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Our Brothers and Sisters at the Riga Ecclesia, Latvia


We would like to say a huge thank you to Bro Daniel Aldersley from New Zealand, pictured below, far left, who ran the teaching at the Bible Center for three months last winter, not to mention entertaining our brothers and sisters with his musical talents! Thanks also to Bro Sam Brown, also from New Zealand, who helped Bro Daniel with the teaching for some of the time. Bro Jim Barton has put together an appeal for support and an explanation of what goes on at the Riga Bible Center; you can watch it at:

https://tinyurl.com/riga-bible-center

Jim & Anne, Daniel and Jesse did a great job putting on a special New Year’s treat meal for the ecclesia and visitors in Riga. They also distributed a large number of scarves lovingly knitted by various brothers and sisters in the Midlands of the UK, representing thousands of hours of work, for which we are all so grateful! Turn to the back cover to see the happy group from the ecclesia wearing their new scarves!

The work is truly wonderful, with us providing genuinely needed food and warmth for dozens of mainly older folks, many of them now baptized. We provide one hour of Bible teaching before the feeding - five days a week. It’s a great mesh of humanitarian provision and the preaching of the Gospel. Please do support or encourage others to support as far as you can. Witnessing two baptisms got Sarah Kohlman thinking... she was an unbaptized volunteer who was working in the kitchen with Jim and Anne and was raised in the Truth in an ecclesia in Canada. She asked Jim and Anne to baptize her, and they asked her to call her parents, and take some time to think it over. After she’d done that, it was with great joy that she was baptized and returned to her ecclesia in Canada a baptized sister. The collateral blessings of this work are huge. Please do prayerfully support it and get involved as you can. Pictured at the bottom of page 24, you can see Sarah with her hair wet from baptism, with Daniel, far left, Anne, sister Ieva on the far right, and Jim and Jesse Andrews, top right.

In January, during Rob and Debs’ stint in the kitchen, it was a great joy to baptize Inessa, pictured right, who speaks some English and gave a short testimony. Typical of many people in the former USSR she was raised a Communist atheist, and then started looking for God. But she was soon disillusioned with the Russian Orthodox church and began a long search for God and His Son in spirit and in truth. She heard about us from a friend and started attending, and was so impressed to see young people, still teenagers like Daniel and Sarah, working so hard to care for and teach people. So with quite some joy she was baptized; you can see a video of it at:

https://tinyurl.com/latvia-inessa

In early February we had a really wonderful talk about the Gospel from bro David Corbin of Brooklyn ecclesia, USA (who was also our speaker at the Ukraine Bible School) which elicited a quite spontaneous ovation from the 100 or so people present! We were so happy to then baptize Roman, a totally homeless man not even in the night shelter system. He has searched for the real Lord Jesus Christ for 26 years, passing through various groups on his journey, and is now convinced he has found Him in spirit and truth. His body is largely covered in boils and skin disease issues, but in the white baptismal gown, he looked rather like representations of the Lord Jesus seen in movies. Here truly was a man coming to Jesus Christ and entering into Him, a brother in Christ in truth. Below you can see our new bro Roman talking with bro Vladimir, left, Daniel centre and in the background you can see sis Davian Corbin of the Brooklyn, New York ecclesia.

On the 28th February special group prayers were made during the UK Conference for the work in Latvia and on the next day they began to have a wonderful answer. A total of five of our visitors came forward to be baptized. It was with great joy that we witnessed the baptisms of Artem, Aleksei, Erik, Yuri and Vladimir.

Sisters Hilary Knight and Jackie Sprigg demonstrated what older folks can do, labouring so hard in the kitchen for two weeks - and if you too feel inspired to help, then do let us know. They were especially overjoyed at the baptisms.





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