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March Newsletter

Dear Friend, There is so much going on in the world today—it is vital to remain focused on God’s Word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. These two things will always agree, and they will never fail. God purposefully and lovingly gave us an indication of what the world system would look like so that we would not have to fear . . . “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Higher than any government, higher than the media, higher than any power that exerts itself in the world today, our God reigns. This is our confidence as changes to the international adoption laws are once again being brought forward for a vote in Latvia. Please pray for wisdom for the government officials and for the children and caregivers whom the passing of this law will immediately affect. This will include children waiting in the process of adoption at the Sparrow’s Nest. Our sibling group of four who faced disappointment in December are some of these children. However, this week we did receive encouraging news! A second family is interested in adopting Nikita and his siblings. Their documents are already registered with the government, and the law closing international adoption has not yet been voted into power. We thank God for this family, and we are praying with them as they try to navigate the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus. There are so many unknowns surrounding this epidemic, the responses to it, and the duration of the travel bans and quarantines. We do not know how the Latvian government will respond if the new parents are unable to travel due to the virus restrictions and if this will affect the adoption should the new law pass. Latvian schools have already been closed until the April 14 . This is another huge opportunity to prayerfully trust God. He is the Way Maker!

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7 At the end of January, we were contacted to help with two boys who had been removed from an abusive foster care home. The boys are not siblings, and neither have any living family. They are also both severely mentally handicapped. So often God has used us to be the one place that will take an unwanted child, so we opened our door and hearts to these precious boys. Although they are already nine and seven years old, basic medical tests, vaccinations, and educational and psychological evaluations were not current or had never been done. As we settled in these two new sparrows, we worked through the needed medical issues and evaluations. It quickly became apparent that Didzis, the older boy, needed a much more structured environment. Small changes and even short walks caused outbursts that led to March 16, 2020

behaviors destructive to himself and to others. We were able to locate the right center for Didzis and will remain his guardian and visit him so that he has a “parent” figure. The younger boy, Maksims, is doing well in our center, and he will continue with us. He is settled now and is gradually beginning our Montessori preschool program. We will be the representatives for both boys as criminal charges are brought against those who abused them. We welcomed Alens, Emils, and Enija at the end of February. They have found a refuge from abuse and neglect at the Sparrow’s Nest. The children were rescued after having been found alone and without food for several days. Police reports indicate that alcohol addiction has played a huge role in thebreakdown of their family. Please pray with us for their birth parents as the orphan’s court has indicated that this is their last chance to make a change before their parental rights are cut. Pray for the team at the Sparrow’s Nest as they reach out to this family, sharing the Gospel and making them welcome to visit their children. There is hope when Christ enters a situation. We are always aware that we may be the first time this family has heard the Gospel, the first time this family has had someone praying for them. “The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 In this time of uncertainty and trouble, we can look up! God is faithful, and He is moving among us. His mercy and lovingkindness have not been exhausted. He is still the Way Maker. He knows those who trust in Him, and He will lead us and guide us so that we come out on the other side. This is true for any circumstance that we are facing—nothing is too big for our God. Thank you always for your prayers and financial support. Every day we gather to pray for our children, our staff, and for our partners. We ask God to lead you and to guide you in every decision, and we pray for the salvation of your family. May God bless you as you follow Him.

With love in Christ,

Alissa Stemple


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