Day one of Friends of Latvia was really wonderful. Our Riga First friends had all things registration organized and radical hospitality was everywhere! Latvian treats set out for our arrival, coffee and snack breaks, a fabulous luncheon created by one chef and a few staff helpers in their tiny kitchen is so impressive! Our Friends of Latvia Secretary will have detailed notes I'm taking to share when we return but suffice it to say Pres. Mark Croft's well-planned out agenda allowed for a real unity for all. We sat at tables mixed with Latvians, Americans and Danes. Two translators and headphones allowed Latvians to understand our English and they interpreted Latvian for us. Wonderful singing of praise songs in each language simultaneously and it is simply glorious.
Reports from each US church and the work/relationship they have with their Latvian congregations and projects...reports from each Latvian pastor, all very inspiring.
The Hope Center reported a desperate need to have a new ventilation center before summer to remove the mildew that keeps the babies sick. From NJ, Wayne Richards announced that his hardworking congregation sent him with $3,200 so that is a start. I feel certain by tomorrow or Sunday the rest will be taken care of. We heard a few different numbers but between 5 and 7,000 is needed. Grapevine had a small chat in the van and will consult all tomorrow on if we want our $2,200 (funds sent over ahead of the team to be designated according to need) to all go to this project, or what. We want to hear what is announced tomorrow first!
I hope to send some prayer requests tomorrow which were shared today from various pastors for their congregations but my battery is almost gone and my charger is at church!
For now, we continue to feel encouraged knowing you all and others are praying for us.
Thank you each!
At 6:45 AM the Payne men went and picked up and loaded 200 rented chairs and many tables from the Pentecostal church while Julie and Madeline swept up and mopped all the dust accumulated from yesterday's sanding of the old carpet. At 6:45! I helped unload those chairs with the entire Payne family about 9:00. The Texas Seven were loading up later for their tour Gita arranged at the Occupation Museum followed by a trip to Kuldiga to visit one of their partner pastors. The Crofts, McNinches, Paynes and Jesse and I worked throughout the day in all areas of the church just doing all kinds of things. See the Facebook album for photos and captions! (no FB log-in required)
Additional Friends of Latvia are arriving in Riga so transportation is important.
We are reminded continuously of these Latvian friends being so grateful for our presence and participation and advancement of Friends of Latvia. And we are grateful too!
Tomorrow welcomes the two and a half days of FOL Gathering and we are ready!
Thanks be to God!