Summary of the Mission Trip to Latvia.
I would like to start with thanking you all for your prayers since at the moment we are all safely back from Latvia. We were truly protected everywhere we went so no one was hurt, nothing broke and besides taking a few wrong turns everything went pretty well.
On Thursday we landed in Riga and rented two minibuses with which we drove to local Bible College, where we were in charge of the meeting.
Right next day we travelled far west near the city called Liepaja, to a small village in which we could experience a church meeting that took place for the first time after several decades of a long pause. The room was full of people out of which many came to the church for the first time. On Sunday we took part in three more meetings, preached Gods word, sang songs, acted dramas and shared personal stories.
Afterwards we packed our things and travelled back to the local Bible College. Monday was for us a day of resting, during which we could see the center of Riga, talk to students from the school and overall make new connections with them.
On Tuesday, while the two of our teachers stayed in the school to teach, the rest of the team was again on roads. This time we went to a drug rehab center, where we could hear poweful stories of these people. This place was particulary special, for after the program ended we prayed for each other. In english, russian, lithuanian, danish, slovak and even though we could not always understand what people prayed for, we could feel Gods presence and the unity that He was creating among us, despite our differences. After lunch we arrived in an orphanage, where we played a completely different role. We were shown the entire facility and then we played, danced, sang and shared our experiences with kids. Late in the evenning, after plenty of joy and laughter we had to get into our minibuses and head home while kids were sending us off by running behind our cars.
On our last day we went to a biggest church in Riga, where the russian congregation consisting of 2000 members meet every Sunday. However as we were there on Wednesday “only“ 200 people came. The responsiblity over the meeting was again given to us so several students shared their testimonies and acted dramas, drawing our of the experience from previous days. Later on we were blessed by the hospitality of our russian brothers and sisters, that prepared a terrific meal for us.
At last we had to say goodbye to everyone, for next day early in the morning we were on our way back to Denmark.
Throughout the entire week we could see that God was really preparing ground for us as everywhere we went, we were warmly welcomed. People that we talked to (or with) had oppened hearts and listened to the message with which we came there. I believe that this week several new seeds were put into ground and I would like to invite you to be part of this mission and pray for these people in Latvia.
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1.Cor 3:7, ESV)
On 22nd of January at midnight a team consisting of 16 members from Denmark and lead by schools principal Kent Jakobsen left for the mission trip. Thanks to Gods guidance after 24 hours of traveling we reached the final destination without any problem. As soon as we left the airport we noticed many differences as well as poverty portrayed by medias, but only after getting out of the capital we realized the gravity of the real Indian destitution.
It means that every morning, Monday to Saturday, we have spent three hours with all 800 students. This time was full of music, worship, sketches, dramas, personal testimonies and bible narratives. Right after first meeting one of the students found her own story in one of our personal testimonies. It was amazing to see that life of a person from a rich European country can be in its foundation so unbelievably similar to experiences of these people.
Our task was also to teach students in afternoons, who usually had prepared numerous questions for us. We discussed a good deal of various topics starting with classic school curriculum, music (that is not taught there) through culture differences like „love marriages“ (versus arranged marriages) all the way to gospel and things in any way related to Bible. We mostly held discussions, give lessons and prepared various programs.
Every Sunday we served at two gatherings – schools (in English) and local Indian. It was encouraging to see some students from the school already on the second meeting. Yet the true miracle happened during last Sunday when more than 30 students came on the united english-Indian meeting out of which several of them responded to the altar call that came to pass after the sermon. Praise God!