I’ve just returned from a very nice trip to Latvia and Ukraine. It’s a joy to see God giving relationships that are both new and deepening.

A few months ago in the USA I met a family that adopted three Latvian brothers. They wanted to find the birth parents and heard that I have connections in that part of the world. After some research I was able to locate the birth mother. Sadly, the birth father passed away a few years ago.

Through this process I met several Christian workers in Latvia and made some very good connections. It’s so very nice to experience spiritual unity with new brothers and sisters in the Lord.

dina5Last week, I met the birth mother in Jēkabpils, Latvia, and delivered a letter and pictures from the adoptive parents. The picture at left is of her reading the letter from America. I told her about the boys and the family, and I heard her story as well. It’s a joy to bridge cultures in this way.

It was a wonderful meeting. The birth mother wept as she saw her children for the first time in 10 years. She was full of hope and gratitude. She said she’s been praying recently to find her children. She’d searched on the internet but could find nothing. God’s timing is perfect.

Perhaps the Lord is opening doors for Stoneworks to serve in Latvia. Time will tell. If we’ll abide in Him and discern His will, then we’ll do the good work He has prepared in advance for us to do.

to uzhgorod.37From Latvia I traveled to L’viv, Ukraine to visit Haley Henson, our missionary there. I met with her ministry partners at her church, St. John’s Methodist. The Lord has set her in a great group of people, and again I enjoyed the unity of the Spirit. Especially nice were conversations with the pastor, a young man who never intended to enter ministry and has found himself serving with joy. 

From L’viv we traveled to Uzhgorod, across the Carpathian mountains, a four-hour drive south. There was still snow on the mountain peaks though we were in springtime in the valleys.

ukraine roma.02Haley travels between the two cities regularly. In L’viv she teaches at a Christian kindergarten and is involved in several other ministries (and she cooks some great cookies!).

In Uzhgorod, in addition to her service at the local church, she serves in a nearby gypsy village. She is clearly loved by the children and quickly draws a crowd.

The pastor of the church, a gypsy himself, asked for us to send more people like Haley. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

I was asked to speak at a youth meeting and a Good Friday service. I shared my thoughts on what Jesus meant when He said, “it is finished”: the final payment for sin, the ending of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New.

The old hymn continues to come to mind:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.