Newsletter – November 2005 Church planting in Latvia

Newsletter – November 2005 Church planting in Latvia

Daniel Trusiewicz - November 18, 2005

Most Latvian Baptist congregations are small and led by lay pastors, and some pastors serve two/three congregations. Only a few churches are large enough to provide full support for their ministers.

During the last decade about 20-25 new Baptist churches have been planted. The yearly growth rate is about 2,2%. There are altogether 85 Baptist churches with a total membership of 6500.

Martins – indigenous church planter in Tukums-Engure

The indigenous church planter - Martins (28) lives in Tukums, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 50 km from Riga (the capital city). Martins is married and has a little daughter. This is what he writes about himself:

“I can see God’s wonderful plan in my life. I had no Christian background at all. When I was a child, I sometimes thought about God and what may be after death. At the age of 9 I went to school with a boy who was a Christian and he gave me a booklet: ‘The story of your life.’ It really touched my heart and for the first time I started to call on God. My next question was: ‘who is Jesus and why do I need Him?’ Then another friend invited me to a Church at Christmas. All I remember is my tears; I realized how sinful I was. About one year later another friend encouraged me to join a Bible study group. This fellowship accepted me very well. After another year I was baptized.”

In 1999 after having completed theological studies Martins joined the Tukums Baptist Church, invited by a friend - pastor Ugis. At that time the Tukums congregation comprised a group of old ladies and two families. The church has been growing very well since then. Now there are 146 members of all ages.

In the autumn of 2003 pastor Ugis encouraged Martins to start a new church plant in Engure, where there had been a spiritual revival a few years earlier. The church planting team was formed and Martins became a missionary – church planter.

After one year the church planting group was faced with some problems. They used to rent a public hall for Christian meetings. One Sunday, when they came as usual, they were told not to meet in that place any longer. No reason was given. Only later did they find out that a possible reason was that they had organized an outreach. Eventually a Christian family invited the group to their home.

Vision for future and prayer requests

Recently one girl was baptized. The group organized an outreach, and the work is growing steadily. The Baptist Church in Tukums is very supportive to the church plant in Engure.

The group draws regularly about 10 people for the Bible study. They meet in a fish factory on Sundays and need a heater since the meeting room is cold.

 The church plant attracts several ladies who have organized a seminar: “A heart that makes a home”. Ladies are praying for their husbands that they can also come to God.

The vision for future is to organize an outreach in the vicinity of Engure so that people in every home can know that there is the Savior who loves them and can change their lives.

Pray, that the Lord will open people’s hearts when the church planting team share the Gospel, and that God will guide His servants in the next steps of faith in this important ministry.

To help planting reproducing churches!

To help growing healthy churches!

For the glory of God!