I remember a few years ago, I think three or four, when I was listening to preachers speak of the power of God. Thinking to myself that I could not possibly do what they have done. Live how they lived. Or believe how they believed. But I couldn’t leave myself there. In that place of disbelief. More so it was about seeing people suffer and not being able to do anything about it. That’s probably how I found myself at this school that specialized in teaching about the supernatural power of God. That heart wrenching pain is how all of this started. All of the wonderful life changing encounters from then that I’ve seen know have stemmed out from a heart to see people healed and encounter love. However, I was missing something extremely vital to begin walking in signs, wonders, and loving well. This was something I couldn’t forge myself or create, it was something that had to be handed to me from someone else’s life. Read More
In the last few months, some team members and I started a friendship with a young mother who had been on the avenue prostituting because she was without a job, without help, and without hope. In October, she decided to accept our offer for coffee and conversation. In November, some team members and I visited her in her home. It was this day she boldly declared to us that she had decided not to return to the avenue or to ‘that life’, even if she had no way of feeding her two boys or paying her rent. She was two months behind on rent and the owner of the house was outside waiting for us to leave so he could enter and collect his due. This girl believed God would make a way somehow… Read More
It started out as an assignment. Five of us were asked to drive to Galway, Ireland and spend the weekend doing some sort of outreach. It was up to us what we would do. We were only told the location. So, we did what any good missionary would do. We prayed. Each one of us felt as we were praying that we needed to focus on the streets. Galway is a wonderful city with a high population of so many different cultures. We knew that if we stayed on the streets we would be able to focus on the people. And the people are what mattered. Read More
I love Jesus and have seen Him do many amazing things in my life. I have heard Him speak through His Word and in my quiet times with Him. What I was really desiring was to hear His voice more on behalf of others as I go about my day doing life. Call it prophesying, encouraging, building up, whatever- I believe the Lord wants to use His children to build one another up and to share in the love of the Father. Read More
Wow! It’s hard to believe we have been in our mission field for nearly a year already! So much has happened in these 12 short months as we have gotten a front row seat to what God has been doing in the beautiful city of Guadalajara, Mexico. He has definitely amazed us and continues to go beyond our dreams, expectations and prayers! …And prayer as a family, as a church, and from our prayer partners, has definitely played a key role in the miracle we have experienced.
Almost 7 years ago, I saw in a dream a multitude of young Arabs dressed in white and surrounding a huge mountain. I knew in my dream that the mountain I was looking at represented Islam. And I knew that this mountain was – somehow – “hindering” the return of Jesus. I could also hear their one-word song filling the space as they cried out and sang, “Yasou’a! Yasou’a!” – “Jesus! Jesus!” in Arabic. The louder their voices became in worship, the more the mountain began to crumble and fall until it was no more. Read More
Recently I had one of the most difficult conversations I can recall ever having. A very dear person to my wife and I, disclosed some personal things about her childhood that she had never revealed to anyone. This precious woman wept as she began to recount the horrors of unspeakable abuse perpetrated upon her for several years. When the abuse first occurred, she was around 9 or 10 years old. The older man who had repeatedly abused her, threatened her to keep the abuse secret. She felt trapped, ashamed, and terrified constantly. In vivid fashion our friend described how her heart cried out for help wondering if God could see and hear her. Having known this person closely for years, and learning about her painful past was incredibly heartbreaking. I was thankful that God was bringing it out to help her get deeper healing and freedom, but I cried realizing that such evil injustice was done to a young and helpless child. This hit very close to home for me, and made me wonder, how many other people has this happened to, and how many other children is this a current reality for?! Read More
I had just come into the house after working on clearing the land we have been plugging away at when I heard voices outside the window in our yard. I was dirty, sweaty, had thorns in most of the clothing I was wearing and honestly not in the mood to have visitors. I walked out to the kitchen, looked out the window to see this random guy and his 3-year-old son sitting down on our chairs in the yard. Somewhat baffled (and annoyed) I stood there watching, wondering why this person took it upon himself to walk down the driveway around the back of the house and play with his kid in our yard. It was very strange, to say the least. After a while, I walked out front and said “can I help you? Are you looking for someone from the church?” To which he replied “I’m not resisting! I have the right to remain silent!” I responded “excuse me, sir? I’m just trying to understand why you are hanging out in our yard.” He asked if they were not welcome. “ I didn’t say that. It’s just that we live here… Can I get you and your son some water?” Read More
Every year with “Wings for Wheels” (http://w4w.lv/en/par-mums/) we organize camp “Challenge” to encourage people with mobile disabilities. We also help them come out of their homes (because in Latvia it is still quite challenging for many people with disabilities) and most important to lead them to Christ. Because only He can forgive their sins, give them eternal life and true identity. Beside those important goals there are several more:
1. To offer opportunities to people with disability by the help of creative and physical activities in order for them to find and enhance the limits of their skills and possibilities, and to allow them to acknowledge and build their self-worth.
2. To promote the integration of people with disability within the society by motivating them to become active members of society.
3. To promote the meaning of healthy lifestyle and individually appropriate physical activities.
4. To learn Christian foundational values through various activities.
This year camp “Challenge” happened from July 2 till July 8. The week included all the parts Challenge is known and loved for: interesting lectures, fun sports activities and workshops, the opportunity to get a haircut, visit a physiotherapist and consult a orthosis & prothesis specialist for free and of course the Extreme Day. On the request of last year’s participants, we heard lectures on the reasons behind having no friends, whether it is possible to be single and happy, the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection and God’s calling for our lives. The workshops gave everybody a chance to try out line dancing, learn more about etiquette and make a lovely photo frame as a keepsake. In addition, we travelled to Brazil with the help of our imaginations and some Brazilian friends, were encouraged to push our limits in sports and enjoyed a concert by the popular Latvian band My Radiant You.
The Extreme Day (short video about it you can see here: https://vimeo.com/228361224) with its raft ride also gave a chance for callenging people phisically and their thinking, because many people believed that it is not possible and they will never experience something like this. After the first challenge of getting on the raft from a very steep river bank –wheelchairs and all –, we were rewarded with a beautiful ride on the Gauja river in nice summer weather. But that was not it – after coming on shore again we had a four-kilometre hike on gravel and sand before reaching our final destination, the zoo where we met and petted camels, alpacas and llamas. A campfire with lots of good food and testimonies about God’s works was the perfect ending to the day full of joy, excitement and surprising ourselves.
The camp had a good prejudice-shattering effect on people both with and without disabilities. One of the earlier participants testified about how the first Challenge camp he attended radically changed his view on Christians and led him to trusting his life to Jesus. Another participant shared her surprise over the realisation that in this camp, people actually care when they ask you how you are doing. One participant’s mother admitted that before the camp, she did not imagine people with disabilities could have such joy in their lives and sometimes even seem happier than people without. Another lady who took part for the first time said she had never experienced such genuine care in any church. Perhaps this is the challenge we should take to our home churches with us – how to really notice eveybody’s needs and respond to them in God’s love in our everyday life. And During the week, five people decided to join the family and give their lives to Jesus. It is so great to see how God can change identities and lives of people, give them value.
And now one of the participants in a camp who before several year trusted his life to Christ have a calling in a future to go and to proclaim Gospel in Africa! We can just praise the Lord for His works! 😊
Article prepared by using some information also published in “Wings for Wheels” oficial website www.w4w.lv
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Recently I had the opportunity to teach two bible classes at a local Christian school. There is quite the age and maturity difference between sixth graders and tenth graders, but the bible has a wonderful way of relating to both. Acts chapter three was the bible passage being discussed with special attention being paid to the scene around the healing of the lame man. Read More