During the trip, the students took part in local worship, visited families and children at afterschool centers to sing, played games and encouraged both students and teachers in faith. The group also left Bibelots, small clay trinkets, as reminders of faith with the Latvians.
“This experience was more than I had hoped,” said Tim Rippstein, assistant professor of education and leader of the group. “There were tremendous mission opportunities to encourage and support Latvians who have endured a deeper economic recession, personal and social challenges, and to share the Gospel of Christ and his love.”
Since the trip occurred over Concordia’s Thanksgiving break, the mission team prepared a traditional Thanksgiving meal to share with the Latvian people. The students explained the tradition, the purpose behind the meal and the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, followed by a game of football outside.
The course, Topics in Culture and Ministry in Latvia, aims to teach students about the country of Latvia and its people, history, political and economic situations. In addition to mission work during the trip, students ate traditional Latvian foods and studied the WWII history of the area as well as the post-war occupation by the USSR.
Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb. that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit cune.edu.