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November Newsletter

104 Latvian Independence Day

Dear Friend,

On November 18, we celebrated Latvian Independence Day with candles, stories of Latvia’s freedom fighters, and a traditional meal of pork, sauerkraut, and potatoes. Our children enjoyed preparing candles in support of Latvia’s 104th year of freedom. Fireworks are usually a big part of the Independence Day celebration, but Latvians voted to cancel all fireworks to avoid further trauma for the Ukrainian refugees within its borders. The fourteen Latvian refugees living at the Sparrow’s Nest expressed their gratitude and joined with us in lighting the candles in a quiet celebration.

Over the past few months, I asked for special prayer for our teenagers and for our staff as they work with these precious ones. A specific prayer has been answered as one fifteen-year-old agreed to enter a drug rehabilitation program for addiction to nicotine and amphetamines. This is a very new part of our work, and we are daily seeking God for wisdom and discernment to truly help these children whose ability to trust is badly compromised. Please continue to pray with us for softened hearts and their willingness to receive the love and help the Sparrow’s Nest has to offer. We are encouraged by three of our young teens who drew pictures to commemorate Latvia’s freedom and shared them at our celebration.

November 29, 2022

We have been finding extra beds to meet an increased need for the care of young children. A sibling group of three arrived first—an eleven-year-old boy and his younger sisters, aged six and four. At this point, we are sorting out their medical needs and working to establish trust and peace in their heart. No relatives have come forward who can act as guardians for these abandoned children.

Pictured here with our caregiver Dace, three-year-old Tina arrived in the middle of the night. She had been found wandering in a park alone in winter conditions. Her story is slowly unfolding, and with support and correction, there is hope that her young parents can start again with her. They will need to go through alcohol and substance abuse programs, so Tina will most likely be with us for three to six months. She needs medical care and evaluation for “failure to thrive.” As her parents work from their side, we can help strengthen Tina’s health so that she returns for a strong second chance with her birth family.

It is the time of year when we work on our budget for 2023. Our heating and transportation costs have tripled. Supplies of gas and electricity are questionable so many utility companies are offering contracts for only one month at a time. Uncertainties continue, but God has never changed. When anxiety and fear try to push their way into our soul, we have the clear instructions found in Philippians 4:6,7 . . .

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses all

understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

First, prayer. Second, thanksgiving, and then God’s peace comes to guard our hearts and minds as we follow our Lord Jesus Christ. There have been so many times that circumstances threatened to overwhelm and destroy the work of the Sparrow’s Nest, but we prayed and thanked God, and we received His peace that set a guard of protection around our heart and mind. The circumstances didn’t always change, but His peace came, and we were able to go through the difficulty and come out on the other side.

We are praying for you and your family to have the peace of God during uncertain times. There are all kinds of wars being fought in our world today, yet it is the peace of God that will take us through the battle to the other side.

Thank you for your prayers and gifts. Every partner doing their part is saving lives, changing destinies, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed. One of these deeds is Martins—pictured here having his first ever birthday cake on his 11th birthday! God bless you!

With love in Christ, Alissa Stemple

Key prayer needs . . .

  1. Provision for our operating budget for 2023.

  2. Peace for our teenager in rehab this month, and that she will also complete the program.

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