Guest: Adventures to Latvia

By January 19, 2011 Orphan Care 2 Comments

My ministry started on a July 2009 missions trip to Jelgava, Latvija (say: Lot-vee-ah) through Mission:Hope, my church’s orphan care ministry in Hartland, Wisconsin (www.missionhope.us). I will tell you that I have promised myself that I would never get on an airplane, for my fear of heights. Obviously God had other plans, and I am so grateful for that!

Latvija is a country in eastern-europe, sharing borders with Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. They were occupied for many years by the USSR and re-gained independence in 1991. Alcoholism, split families, poverty, prostitution, and hunger are huge problems in Latvija. It is estimated that 50% of girls who age out of orphanages will turn to prostitution, 40% of boys will become incarcerated, and 40% of kids will commit suicide within two years, mostly young men. It is a hurting country. The children in the orphanages are mostly “social orphans”, which means that they may have one or more living parents or relatives, but these people cannot take care of them. Many parents are too poor to care for their kids, while others are removed from the home due to drinking or abuse. Other single-moms leave the country looking for work elsewhere in the EU, and do not want the burden of a child to bring with them. Children who would go into foster care in the US are placed in orphanages in Latvija. There are also “true orphans”, meaning that the kids have no living parent and are available for adoption.

 

I have now been to Jelgava, Latvija twice (July 2009, June 2010) and I will be leaving for my third trip on December 25th. This trip will focus on connecting with kids at five more orphanages in different areas, as well as talking with the directors or caregivers. It is also a chance for me to see more of the country, as well as experience their winter to give me an idea of what living there will be like in winter time!

Currently I have one year of highschool left to complete, and then I will be attending a 2-year Bible school and training programme. I feel called to full time missions in Latvija, working with girls who “age-out” of the orphanage, as well as young mothers. I cannot wait until I am living full time in Latvija. I have the opportunity of a third trip to Jelgava, in June/July 2011. Would you please pray for me? Please pray for all the children who I know and love in Latvija, and those that I will continue to meet. Please pray that they have open hearts to hear about Jesus. Please pray for the girls who I will be working with in the future, God knows each and every one of them. I cannot wait for the day I get to meet them! Please also pray for my ministry supporters. As many of us know, with the current economy, my support has dropped off and it is essential to find people who will continue to support my ministry.

God has put me on a wonderful journey and I look forward to seeing where all He is going to take me. If you would like to know more about my ministry, please check out my blog at www.roadtolatvia.blogspot.com, or email me at: jenn_ander@hotmail.com

Jenn Anderson

Follow my adventures to Latvia!
www.roadtolatvia.blogspot.com
Luke 1:37 “For NOTHING is impossible with God”


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