We bring the children into a safe place for a week—a place where they can be children playing and goofing off. We provide them an escape. The most common lament from the leaders here is “If we just had more time. If we had another week with Lelde maybe we could get her to say one more word.” The fact that these children’s physical lives have not been changed from us coming is ever present. Yes, they now have school supplies, towels, and underwear but they are going back into survival mode at home. We have not changed their physical lives but we pray their spiritual lives have been transformed by the knowledge of God. In each of our stories whether is about Shad, Rach, and Benny, or about Jesus calming the storm we try to make it clear that God is ever present in your struggle. Sometimes like with the storm God takes away the issue other times in the fire He is just present and that is perfect. So while we can’t change their physical lives we can give them a way to endure, Jesus.
Lelde does not speak. Well that was true for the first two days; but by day three she was whispering a Happy Birthday blessing to another girl! On the last day she was actually singing along to “Jesus Loves Me.” We do not know much about her home life but she lives alone with her father who is battling cancer.
Gatis is a little boy who is always making us smile. No matter what we are doing he is having fun. Maksims is the oldest here and by far the most expressive dancer. While the rest of the older boys are sitting on the side giggling Maksims is making his own twists to the dance.
On this last day I shared the gospel with the children. One point that we hit is that the white bead comes before the green bead. You are cleansed first this is not a result of works. In a country full of tradition it is hard for the children to grasp this concept.
This week Anda, who started this ball rolling, and her mother, Melody, joined us. On Tuesday after Melody and Ilze sang Oceans the Spirit became very present. As Melody started telling her testimony and explaining that in the midst of trouble God can give you peace. Jeannette and I turned to each other shocked. This was our story for today. Melody had no way of knowing this but the Spirit did. We sat in awe as the children were totally entranced by her voice. Christine said she got goosebumps from how intently they listened. After she finished we just decided to go ahead with the craft. God had done what needed to be done.
As we prepare to leave today my heart is heavy. There is so much unfinished work here in Latvia. Praise God that One More Child is obeying the call to visit orphans in their affliction. Much has been done, much is left to do.