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We continue to operate the daily feeding and teaching scheme at the Riga Bible Centre in Latvia. This project not only provides for real material need for hungry brothers, sisters and friendsbut is also openly proclaiming and teaching God’s word in the 1 hour study sessions held before each meal. This great work has developed a significant number of baptized converts in Riga; and it is most definitely in need of support, both financially and with volunteers going out to cook in the Winter months.

Please do contact us to help if you can, and pray that we get the support needed to continue

Here’s a report from sister Sarah Hopper and Kate Hargreaves: “This was our first time at the Riga centre and the first time in Latvia. Upon arrival we were surprised to see how sombre Riga is at this time of year. With grey skies and a biting chill to the air, one quickly appreciates how difficult it must be to be homeless here. We just could not get used to the sombre feeling outside; the dreary ex-soviet buildings surrounding the centre in clear contrast to the events happening inside. Looking in at this project from the outside, it is easy to make the assumption that people ‘come for the food’, and this is probably true to a point. But, having seen how riveted they are when Maxim speaks, it is clear that they might come because of the food, but they return because of faith. Maxim’s Q&A seems to be rather popular and discussions are very lively! We were astonished that this happy atmosphere prevails, despite the terrible circumstances that have caused this centre to be here in the first place. Serving the food we have prepared is an incredible experience and we would encourage anyone that has thought about volunteering to do it. Despite language differences, banter is regular and some of the attendees have even learnt a few words in English, in order to display their gratitude. These things from our time here will stay with us:

1. The impromptu hairdressing session on Sunday and Medina’s face when Vladimir was doing his best. Vladimir’s eyesight has deteriorated, so with the best will in the world, it’s not easy for him. We soon rescued her and finished the job with (we hope) a little more finesse. Since this she comes to find us for hugs and kisses when she arrives.

2. The gifts of boiled sweets, fruit and flowers that Kate received on ladies’ day.

3. Two older gentlemen, in their attempt to show gratitude telling us 'I love you' over and over, in English.

4. The extensive clean down everyday, for which we have to do nothing outside of the kitchen because it is completely taken care of by those thankful to be here.

Sister Mim Clark reports: It is two years since my last visit to the Bible Centre and I have found it very moving to see how the brothers and sisters help each other. For instance, Andre reappears at the front of the feeding queue about six times as he takes the bowls of food to those that cannot stand for long. His re-appearance at the head of the queue never causes any problems, just a bit of playful banter. After they have eaten, some of them have taken it upon themselves to do the cleaning and busily wash tables, floors, toilets and hoover the hall - which has been a huge help to us this week. They seem to be much more connected with each other and it was a great joy to see again many of the familiar faces from my previous visit.

A big thank you also goes to those that have worked so hard to make the accommodation at the hall so comfortable - you have done a fantastic job!

The queue keeps coming until everything is gone

Please do remember that there are major ongoing heating, electricity and general maintenance costs both here and at the housing project in northern Latvia

Pictured left: Sis Medina and Sis Tanya busy at one of the sinks, helping with the clearing up at the hall

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