Simply overwhelming statistics. It is year 2017 and there are estimated 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, including 21 million refugees worldwide. According to UNHCR, the top three nations where refugees come from are Syria (5,5 million), Afghanistan (2,5 million) and South Sudan (1,4 million). People are driven out of their homes by…Read more A few thoughts on World Refugee Day
Hope is on my mind. Hope is different from simple optimism or positive thinking because hope is living both in the reality of "now and here" and in "not yet and not there yet". It all depends on the ultimate truth and purpose of life you believe in. Few weeks ago the capital of Latvia…Read more What I learned from pilgrimage of trust in Rīga
Aleppo, gold, Riga, silver, amber - what do these have in common? My husband and I have dear friends who came to Latvia under most difficult circumstances. They are a wonderful family of four and their home used to be in Aleppo, Syria. It used to be a beautiful city before the war. Rich cultural…Read more My friends from Syria help me to be a better Latvian
I like food. Yes, Latvian food is wonderful and delicious but I enjoy diversity. Thai, Italian, Mexican, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian... grateful for international cuisine. In Latvia this year I have noticed two popular trends - kebab and burger. This story is not about food though. It is about people who serve our food and…Read more Do you know who is serving your food?
We are getting better and better at the blame-game, anxiety, complaints and arguments. Those pointing fingers are growing longer and longer. "It is Germany's fault... it is Brussels's fault... it is those Eastern Europeans who want the benefits of EU, but not sharing its burdens..." As a European, who spends a lot of time outside…Read more European and grateful? Let’s see…
Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world". The more I reflect and the more I try to practice it, my experience tells me that these words are very true. I cannot change situations and attitudes around me if I am not willing to do some deep…Read more Latvians and our blind sides
To begin with I want to tell my friends who are of different faith or no faith; this blog is mostly directed to those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ. Some parts may feel like an internal family debate, but in reality these are crucial questions for everyone. Also, as I write this,…Read more Asylum seekers should know us by our love, not our fear
When I was 18 years old and left home for the first time, I stayed in Oslo, Norway. I went to help some relatives of mine with childcare and they gave me an opportunity to experience the beautiful Norway and its culture. During the week I went to study Norwegian in a class for immigrants.…Read more Discovering empathy, hospitality and embrace