Saturday, April 2, 2011

From house to house in Latvia

It has been ages since Latvia (4 weeks qualify for long these days), and I am sorry to have left you hanging for so long. I bet you wonder what took place that week...

After a couple of days of preparation  where we assembled food bags and set up clothing distribution in the local culture house, we went out in small teams to visit homes. We had been given names and addresses by the social department in town for the poorest people, and we brought a bag of food to give to each household.

Here are the numbers:

We had team of 201 people from 14 nations. Over 20 locals from Smiltene joined us and from Skien we came with 29 staff, students and friends.

699 homes were visited
1521 food bags and sweet bags was given out
87 food bags were given to somewhere else (32 of them to social office in Smiltene)
153 packages of toiletries were given out
1469 people received free clothing (brought from Norway and Sweden)
159 people accepted Jesus into their lives
352 people attended for evening programs and the concert
176 children took part in children programs
80 youth took part in our youth program
49 people took part in program for people with disabilities

We also gave aid to a local hospital, to Palsmane boarding school and to Launkalne
primary school/kindergarden.

A local church held an Alpha dinner for those who either came to know Christ during the week or were interested in learning more, the week after the outreach. The pastor reported that 58 attended (75% non-church goers) and 16 of those people accepted Jesus for the first time during the dinner! This week at the Alpha course there was 11 new attendees and 1 came to Christ. It is exciting to hear about the work that has continued after we left.

The last leg of the race was an afternoon in a local cafe. My roommate Lyndee was in charge of the thank you cards for all the social workers, churches, the mayor and all the other locals that made the outreach possible, and I helped her expressing our gratitude with pen and paper. 

It was an amazing week, and I am so happy I got to go! 

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