Anna Stepčenko

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Mārtiņš Urdze

In memoria

I met Martins in 2015, when we were in working group meetings with potential partners preparing the application for the European Union Baltic Sea Region Joint Project “Social Empowerment in the Regions” (SEMPRE). The project application was considered a good one and implementation started in early 2016. Latvia was represented by the University of Latvia, Liepaja Diakonija centrs and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.

The fact that Mārtiņš had moved to Latvia from Germany came to our attention quite by accident due to the fact that he does not understand Russian, which was used to exchange a few witty sentences between Lithuanian and Latvian partners when we met in Rendsburg after a working day for a relaxed, friendly chat.

Business meetings allow us to get to know people in their various forms and qualities – intellect, working ability and character.

Martins stood out because he radiated a kindness, a warmth of feeling, a serenity that, from the very beginning of our acquaintance, engendered trust and a feeling that we could rely on him. Throughout our communication, Martins was a reliable working partner and not once did a shadow pass over our cooperation.

Kindness is another quality that Martins had, which was so pleasantly warm in contrast to the cold atmosphere of alienation that pervades society.

When I received the news from Germany on 5 April that Martin was ill, I sent him words of encouragement the same evening and expressed my readiness to help if it was or would be needed, and at the same time suggested some absolutely useful suggestions, with the proviso that in case Martin had not memorised them in the course of his life. On the second day Martin sent his thanks, and I enclose part of what he wrote in reply:

“Thank you very much, Anna!
Relaxation and conscious breathing help me a lot.
Thank you for the suggestion to exercise in bed. I’ve already started […]
But otherwise, Anna, I am a child of God and I know that God is with me every day, step by step.”

It is truly sad and unfortunate when ethical, morally pure personalities prematurely end their lives on earth. It is undeniably a loss for society as a whole.

Anna Stepčenko, Latvijas Universitāte