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First Baptist Church

MISSION: CESIS Cesis Baptist Church

Athens, Texas Cesis, Latvia

 M I S S I O N N EW S LE T T ER 2 0 0 7 — 2 0 0 8 

November 15, 2007 Volume 1, No. 6


Our Latvian figure out why snow would cause such a change in life-
friends tell us that style.
we can’t be true We seem to be adjusting well to the temperature
Latvians until we changes. It could be that the parka, hat, gloves, scarf,
have stayed here an sweaters and long-johns that we wear outside have some
entire winter. We effect on our adjustment. Our flat is relatively warm
are beginning to and we just keep feeding the wood to the stove.
see why!
The biggest adjustment has been after the time
For the past ten or changed. It is completely dark here by 4:45pm. The sun
so days we have not does not get very high in the sky during the day and
had any tempera- night comes very quickly. Everything has a trade-off as
tures above freezing. To The ‘monk’ sculpture at we were enjoying day- l i g h t
balance some of that St. John’s Lutheran until 10:00pm in the
out for us, we have seen summer. Most Latvians
the first of many snow- warn us more about
falls. After a few flurries depression from the
during the weekend, it way of life. Nothing slows dark days and long
really started coming down down, nobody stays home nights than about the
on Monday. After about 18 and they certainly don’t cold weather. We are
hours of snow, everything close the schools. When we doing great and don’t
was pretty well covered. As told them that if Texas had foresee a problem
native Texans, it is enjoy- received the amount of with that. Our
able to watch the snow and snow that Cesis did on St. John’s Baznica
Cesis friends go out
see how different every- Monday, we would have of their way to check
thing looks. closed the schools and
cleaned out Wal-Mart. up on us and help us out. We are privileged to have
For the Latvians, it is just a They just laugh and can’t such fine people to work with.

Youth Service—November 25
The next big push for our youth Riga, student-led Bible-study and most of their parents and grandparents
will be a city-wide youth night to music from some of our members. did not practice Christianity during
be held at Cesis Baptist on No- We are glad they are taking such an Soviet times there is usually no family
vember 25. We have tried to let active role in getting this type of tradition of attending church. We have
the youth organize and plan the meeting started. Being a Christian in been encouraging our youth to become
service the way they think it Latvia is very much different from more open in their Christian walks and
would appeal to other Latvian being one in the US. Most young we hope this will be another good step
young people. There will be a people will not admit to their peers for them.
Christian band from a church in that they even attend church. Since
The elderly and the poor suffer in This kitchen is a joint-effort between the think they understand we don’t speak
Latvia for a variety of reasons. For Lutheran Church and the Cesis Baptist Latvian very well but most of them love
the elderly, some of Church. to chatter just like we knew the lan-
the problem is There is a guage. We just nod and smile!
that they ex- core-group The soup is nearly always beet or cab-
pected to have of elderly bage based, not our favorites but they
a pension after and down- seem to love it. They only get soup and
working for so on-their black bread … no tea, coffee or desserts.
many years luck people Laura has been making cookies to take
under Soviet that are and they love them. We have also tried
rule. Since there every to buy fresh fruit at least once a week
Latvia became week. They and distribute to them. They are so
a free nation, are ex- thankful for it. We wish we knew the
the pensions tremely nice language better because a lot of them
that the elderly to us and probably have had interesting lives.
receive are very low. try to talk Some are battling alcohol problems or
A few of our soup-kitchen with us at
It has been our privi- have had other difficulties but we are
lege to help serve in a friends . . . every oppor- never more appreciated than when we
local soup kitchen. tunity. I serve there.


It has long been a dream for Cesis Bap-

termine the best course for its future, how it
tist Church to have their own building. will be able to meet the financial obligations
They currently worship in a church that and what their vision for Cesis Baptist
is owned by the Lutheran congregation. Church will look like.
Not since the late 1930’s have the Bap-
tists met in their own church building.
Cesis Baptist has recently begun to
study in earnest the possibility of con-
structing a new church building. We
will have a meeting this Wednesday to
talk with a pastor from another part of
Latvia that is currently building a small
church with a congregation the approxi-
mate size of Cesis.
There are many obstacles still to over-
come for this to be a reality but if this
church is ever going to grow and have
an identity of its own, they will have to
have a building. Planning all of one
church’s activities around the calendar
of another congregation is very hard to
do. There is a need of Sunday School
rooms, parking and adequate restroom
Current meeting place for Cesis Baptist . . .
facilities at the current church. Please
be in prayer as our church tries to de-

Page 2 Mission: CESIS


Castle Park lake — freezing

Winter artistry . . .
over . . .

Castle Park stairway . . . Castle Park

Youth Meeting: cold floors?

Volume 1, No. 6 Page 3