By Natalie Meeks
GREENVILLE, South Carolina – It’s late Spring in Latvia. Summer awaits. The Baltic earth is poised to come alive with vibrancy. With longed-for rays of sunshine, lush green leaves and florals and the busy chiming of Latvians soaking in every moment of these eight short weeks of warmth.
It’s Harvest time in ministry. Summer awaits. Hearts are open, people are active and the church awakens, stretching her hands and breathing deep, relaxed and open. Summertime is Bridge Building time – an absolutely ideal time to connect with and invest in the hearts of the people – utilizing camps, special outreaches, art, sports and special interest activities. Bridge Builders International is intentional about maximizing the benefits that summer affords. And we will be mapping quite the course this year.
We began the summer in late May with ministry-at-large, traveling to Wisla, Poland for the European Leadership Forum. Six persons from our team attended the forum from May 20-25. Almers, Partners Executive Director, spent time networking with other ministry leaders. Madara Molnika studied missions with European mission specialists. Katie Leatherwood sharpened her evangelistic skills, and Madara Lazdina participated in the European Artist Network, led by BBI President Chuck Kelley and managed by Natalie Meeks.
Katie Roth – BBI Missionary Katie Roth heads southwest to Holland in May for the European Music Therapy Confederation General Assembly. Katie will represent Latvia, participating in training on music therapy and trauma, which she intends to pass on to members of the Latvian Association.
Katie Leatherwood – In June and July, Katie Leatherwood will expand her reach, not only to the disabled community, but amongst Latvian professionals who seek to learn the skills and practices she has brought with her to Latvia. Katie works with patients, she works with programs and she works with other professionals. She has a full summer planned, which will carry her out of Riga and across Latvia for PAUZE events, disability camps, clinics and more.
Art Ministry – The Imago Dei artists’ network takes flight in July, first hosting the imagiNATIONS Festival at Ganības in Užava, Latvia then returning to Riga the following week to minister to 60 children at Imago Dei Art Camp. Finally, the month will wrap up with travels abroad to partner in leading the imagiNATIONS Festival in Tartu, Estonia.
Summer Camps at Eagle’s Wings Camp – Meanwhile, back in Ergli, Eagle’s Wings has a full summer planned. Diks Bortnikovs and his team of Latvian staff and American interns are preparing for a season chock-full of ministry. This is it – the fruitful weeks they plan for and pour into; a season spent investing into the hearts, minds and souls and nurturing the strengths of hundreds of young people until the weather changes. Of the 8 camps planned, two will be led by Jaycee Jensen and specifically minister to Latvian orphans.
English Camp – The week of July 16 finds local children and teens from Madona, Latvia attending English camp led by Carol Andresen and Paula Hewitt of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Corvallis, OR and staffed by volunteers from Calvin and the Madona community. English is taught using Bible stories, games and Christian songs. The Gospel is shared daily. Seeds of faith are planted and nourished and joy abounds.
Summer time is Harvest time. Won’t you come alongside of us? We need your prayers and we also need lots of support for this season of incredible ministry. We joyfully anticipate two amazing months of working for the Kingdom and watching as the Lord Jesus touches hearts across Latvia and beyond.
DONATE to Bridge Builders International and support the summer ministry!