School has begun, and the children had a special treat this year in the form of choosing their own school clothes
and backpacks.Often, we have received gently-used clothing and backpacks to help us prepare the children for school. This year, a partner and friend provided funds designated for school clothing and backpacks. We had so much fun shopping with the children and learning more about their individual taste. It is a seemingly small event, but it energized the children and imparted joy at the beginning of the school year.
In my last newsletter, I mentioned the need for a new lawnmower for our farm. This spoke to the heart of a partner
who sent funds for a new zero-turn lawnmower. Valerijs, our maintenance man, reports that the mower has cut his
mowing time in half. With his extra time, he was able to join our children at the water park—the reward for our summer
reading program. Valerijs is our only full-time male employee, so it was a gift to the boys to be able to have their Uncle Valerijs come with them to the water park! Our Ukrainian family is still with us. I sat down for a heart-to-heart talk with the mother, and she shared her fears for her 19-year-old son and her brothers who serve in the Ukrainian army.
They have reported that the war has gone on so long that both sides are exhausted and frustrated. Prisoners are no longer taken captive;instead,most captured soldiers are shot on the spot.
The family is deeply grateful for the home and safety that The Sparrow’s Nest is providing, and they baked us a delicious cake to somehow show their gratitude.Nevertheless,their hearts long for home,yet they can only return with the orphans entrusted to their care when it is judged safe. As we receive funds designated for Ukraine,the funds go to the care and housing of these 14 refugees while anything extra goes to supplying food to war-torn regions of Ukraine.
From time to time, children who have been adopted from The Sparrow’s Nest return to visit us in Latvia. These visits are usually prompted by a desire to complete memories, connect with their birth country and culture, and to receive answers to questions. The family pictured here visited us recently after having completed their adoption ten years ago. They shared their testimony with the staff and children, visited special areas of interest, and volunteered to help us clear and winterize our garden at the farm. It was a rich and full visit that made a deep impression on our current children and staff. When the family left, one of the now grown children left usa beautiful letter that touched our hearts. Here is an excerpt . . .
I am sharing this person’s sincere gratitude with you because without your partnership and support, this beautiful testimony would not have been written. Your gifts and prayers join with ours to bring life-changing care to children and,whenever possible,to their families.
Together,we are a strong team, and we are making a real difference that will produce fruit for generations.
We have a critical prayer need for our teenagers. They have come into our care with histories of abuse, rejection,and failed adoptions and foster-family placements. Right now, we have five teenagers who have become “runners.” They come home for some hours or a night at a time for a refill of food and to change clothing,and then they are gone again. Because of their age, they fall through the cracks of
Latvian law, and we are unable to restrain them in any real way. Three of our girls—ages15 and 16—are so vulnerable to further abuse.And two of our boys seem to have joined a gang of young criminals who work together quite successfully, which is also due to the cracks in Latvian law. We continue to accept them, talk to them when they are present and are willing to listen, and to pray for and love them the best we know how. We are working with the police, psychologists, and therapists, but these children need a change of heart. They need to understand their value. They need an anchor they can hold on to as they navigate this world alone. We are holding and standing on Matthew 19:26:
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.’”
We know that we are not alone in this stand. Many in this season are turning to God for
answers in impossible situations. If you are one of these people, please know that we pray for you and your needs every day when we gather for prayer. You are a part of our team, and though we may not stand hand in hand physically, we can spiritually. Together, we can make a difference not only for the children of Latvia but for the Kingdom of God.
With love in Christ,
The Sparrow’s Nest Answers and Needs
Answers to prayer . . .
1. A new lawnmower!
2. A partner has committed to provide the paint for our building!!
3. Three new staff members have joined The Sparrow’s Nest!!!
Please pray for . . .
1. Additional designated funds are needed for the support of Ukrainian refugees and supplies. These funds are separate from our regular operating budget.
2. The spirit of adoption to rise up in Latvian families to answer the prayers of our waiting children.
3. Ukraine and all of Europe as the effects of the war continue to affect every area of life.
Latvia and the surrounding European nations who are facing an immediate crisis with utilities. Utility companies are currently only offering month-to-month contracts, and prices are predicted to increase dramatically. There will most likely not be enough gas for everyone this winter as Latvia does not produce its own natural gas. Electricity usage will also most likely be affected by power rationing and scheduled shutoffs.