The following is taken from a letter from the minister of our sister church in Kuldiga, Latvia. It was forwarded to us by Ron & Carol Werker who have both been heavily involved in our mission work in that Eastern European country.
Greetings from Kuldiga!
On behalf of the entire Kuldīga Methodist congregation, I would like to welcome you in this wonderful time of Advent and wish that the Light that we await with great excitement and longing shines in your hearts and fills them with hope, peace, faith, love and joy. We look forward to meeting you face to face again with great hope.
Thank you very much for your prayers, good thoughts and all kinds of support that allow us to be, grow and serve not only in our church, but to the people of the whole neighborhood.
The summer and autumn time has again sped by like the wings of the wind, but looking back we see that it has been filled with God's grace. In the summer, we enjoyed social gatherings in the countryside, enjoying peonies, lilies and dahlias. We created an ensemble with cello, violin, trumpet, guitar, piano players and singers and took part in the LAMB Song Day. At the beginning of September, together with the Pentecostal congregation, we organized a blessed evangelization event for children with lectures, games, physical activities and a delicious meal.
On Sunday, November 20, there was a big celebration in our church - the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Kuldīga Methodist Church and 22 years since its restoration. We were visited by lovely guests from the other congregations to thank God for these years full of grace and to ask for blessings for the future.
Various economic projects are also ongoing in our parish. This summer, we restored two more windows of the parish house on the side of the yard, and we are currently writing a project together with the other residents of the building to receive co-financing from the municipality for the repair of the building's roof. In order to save money in this stressful time, we try to act wisely, heating and lighting the church premises and also doing social service. Our Aina already bought pellets for heating at the beginning of summer, when their price was still three times lower than the current one.
We also continue our service work twice a week by offering people warm food and the opportunity to take a shower and do laundry. In the near future, we plan to buy another washing machine, because one of the two existing ones has served its time and cannot be repaired anymore.
Some refugee families from Ukraine also use the opportunity to bathe and wash clothes. In the church, we try to help these war-affected families in various ways. Igita has taken in a family with five children from the Russian-occupied Luhansk region and a concussed Ukrainian army soldier and his wife. We try to get involved and provide our support also in the aid actions organized by other organizations, because there are a lot of needs.
Also in my family this year, God has honored himself and blessed Edgar and me with a granddaughter, Kate, who is the daughter of Alise and Gvido. God's blessings do not end there, the family of our son Artūrs and his wonderful wife Gita will be richer with a little boy in a few months, and Edgars and I will become grandparents to another baby.
I would like you to support Alise's family with your prayers as her husband Gvido is a soldier and is currently on a NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo as the situation is tense not only in Ukraine but also in Kosovo.
Even though we are separated by many thousands of kilometers, I know that we are close to each other in our thoughts, prayers and God's love. We hope to meet you in January at the Christmas celebration organized by FOL through the possibilities provided by the Internet. We also very much hope that you will have the opportunity to visit us again in Latvia next year, when the FOL meetings will be organized in person. Thank you very much for what you are to us, for your immeasurable love for our church and for us personally! May this season of Advent and the Feast of the Nativity of Christ be full of blessings for you!
Zinta, Edgars and Kuldīga congregation.