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June Newsletter

Dear Friend,


Spring is slow to give way to summer thisyear in Latvia! With nightly temperatures in the40s, we still have winter coats hanging on ourhooks. Our yearly workday at the farm—called a“talka” in Latvian—is quite a tradition. Over theyears, children, staff, and the family of staff havegathered to help prepare the garden beds and clearthe property of winter’s gifts. This past winter, wehad an invasion of wild pigs at our farm! Nearlyevery field was routed by the wild pigs, and thechildren, along with our maintenance man, Valerijs, picked up the upturned rocks in our fields and enjoyed a ride in the trailer. After the rocks are all cleared, our neighbor will disk the fields and plant clover. Evidently, wild pigs in Latvia do not like clover!



We are also busy with the end-of-school concerts, tests, and graduations. Three of our wayward teenagers returned to us and have worked hard to finish school, and like wind in a sail, we got behind them to help study for exams and finish end-of-year projects. We thank God for their last-minute desire to do well and finish—it is such an answer to prayer.


Sixteen-year-old Agris has grown threeinches over the past several months. He is now 6’3” and needs all new clothing. Your support helped to buy him a new summer wardrobe— jeans, a pair of shorts, shoes, several shirts, and a sweatshirt for the cool evenings. We covet your prayers for Agris who is behind in school and trying to finish 6th grade. He stands head and shoulders above his younger classmates but is determined to finish and go on to a technical school. This option is available after 6th grade and is a path that will be more appropriate for his age and interests.


Our two brothers, Dominiks and Kristoffers, have been reunited with relatives who qualified to take guardianship. Both boys are diagnosed with autism and developmental disorders. With your help, we were able to get a more accurate diagnosis for each child and provide therapies such as “ABBA” and water-and-sand play therapy. The boys developed a comfortable routine and came to peace while at the Sparrow’s Nest, and the new guardians are committed to continuing the routine and therapy for the boys.

As Dominiks and Kristoffers left our gates, we received three new sparrows: Mariuss and Daniela—brother and sister aged eight and six years—and Arturs, an eight-year-old boy.


These children were abandoned and brought to us by the police, so their individual stories are still unfolding. They have been welcomed and are quickly finding friends among the children and staff.



Time hangs heavy for a waiting child, especially during the summer months. To help pass the time, we look for healthy, fun activities. About half of our children will continue to study through the first half of June, and then our older children are signed up for weeklong camps in their area of interest. The younger children will spend time at the farm and have a special three- day camp hosted by a church youth group from Lithuania. We are so thankful for those who will volunteer their time this summer and thankful for those who have given to make the camps for our older children a dream come true.


Artjoms

Please keep Artjoms—now eleven years old—in your prayers as he visits with a Latvian family interested in adoption. The family will take Artjoms for several visits, getting to know him and then deciding about moving forward with the adoption process. Artjoms is a precious boy who has overcome many obstacles in the areas of health and development. He has been with us for over five years and is longing for his own family.


We pray for you almost daily, thanking God for your partnership as we meet the needs of orphaned and abandoned children in Latvia together.


With love in Christ,





Alissa Stemple

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