Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you, I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8)
Once I had moved to Latvia, I officially became a foster parent and this made my search for a suitable house even more necessary. We had seen a lot of houses, but at the end it became clear that God wanted me to search in places closer to Riga.
This was not an easy decision to make and so this time was accompanied by many prayers, talks and tears. To leave the church and the people I loved was one of the most difficult and painful moments of my life. Where would God lead me to? What was the next step? Was I still in His calling? However, after months of searching and praying, in September 2017 Marina and I moved to Ogre where I am part of Varda Speks, a church led by Agris Ginko.
In June 2018 I received a call about two sisters. Ineta (the pastor’s wife) and I met the girls in a crisis centre where they were living and as soon as I saw them, God opened my heart for them and I knew this was God’s plan.
The girls lived with me and Marina for 11 months. The youngest sister had many health problems and therefore it was a difficult time for all of us. I know that without God I wouldn’t be able to do this. He is the One who helped me through it all. I had to temporarily stop my work as a volunteer in a family centre as all my time and energy was needed at home. After Marina moved out and the girls went back home in June 2019, I needed a break and I needed to hear from God what was next for me. It became clear that the time of being a foster parent was coming to an end and that something new was waiting for me.
In December 2019 – six months later – I became a volunteer at Freedom 61 which is a ministry of YWAM Latvia, bringing hope and light to the darkness surrounding thouse suffering from sexual exploitation. In Riga we had a café which was open two evenings a week to connect with the women and to love and care for them – currently we are able to visit once a month. We offer the women coffee/tea and sweets. These are precious times where we can be there for the girls, pray for them and stand with them when they decide to leave the streets. We hope to create more opportunities to gather in this next season, as well as resources to help bring them out of the “hidden places”,.
Finally in 2020, after almost seven years of praying, God answered our prayers for a house! And since we have been living here we have welcomed teens and women who come for discipleship, pastoral care and mentoring, English lessons, cooking lessons and the opportunity to learn a range of other life skills. Our home is also a safe place for women and teenage girls who need time-out.
For us as Christians, these days are a time to show how much God cares for us all and to share the gospel. We had COVID and now we also have the war in Ukraine. It is heartbreaking to see and hear what is happening there. So many losses on both sides; so many people who have lost everything and who have had to flee their country. Practical help is very much needed. People from our church are travelling to Poland to take food and medicines whilst bringing refugees with them, on their way back to Latvia. Others are making camouflage nets for Ukraine and I am serving at the Salvation Army where they distribute humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees such as: clothes, shoes, hygiene items, school supplies, food etc.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but for sure I know Who holds my future! To this day I am grateful that I obeyed God when He called me to Latvia. I am still learning and still growing in my relationship with Him and continue to be amazed by His love and by His presence.
Throughout these years I have seen God working in miraculous ways and I have seen how He is able to impact and change people’s lives. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!