday we had guests in the meeting. It was the band from Lidköping/Kålland in Sweden on Band tour in Latvia, celebrating fifty years of ministry. It was very much appreciated. Lots of people came to the park and the weather was great.

Irina and Andrejs was also singing in the park as usual

Saturday it was grauation time at RIBI (Riga International Bible Institute) and one of our officers, Aldona, graduated in a three hour long graduation ceremony. After the ceremony Aldona was congratulated with flowers:

Today it is Sunday morning and it is soon time to go down to the Sunday morning service at Riga first corps. The participants from the family camp will attend so we will probably have a full hall in the meeting.

Have a blessed week
Peter Baronowsky