Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lietuva: Arrival and the First Few Days

When I arrived in Vilnius, it was after nine o' clock at night, and I was surprised that it was still completely light outside. Getting off the plane and through the passport check was far simpler than in London. I got my bags together and proceeded to the exit with ease. When I went through the door from baggage claim, Shasta Miller was waiting for me.
I rode with Tony and Shasta Miller to their house where several young people from their church were still gathered. They soon left with a van-full of them, off to take them home. That night it didn't get dark until after eleven o' clock, and even then, the sky to the north had a highlight as if the sun refused to vanish completely.
Saturday there was a wedding at the church that had been thrown together in a matter of a few days. It was very simple, but very nice. Shasta told me about a tradition here where after the wedding, the groom carries the bride over a bridge, symbolizing that he'll carry her over things for the rest of their lives. They then put a lock, usually with their names engraved on it, on the bridge and throw the keys into the water.
Later that day, we went to a small Mexican restaurant, yes, Mexican. The Millers know the owner. He told me that there are only a handful of Hispanics in all of Lithuania. When we were finished, I met Giedre, a girl from their church. Giedre and I started at the cathedral and walked all over town. It was quite a day.

(This was one particular church we passed; there are many! Apparently Napoleon parked his horses here when he passed through Lithuania.)

Sunday we had church service, and although it had only been a week since I was in a Sunday service, it felt like a lifetime. It was great. Shasta sang songs in Lithuanian, and Pastor Miller preached a wonderful message. I also got to meet a lot more of the people from their church.

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