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November Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Since school started, everyone is focused on schoolwork and after-school activities. We are blessed this year to have received several designated gifts for five of our boys to play basketball. It is rare that a child over ten years of age can start a new sport, and if so, they are often behind their peers and unable to compete. However, this year, a well- known coach in our area is offering an opportunity for more recreational style play. The boys are enjoying themselves, growing in skills, and developing relationships in a healthy manner.

Many thanks to those who responded to our need to repair our playground! Because the response was immediate and generous—and the weather cooperated—a local building team had an opening and started work right away. We encountered more extensive wood rot than we first thought and then added pull-up bars and a tire swing. In the end, the funds given perfectlymatched the cost of repairs and allowed for these additional play elements.Thank you to those who participated in this special project. The playground is now refreshed and safe for our children’s use.

In addition to the playground project, designated gifts came in to install solar panels and to repair and paint our homes. All three of these projects came together and took place simultaneously.

The solar panels provide an independent source of energy and will help reduce our monthly utility costs. The repairs to our plaster walls and the application of fresh, textured paint will preserve the facade of the building and help the overall plaster job last up to 15 years longer. The children enjoyed watching every phase of the work, and the teams of workers were great about stopping to answer their questions.

We had been praying and working towards these needed repairs for over a year and a half, and we stood in awe as the needs were met. Daily our heart and focus are the needs of the children, but without the care and upkeep of our buildings, there would be no safe place for the children. We are grateful and blessed for the advice and support of partners and the building and painting teams who came alongside to make these projects possible. In the height of the work, I pictured our faithful God, conducting this beautiful orchestra of helpers. The designated gifts, weather, and availability of qualified teams to do the work were truly a miracle.

In my last letter, I asked for prayer for one of our teenagers, “E”, who is turning 18 years old. She has chosen to stay with us and to continue her studies for the time being. Another huge victory is that she followed our advice to purchase a one-room apartment with funds that had accumulated for her over her years in foster care and with the Sparrow’s Nest. This apartment will provide “E” with a future home while protecting her small nest egg. “E’s” 18th birthday was a celebration enjoyed by the children and staff. Her decisions for the future set a great example for others to follow if they should be with us until they are 18 years old. Now we ask for prayers that “E” will have the courage and strength to keep to her decision to finish school.

We are receiving four to five calls a week to take in new children. The need is great, and we want to say yes in every situation. As in many places around the world since COVID-19, there is a shortage of qualified people looking for work. There is a general sense of fear after COVID and also with the ongoing Russian- Ukrainian war being so close to home. We covet your prayers for qualified care workers with a love and understanding of children and teenagers. If you know or hear of anyone with a heart for missions and a desire to work with children, please tell them about our need and that they can contact us through our website. I would be glad to explain the work and requirements needed to serve with us in Latvia.

USA’s Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. I wasrecently privileged to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving Day with long-term partners, friends, and adoptive parents. Though cultures and traditions vary, we all shared hearts filled with gratitude for all of God’s blessings—those we have received and those we are trusting Him to provide.

This is a time to trust that God and His word are entirely faithful. God means what He says, and our part is to trust and obey Him so that He is free to act on our behalf. He is working, and His promises are true and faithful.

Each morning we gather to pray for you, asking God to lead you and give you the grace and strength to faithfully trust and obey. Thank you for your prayers and support, and we wish our USA friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

With love in Christ,

Alissa Stemple

Key prayer needs:

1. “A” has a wonderful Latvian family who has applied to be his guardian. Please pray for the paperwork and court decisions to go smoothly and with no delays.

2. New staff members—especially caregivers.3. Stability and motivation for the teenagers in our care.

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