It is evident that God is answering your prayers!
By Jaycee Jensen, BBI missionary to Latvia, Director of New Hope Latvia
RIGA, Latvia – My friends, if you or someone you know has been praying for the orphans in Latvia, it is clearly evident that God is answering those prayers in tidal waves right now! I have been overwhelmed by the past few weeks in experiencing and seeing many things coming together that the Lord has clearly been putting in place for years.
A little over a year ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with a woman who I only knew through an acquaintance. I was excited to meet her because she had always seemed like a “cool” lady that I would like to get to know. That meeting changed a lot for me, not only because she truly was a “cool” lady but also because it started me on a course that has changed so much for orphans in Latvia.
Vesma Sandberg asked me about my experience with orphanages and directors and then about the new group of people that had come together to start the “Latvian Christian Alliance for Orphans”. This may not mean a lot unless you know a little bit more about the background.
Christian Alliance For Orphans “CAFO” was birthed at a gathering of thirty-eight Christian leaders in 2004. Although serving in diverse fields, they carried a shared sense that God desired to call His people to step up decisively for orphans and foster youth. They pledged to “leave logos and egos at the door” to advance this vision in shared action.
The size and scope of CAFO’s work has grown significantly over the years but the core mission remains the same. CAFO members join in coordinated initiatives that grow effective adoption, foster care and global orphan care rooted in the local church. These include the annual CAFO Summit, the Orphan Sunday campaign, the Global Movements Initiative, the National Foster Care Initiative, the Applied Research & Best Practice Initiative and an array of other shared undertakings.
The Alliance is now in Latvia and New Hope Latvia and I am honored to be part of it. This past Sunday was Latvia’s second annual “Orphan Sunday” and hundreds of churches from all denominations joined hands in speaking openly about the need to care for orphans in Latvia. This might not seem like anything miraculous unless you know a little more about the back-story.
I have been working directly with orphans in Latvia for over 6 years and have tried on numerous occasions to get churches involved in orphan ministry in a variety of different ways. It was a slow moving process and very discouraging to see how many ministries started and died. I have questioned the cause of this many times and talked about it with many other people.
The reasons vary but the result has been that the Latvian church has been almost non-existent in orphan care and ministry. There have been a few people in the Latvian church who have been doing amazing things with and for orphans but they have been the exception…until now! The Latvian Christian Alliance for Orphans and their initiative “Orphan Sunday” has awakened not only the church but also the rest of Latvia from their apathy towards the orphan problem in Latvia. Something BIG is beginning as this movement of God starts to gain speed! Praise the Lord for putting all of the pieces together and for fanning the flame. It is exciting to be a witness to God’s intricate plan