Just when you think you don’t have much to offer because of the language barrier, or cultural differences- something clicks and you make a connection or have a breakthrough moment with an individual. As a small team we’ve each experienced these moments over the past few days.
Ilga (adopted from Latvia and returning on this trip for the first time since,) had the opportunity to share her personal story and testimony with the kids. They were so surprised and excited to realize how similar they are. In her words, “It’s so rare that they would meet someone who has been in a similar situation.” The kids absolutely adore her and have been freely sharing constant hugs.
Before leaving on this trip, I (Alison) found a movie called “The Story of Jesus for Children- in Latvian.” I downloaded it and watched a few minutes, but had no idea if it was any good considering I have no idea what it was saying! We decided to show it this morning and it ended up being fabulous! It was the first time anyone had seen it. The movie was told from the perspective of children in the film. The kids and teachers all really responded to it and asked where it came from and if they could get a copy to share with their own families. Several little girls said, “I want to read a Bible.” What a win! With the teachers especially (who speak a little English,) this opened the door to have conversations about their own beliefs, faith traditions, and even about their doubts.
After we all researched high and low to find affordable Latvian Bibles to bring from America with no success, Anda (adopted from Latvia and whose vision originally brought us here) was able to make a local call to the Gideons International based in Latvia and they agreed to bring Bibles for each child! Typically Gideons only distribute bibles for hospitals, schools, hotels, military, and jails- but they said, “We’ll make an exception!” They explained to her they are unable to give Bibles out at schools here any longer- so this was an amazing connection to make. The Gideons arrived to personally distribute the Bibles after supper tonight. A prayer answered!
Today it was good we were in Latvia!