My fianceé’s birthday was early in July and I decided to call her. I not only hoped to surprise her but also figured I could use the support of hearing her voice. I even rehearsed what I would say before I called.
At that time, called internationally took special arrangements. When the time came, my heart pounded as I heard the phone ringing.
It was her mother. Tricia was at work. My heart sank. I felt like screaming. I spoke with for a minute and then got cut off.
I waited until 12:30am, which was 5:30pm her time. This time she was home. I forgot all the things I wanted to tell her, so I just babbled. When she finally spoke, I could tell something was wrong. She spent half the conversation yelling at me to speak up and the other half trying to keep everyone in the background quiet.
It was not the surprise I hope it would be. In fact, I felt worse after the call. She was struggling back home while I was feeling homesick. I started to blame God. Why would I be called to a place where we would both be miserable?
All the things I had experienced, the joys and triumphs of seeing God at work, were lost on me. I just wanted to be home. I had been away for nearly a month. Wasn’t that enough for God? I was depressed for the next few days.
July sixth was an important day for Latvia. Bill Clinton, President of the United States of America, was making the first visit of any president to a Baltic state. Raivis convinced me to go with him to see the President. We got up at 5am for the 6am train out of Cesvaine. Both of us slept the entire way down.
We met a friend of Raivis’ in Riga and made our way to the outdoor square where President Clinton was to make his speech to the nation. Security was tight. The entire old city was ringed with Latvian military. US Secret Service set up checkpoints with metal detectors, had snipers on roofs, and frogmen in the river running through the city. It certainly gave the impression we were about to witness history.
As with most official events, there were a lot speeches, but not must else. We soon got bored and left. We wandered around Riga and did a little shopping. We finally wandered over to the Baptist Union building where I met with Aigars.
He gave me a fax he received from Tricia. She sent it after the call because she felt bad about sounding so down. It was just the kind of letter I needed. In my loneliness I needed to know that I was missed just as much I missed her.
Looking back, it’s funny to think how President Clinton would be the catalyst to bring me out of my funk! God certainly has a funny sense of humour.