A Meaningful Week to Begin the New Year
By Dan Roth and Natalie Meeks
ERGLI, Latvia – It all starts with a simple advertisement in the local Latvian newspaper. This ad is an open invitation to those in the area to contact Madona Baptist Church and sign up for a bag of food and home visit.
And our good friends from Wilhelmina Church in the Netherlands responded: They loaded a truck with blankets, clothes, and medical supplies and sent it to us just after Christmas, along with 4300 euros, which was used to compile 200 food bags.
The first week of the year is a festive time in Latvia. It follows the New Year celebrations and precedes the Orthodox Christmas celebrations. This, along with the school holidays, makes it an ideal time to visit people. Children are at home and our church youth are free from school responsibilities.
Volunteers from Madona Baptist spent this week delivering food bags to 150 homes, and an additional 50 to soup kitchen clients in Madona. We also visited several orphanages and three nursing homes, one of which is new to us this year. One day was dedicated to clothing distribution at the church. We gave out three-hundred blankets and loaded an entire ambulance and a half full of incontinence diapers and medical supplies.
The week is coming to a close. What a blessing it is to begin the new year in this way – linking arms in service with our brothers and sisters from another part of the world.
We are grateful to our Dutch friends whose faithful generosity makes this outreach a reality.