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INTERVIEW WITH Andris Vainovskis

We perceive the world around us differently because God has made each person unique. We all have our own ideas of what God is like, and I think that is wonderful news. We can get to know God and each other through diversity! That’s why “Lighthouse” has gone out to people to get to know them better. We will begin our journey with Pastor Andris Vainovskis, who agreed to be interviewed in order to get to know God and himself better through his experience.

Do you remember your first encounter with Jesus? What was it like?
I don’t remember exactly in which class it happened, but it all started with a bold note in my diary. And this time I really wasn’t at fault. I remember praying to Jesus with all my heart and strength that my parents would not scold and punish me. And your miracle! Everything happened as I prayed – my parents did not punish me. I can’t tell you how happy I was, because the storm over my head passed. I thank Jesus with many, many thanks.

Thinking back to the time when you began to develop your friendship with God, would you say that God found you or you found Him?
God found me because He created me. Later, I found Him because I have not always walked with God.

From your personal experience of God, how would you describe Jesus? What is God like?
I can say from experience that Jesus is like an elder brother. He is instructive, loving, someone I can rely on a hundred per cent or more. I try to be obedient to Jesus, but I always fail. Sometimes I do things I shouldn’t do.

Did entering into a personal relationship with Christ make your life easier or harder?
At first, when I read the Word of God – the Bible, I wondered “who can do all this?”, but as time went on, I felt support from my elder brother (Jesus, note from translator). Of course, there were darker days, but I have to admit that life became easier with God.

How does God speak to you? Can you share an example from your own life?
If God speaks to you, listen to Him and don’t go the way that comes into your mind! Once, walking along a path in winter, the voice of my heart told me to take my hands out of my pockets – I didn’t. As a result, I fell heavily because I could not take my hands out of my pockets. I think that the voice of the heart should always be obeyed.

Prayer is one of the ways we are given to communicate with God. Do you think there are wrong prayers?
I think so. For me personally, the description of the Kencis (A character in the novel, who prayed God for help, even trying to bribe God. translator’s note) praying in the novel “The Times of the Surveyor” is a prime example. There are many books with examples. There are also passages in the Bible that even give the prayers of the Pharisees as examples of wrong prayers. There are many wrong prayers, namely selfish and proud prayers.

You are a family man and a pastor at the same time. How do you combine or separate your responsibilities to your family and to the church?
There are days when I spend more time with my family and days when I spend more time with the church. However, the family is also involved in the processes that are connected with church life. We do what needs to be done at the time, we help each other and that is very nice.
The Bible tells us that everyone is important to God. Do you have any idea how much one person is worth to God?
Everyone is very, very important to God. Let me put it very simply – Buy the whole world, pay the full price, and you will know how much one person is worth to God!

Do you think God expects anything from people?
Yes! God expects us to trust Him. He expects us to honour Him because He created us in His image. God is really waiting for everyone to turn to Him!

In your opinion, what should a person who wants to enter into a personal relationship with God consider?
If you really want to begin a relationship with God, you must start praying and reading the Bible. I believe that this person must take church membership and remember not to run ahead of God with the new wisdom he has gained. There will also be times when he must be patient and wait for God to answer his question.

The “Bākuguns” is a newspaper that seeks to get to know God better. Can you share how did you make the decision to join the creative team of this newspaper?
I have to say that it is thanks to my daughter Kristine, who is also part of the newspaper’s creative team. At a nice moment we started talking about a newspaper that our church could publish. When I heard you talking about the Bākuguns, I didn’t want to be left out, so I joined the team.

Evangelisation is very important. Do you see the “Bākuguns” as a means of evangelisation?
Evangelisation is really, really important. And it can be done in many different ways. I don’t think it’s the way we evangelise, but the fact that we do it.

What would you wish for our readers and team?
I certainly wish readers to see this light of the lighthouse in the rapid journey of life. For the team, strength and God’s grace in this ministry. I believe that every work we do should be done in a way that honours God and blesses others. I like this saying very much:” Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will toward men!” I think that if people do not give glory to God, there is no peace on earth and there is no good mind in people. Therefore, I wish everyone to give glory to God!