Coming Together to Worship and Create

Imagining… Faith, Philosophy, Vocation and the Essence of Life

By Madara Lazdina, Director of Art Ministry, Latvia

Community and relationship is core to imagiNATIONS.

RIGA, Latvia – In late July at Ganibas Camp in Uzava, Latvia 50 artists came together for imagiNATIONS: painters, musicians, graphic artists, photographers, fashion designers, architects. They strengthened each other’s faith in Jesus Christ and shared creative ideas. They discussed the hard questions they often struggle with as Christian artists. 

I am especially happy that this year we had three creative and musically talented artists from Lithuania among us. Finally – representatives from all three Baltic countries were present at imagiNATIONS.

Each day, Charles Kelley led thoughtful meetings, provoking our participants to think deeper:

What is going on today in contemporary art? What parallels and similarities can we find in the Bible? What does the Bible say about beauty, and, is beauty ambiguous? Is art beautiful? Is the main task of art to be beautiful?

All of these questions serve as the foundational starting points of active discussions about faith, philosophy, vocation and the essence of life.

Thoughtful discussions were punctuated by time outdoors at beautiful Camp Ganibas.

We began with a Bible study on the beauty of the Lord. The “Lectio Divina,” a meditation, study and discussion of the Psalms was an oasis of peace through which we could forget the rush of daily activities and listen to our heartbeat to hear the still whisper of God there.

Every day the artists were able to practice their creativity. The most popular objects to paint and depict were the water lilies and the idyllic flock of sheep.

Dainis Smits, architect and painter shared about the relationships between the values of space and how people can use them, looking at it through the perspective of the Christian life. As special guests, we had three of the most outstanding painters in Latvia – Vija and Kaspars Zarins and Aleksei Naumovs. Vija and Kaspars let us take a unique look into their creative lives, shared their stories and experiences, turning points of their lives and their reflections on creative work. It was truly sincere and very touching. Painter Aleksei Naumovs joined us in the creation of water lilies and kept surprising us with his bright and vibrant colors!

The goal of imagiNATIONS is to strengthen one another’s faith in Jesus Christ and share creative ideas.

All throughout, friendship prevailed.

There were games to open up the shy northern souls and warm conversations with tea and pastries until late at night.

But what do the participants say?

“I loved the feeling of community, sharing stories, making art together.”

“I am amazed at God’s ways to reach my heart in His special way. He really touched my heart in some new way. Thank you for being obedient to Him and letting Him spread His Spirit in a special way.”

“I am inspired to tell about what God is doing through the culture and to invite my friends’ artists to participate this movement.”

“I met people who are in true relationships with Christ. I realized that one can give glory to God also through art and poetry and composing music.”

Summer 2018 imagiNATIONS camp was truly special. Strangers became friends, walked away encouraged and souls were nurtured. Praise the Lord!


Madara Lazdina is our Art Ministry Director in Latvia. A graduate of the Latvian Academy of the Arts, Madara has a Masters in Painting and has curated BBI’s major exhibitions in Latvia and Estonia, “Secret Double” and “Courage to Be.”


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