Tonight the team is doing their final prep for our last day of camp! The week has flown by!
Tuesday evening we worshipped at St. Gregor's Mission Center with Latvians, the Belarus students and our American team. We enjoyed fellowship afterward, enjoying each other's company and making new friends.
Wednesday our camp day was full and many on the team were invited out for excursions to visit historical sites or enjoy some refreshments in homes. What a blessing to be able to learn about life here in Latvia and enjoy the fellowship of new friends.
Thursday the teachers had a great day. Every rotation went well, the team shared about their faith in Christ and once again our team enjoyed excursions after camp.
Our evening tonight finds us excited for our last day - preparing small gifts for the students and teachers.
Today (Thursday) we experienced the joy at hearing the news that several students had started their faith journey with Jesus for the first time. There have also been several fruitful conversations with the adults and many opportunities for prayer ministry; a sore back or two have been healed and many have experienced the encouragement of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
We had an awesome first day of camp at Striki School. This is the first EEMN International Camp with our friends from Belarus joining us! The team did a great job teaching with limited supplies and handling changes in location for rotation due to rain showers.
On Sunday we worshipped at St. Martin's Lutheran Church in Saldus. We were warmly welcomed by the pastor and the congregation and even recognized some faces of children from our time at Striki last year! After a wonderful Latvian lunch, we headed out to Striki to set-up camp. Our set-up took little time, given that all of our supplies were still at the airport - not yet delivered to us.
We then had the honor of a tour of the Zvarde region of Latvia, which is where Striki school is located. We learned some of the history of Latvia with respect of WW 2 and the Russian Occupation of Latvia before and after WW 2.
When we returned to St. Gregor's, the team from Belarus had arrived, but our luggage was not to be seen! So, after dinner we went shopping for craft supplies for our impromptu Monday craft for our first day of camp.
Everyone on the team pulled together to pool resources and ideas.
We are mostly over the jet-lag, so we had a light day today. The preparation that can be done is complete, given our lack of supplies. We are still wrangling with the airline to get our luggage to us. It's a weekend with a national holiday, so no one wants to go the extra mile since it's the Summer Solstice Festival. Latvians celebrate the Summer Solstice like Americans celebrate Christmas. Everything shuts down, people go outside, build a big bonfire, and party till the sun comes up. What? You don't celebrate Christmas that way?
Well, we're here in Saldus Latvia. A team assembled from California, Washington State, Nebraska, Indiana, Florida and New Mexico.