Called to Latvia #2

Feb 21, 2022 | Latvia | 0 comments

Called to Latvia #2

Nynke Zaal – Latvia

In December 2010 I emigrated to Smiltene, Latvia with the blessing of my home church Elim in Reeuwijk, Netherlands.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.’ (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

It was a big step of faith, but I knew God had called me to serve ‘The Father’s House’ – a small church there. I became part of the leadership team and was involved in youth work, an Alpha course and other activities such as: kids’ parties, project food packages to poor families (an initiative of one of the teenage girls) and clothing days. I was always supported and encouraged by David, and this made it possible for me to do much more than I could ever have dreamed of.

It was great to see the youth and adult members of the church participate in activities together. These were times of not only serving, but also of having fun together and of getting to know each other better too. During this time I learned about the differences between me (born and raised in the Netherlands) and people with a post-Soviet history. I made many cultural mistakes but these all helped me to learn more about life in Latvia!

In my apartment we had youth prayer meetings, youth team meetings, girls’ meetings, women’s meetings, young adult groups and training for evangelism – discipleship has always been at the heart of what I do and I have seen people set free, miracles, healings and much more, praise the Lord!

My desire has always been to not only support people within the church, but also to reach out to the community – sharing God’s love, encouraging people with personal communication and helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus! Being a part of the YWAM mission weeks was an opportunity to reach out and to learn even more about walking in the supernatural power of God and being led by the Holy Spirit. These weeks were like a training school for me. God showed me how much He loves us, how He wants us to be free and how He is still the Healer and our Saviour.

To see the suffering and hopelessness in Latvia, especially among teenagers and young women, broke my heart. Many had suffered difficult home situations and there was often a threat of becoming homeless, ending up in prostitution and / or becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. God was opening my heart to these young women and the idea of a a safe living place for vulnerable women was growing within my heart. I knew God was putting this into my heart but stepping into this call, I needed Him even more than ever! Eventually, in 2013 a Latvian foundation called Hope for Life (CERĪBA DZĪVEI), was established after a time of hard work, tears and a lot of patience!

During these years I offered places to teen girls and (young) women who needed time-out. Anete, who was in social care for years, came to live with me for 9 months after turning 18. It was such a blessing to be able to walk alongside her and to see her becoming stronger in every way, including in her faith. After she left, God brought Marina into my life, she was living at a crisis centre. At first, she came only on Saturdays and then later for whole weekends. As a result of this I became an official foster parent in Latvia, so I could offer a living place to teenage girls. This was a life changing moment for me. I learned so much about myself and what my faith was really about!!

Throughout these years, God has taken care of me and has provided everything that I’ve needed. He has grown in me a desire and determination to live my life in dependence on God and to follow Him!


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