Who We Are
Since 1996, The Sparrow’s Nest has served as an orphanage, child and family crisis center, and missions outpost in the nation of Latvia. We are a team of Christian professionals committed to Christ and to caring for children and families in crisis. The orphanage beginnings are tied to two sponsors, Rick Renner Ministries who provided the first orphanage home and Joyce Meyer Ministries who provided the financial support to begin the orphanage. The Sparrow's Nest is a registered non-profit organization headed by Alissa Stemple with a Board of Directors comprised of ten board members from three countries: the US, Latvia, and Switzerland.
The Sparrow's Nest was the first licensed non-governmental orphange to be registered in Latvia. Government orphanges were usually built of gray cinder block and housed large numbers of children with an adult to child ratio of 1:24 or even higher. The vision God gave us was to model family style care with an adult to child ratio of 1:6 and even lower when infants and toddlers were present. The Sparrow's Nest became a model of family-style care, and even in our early years, we hosted delegates from government orphanages curious to know what we did differently.
Our main homes for children are located in Jelgava, Latvia. This four-plex building was purchased with the help of partners while still a shell. It was lovingly completed by volunteers from the United States who used their vacation time and talents to lay tile, sand and paint walls, build room dividers, etc. Our second facility is a large historic farm in the Tukums area where we spend much of our summers and holidays. The farm is only a few minutes drive from the sea making it easy for the children to enjoy the water and abundant "sand therapy." When we are not there, the farm has provided a summer camp location for area churches and has been the site of camps designed to refresh and recharge foster families.
Our future plans focus on the development of the farm property. The vision is two-fold: 1) To house a program for teen children who struggle in traditional care programs and foster families; 2) To care for the growing number of elderly who are alone and without family to care for them. We hope to marry these two programs as we work together to raise food from the garden, care for livestock, and make candles to be sold in stores throughout Latvia.