Anastasia Semyonova is 15. She came to our centre in Riga, Latvia three years ago in desperate need of food and clothing, as well as to attend Children’s Church classes. She gave her life to Jesus but is very much an introvert. She lives with her grandmother, who does not have much interest in her. Anastasia is a very frail girl. She has fine bone fractures probably due to the lack of good nutrition or perhaps caused by a bone disease. Just recently she broke her leg and ar- rived on crutches to receive food. Then she stopped coming. Our team searched for her but to no avail. The grandmother said she had disappeared. Then in February Anastasia came to us again and we found that she had been living with her mother. We don’t know where her mother was all these years or why she left Anastasia – maybe she was in prison. I n June we found that Anastasia had been shunted back to her grandmother in an apart- ment that was in sad repair. Anastasia had to do everything by herself. When we asked her why she didn’t live with her mother, she said: “I feel bad when I live with her”. Anastasia has a father who lives in another country. She has a dream that one day he will come back, and perhaps buy her a bed, be- cause at the moment she sleeps on the floor. The most precious thing that we have noticed – little by little Anastasia has started to trust my local team. With your help we’ll be able to look after her and guide her life in the right direction after all the bad experiences she’s had. Please pray for Anastasia and stand with us as we help her, and many others like her, with the essentials of life and guide them into their destiny with Christ
Madara, the orphan girl who has been in a wheel chair all of her 15 years, has had her first back operation in St Petersburg. She can now stand for short periods with a sup- porting corset. How- ever she is still having problems and it’s a very difficult time for her. At the moment they have detained her in hospital be- cause her surgical wound burst open. She is under the supervision of doctors. But Madara stays optimistic and look- ing forward to the time that she’ll be able to return to the orphanage. She will have more surgery in the future. Please help us to help her with the costs of this surgery. A further $7,000 is still needed.
Kalkuni Orphanage, Daugavpils Latvia
This is the latest orphanage that we started supporting last year with 180 crippled and retarded children. The local politicians were not concerned about them as they believe these children will never amount to much to contribute to the nation’s productivity. They are so wrong. God loves these children and has a special plan for their lives. During the winter they endured a flu epidemic in the area and the children were struggling. T heir most critical need was for 5000 disposable Pampers (diapers) per week as most of the children were incontinent and needed 5 changes per day. We delivered a month’s supply.
They needed a mechanical lifter to lift heavy teenagers out of their baths, warm bedding and clothes, dishwashers and washing machines (the old ones were be- yond repair), carts with wheels for distributing food to the meal tables, thermoses for food storage, a food blender, all which our local team was able to get through to them in spite of horrendous snows. They also gave them a wonderful Christmas party, concert and gifts that we were able to provide. The weather was atrocious with heavy snows and -15C cold but the team got through safely. The orphan- age director was in tears saying, “At last there is someone who keeps his promises”. L ast month (in much better weather) our team visited them again with more provisions and gifts, and put on a very special concert/service for them. What a difference they saw in the children, compared with the last visit in the winter. They looked healthier, brighter, more enthusiastic and more responsive to the gospel. What a privilege to support these special children.
I have just completed another mission to the military in Latvia – my 10th mission in three years. Initially the commanders asked me to come and conduct seminars to a disillusioned army just back from Afghanistan where lives were lost, troops maimed and marriages under immense stress. I was asked, “Please prepare our troops for eternity and help them solve their family problems.” What a time I’ve had over the last three
and a half years dealing with these issues and bringing many into a vital relationship with Jesus. The local base chaplains have been working over- time doing all the follow-up work and counselling. A ll this came about through supporting 27 orphanages in Latvia. It’s amazing how a seeming “side trip” from one’s destiny (to start supporting two orphanages 20 years ago) can turn out to be a major path for a long fruitful time. F or four days I criss-crossed Latvia, conducting seminars, the first being to the Military Police in Riga – a really tough bunch, to the different National Guard Bases and the Air Force base at Lielvarde. I also had the privilege of addressing the new military officers on “Winning over Stress in their new top positions”. In a precious mid-week meeting at the Riga Word of Truth Church many responded to God’s word and His love. A fter a seminar at the National Guard base in Sal- dus, I went on to minister at the Naval Base in Liepaja on the Baltic coast. On the final day I addressed two Infantry Battalions at Latvia’s main military base on “Accomplishing your Destiny in Christ”. In all these meetings, many came to the Lord.
I had a very sweet weekend of ministry at the Betel Church pastored by Ake and Lise Wallman, in Vagnharad, southern Sweden. About half the congregation was teenagers, and many came to the Lord.