Every day we are grateful for the protection and wisdom we have during this time. We are working in a deeper unity and trusting God more fully. There is joy to be found in every day as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I wanted to share a little window into our world during the quarantine, so we created a short video. We filmed events from an average day of homeschooling, outings to the farm and sea, and home life. I hope you will enjoy this little visit to the Sparrow’s Nest.
Small steps of progress that may have been obscured in the busy pace of life shine vividly bright right now. Six-year-old Stanislavs has learned his colors! Ten-year-old Nikita has slowly begun to share about the abuse in his home and his fear for the future. There has been time for Milana to learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle during our outings to the farm. As a team, we have been able to refine our care plans and focus on developmental and emotional growth while the children are homeschooling. The school year ended on June 1, and though it was close for a few children in a few subjects, everyone passed on to the next grade! This was a huge victory, especially during the quarantine period when anxiety levels were high and the children were cooped up. Our social worker and several other team members did an outstanding job teaching and supporting the children throughout this season. We had a celebration to mark the end of the school year, and each child received a reading book and beach towel for the summer. Three little sparrows have found a new nest. Endijs, Emils, and Enija have been placed with a long-term foster family in Latvia. Their birth family situation will take years to resolve so this placement is ideal for them. They will be in a small village near the Sparrow’s Nest where we can continue to offer assistance if needed. Thank you for your prayers for these little ones. About 20% of the children who come to the Sparrow’s Nest fall into short-term crisis care. It is a critical time for child and family to make changes to better their lives. Short-term care allows us to bridge gaps in children’s education and medical history. The Sparrow’s Nest team quickly identifies missing vaccinations and evaluates eyesight plus helps to assess dental health. We provide any necessary medical care that is found lacking. We do the same type of evaluation to measure development and education. Most children in this situation have delays or gaps. Working together with our caregivers, Montessori specialist, speech therapist, and social worker, each child returns to a family with a stronger foundation. Whenever possible, we also work to support the parent or guardian of the child in their efforts to turn their life around. June 4, 2020
Little Rainers has just joined the Sparrow’s Nest family, and he is also with us for short-term crisis care. His father left him with a relative while he went to work in Western Europe. That relative has become ill and is no longer able to care for Rainers. He will stay with us until his father is able to come or a suitable guardian has been found. Children like Rainers fall into our short- term crisis care program. We continue to stay laser focused on what God has called us to do. To remain focused in turbulent times is difficult. There is so much happening in our world, and we have minute by minute access to these events if we choose to stay tuned in. Major problems can consume our thoughts, shake our stability, and derail us from accomplishing our God-given purpose. To help us stay focused, the Bible urges us to “cast all our cares upon Him; for He cares for you” (First Peter 5:7). Giving our overwhelming cares and fears to the Lord is a step of faith that enables us to continue with our God-given assignments. It is not a careless act, but a deliberate choice to pray about the problems and trust God to work. It is God who hands out the assigned positions in life, and when we follow Him, nothing is lacking. Each one of us is a vital part of the Kingdom of God. Let’s all stay by our post, laser focused and alert to God’s voice. As always, I want to thank you for standing by the Sparrow’s Nest with your prayers and financial support. I never grow tired of telling you how much you encourage and enable our work. I hope you never get tired of hearing it! To God be the glory—great things He has done!
With love in Christ, Alissa Stemple,