Reflections on Mission Days 2012
By Rebecca Manley Pippert
(DUBLIN, Ireland) – We loved our first time in Latvia! The city itself is lovely, the music and culture is amazing, but it’s the people we enjoyed most. There is a depth and thoughtfulness in Latvians that moved us. Even though my approach to teaching an incarnational/relational kind of evangelism was a bit of a paradigm shift for them – we were so encouraged to see such an enthusiastic embrace to what I was teaching.
I explained with my stories, that yes, an American could ask questions and move more quickly into spiritual conversation – nevertheless, the principles were still the same. Asking questions that reflect a genuine interest in the person and learning to affirm verbally the good we see in people – isn’t an American value, it’s a biblical one. After all, Jesus did it! To be a missionary in one’s own culture always means we will be somewhat counter-cultural.
Dick and I were also deeply touched by the response to the prayer ministry that we offered at the end of the conference. The leadership told us afterwards that because we were asking people to come forward for prayer, they were worried no one would come. But oh my, how they came! We had 15 prayer ministers up front with us and so many came for so long! No one was in a hurry to leave – but who wants to leave when one senses the presence of the Lord?
We were also so impressed by the leadership team of Bridge Builders International and Partners. They were a joy to work with and so gifted! The conference itself was run brilliantly but what we especially appreciated was their deep love for God. They are doing such an important work in Latvia. After our first brief ministry visit we left feeling keenly aware that God is doing something in Latvia!