BBI has worked closely with leaders in the US and Latvia for many years.
This emphasis has expressed itself many ways:
- Ministry to pastors and their wives
- Specialized training for leaders
- The mobilization of spiritual leaders for major outreach projects
- Ministerial training for future pastors
- Mentoring of pastors, fellow missionaries and students
PRAYER DAYS – Since 1999, BBI has worked with Latvia’s spiritual leaders through Prayer Days, an annual three-day spiritual retreat for pastors, ministry leaders, missionaries and spouses. It is a time for these leaders to get away from normal life and draw closer to the Lord Jesus and to one another. Many new relationships and collaborative ministry efforts have resulted.
During Prayer Days participants are given opportunities to spend blocks of time alone with God. Some found their place of solitude in the rooms of the hotel, some on the sunny verandas, and some on walking paths through nearby woods. For many, these times of solitude were the highlight of Prayer Days. Many were touched by God in a deep way as they met alone with Him.
One young pastor reflected, “God and I became the best friends! He touched my heart in a special way these days and I finally was able to respond. He invited me for His work and I decided to follow Him wherever He wants to lead me. This has been one of the greatest moments in my life.”
BALTIC PASTORAL INSTITUTE – In January 2008, BBI formed a partnership with the newly established Baltic Pastoral Institute in order to develop Latvia’s future pastors and church planters. The mission of BPI is to train, mentor and equip carefully-selected young pastors to present the Gospel and establish and lead high-impact churches in strategic locations in Latvia, throughout the Baltic region and beyond. The development of BPI is intrinsic to the Latvian Baptist Union’s goal to plant and/or replant 100 new and healthy churches in the next ten years.
The foundational strategy of the Baltic Pastoral Institute is to create a balanced environment that simultaneously emphasizes, over a three-year period, four foundational pillars.
- Content – This is training for the head. What do we want our graduates to know?
- Competence – This is training for the hands. What skills do we want our graduates to possess?
- Character – This is training for the heart. What kind of men do we want our graduates to be?
- Culture – This is training for the feet. How can our graduates best relate to the world around them?
Chuck Kelley is one of the founders, serves as Dean of International Relations and teaches theology and missiology. He also helps recruit international specialists who offer intensive courses that supplement what local professors teach.
LATVIAN NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST – BBI also work with the Latvian National Prayer Breakfast Movement. The purpose is to bring Latvia’s most influential leaders together for spiritual encouragement and transformation. The event is an important context that makes possible all kinds of new relationships between key leaders. Several small prayer fellowships involving these leaders have been formed.
This is not only an effective outreach to Members of Parliament, Ministers of the Government and Municipal leaders, but also to artists, teachers, business professionals, and others.
As Latvia’s Prayer Breakfast movement grows, Latvian leaders are interacting more and more with like-minded leaders in other nations. Latvians have been invited to and are attending Prayer Breakfasts and associated conferences in Washington DC, Berlin, Vilnius and London. Latvian leaders have also started regional prayer breakfasts in cities like Jelgava and Liepaja and Daugavpils.
Lienite Bemera, who directs BBI’s Partners office in Riga, has served as the manager of the Prayer Breakfast Movement for many years.
Here are some previous articles related to leadership: