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First Baptist Church

MISSION: CESIS Cesis Baptist Church

Athens, Texas Cesis, Latvia


February 1, 2008 Volume 1, No. 7


We had a great Christmas with our family and friends in Our vision for this shop would be a place for young and
Texas and are ready to tackle some new projects for 2008. old, Christians and non-Christians to come to a non-
Through the efforts of the threatening place for a good
members of FBC-Athens, we cup of coffee, good conver-
are beginning to explore the sation and good service.
possibility of helping Cesis We meet many people here
Baptist Church construct their that are interested in spiri-
own building. The situation is tual ideas but will not enter
definitely in a planning stage, the church. We hope the
as it will have to be determined coffee shop will provide us
whether the people of the an opportunity to show
church are willing to support that Christians are not
the effort through their com- ‘strange’ people but that we
mitment of time and finances. are just like them. We hope
It will be a large adjustment for to offer Christian music,
this congregation because they lectures, craft classes, ESL
have not had their own build- classes and other activities
ing in over 50 years. Pastor Olegs is Sv. Anna Lutheran Church—current that would be enjoyed by the
assembling a committee to begin look- meeting place for Cesis Baptist Church Cesis people. The shop would
ing at all aspects: where to build, the also be a place for our Cesis Bap-
size of building, how to finance the tist groups to come together be-
project, etc. cause the church where we meet is very cold in winter and
This is a large undertaking for this small church. Laura is not a comfortable place . Currently, the young people
and I believe this is the right thing to do, but it is ulti- and ladies’ Bible study meet at our flat, as we are already
mately up to the people of Cesis Baptist to determine if cramped and our numbers continue to grow. A coffee
this is God’s plan for their church. We will continue to shop would allow these groups to meet in a larger space
advise and support them as they seek to shape their vision and it would make it easier for visitors to join our activi-
for the future. ties. First order of business is finding a suitable location
(we have a couple of very good candidates). Secondly, we
We want to say a big thanks to the members of First Bap-
must start a very lengthy permit process. We have been
tist Athens that have already pledged a large monetary gift
encouraged by the Cesis people as we have explained our
for this project. We know there will be others that will
ideas to them. Now, we must work to get this vision into
join in this endeavor once it begins to shape up. We ask
reality, while at the same time working inside of the Lat-
for special prayers for the Cesis people as they look to
vian culture. Latvians move at a different pace than
God to help them determine their future. The second
Americans and sometimes we have to remind ourselves
major project is the opening of a Christian coffee shop for
that we are in their country and we must do things their
the people of Cesis to enjoy. After mentioning the possi-
way … not the American way. Keep watching for more
bility of this shop to our church, we have had some mem-
news on the coffee shop as we hope to have our location
bers from Athens come forward and help finance it. All
decided upon soon.
we can say is, “Wow”!
All Latvians appreciate good music, get out of the cold,
so it just seemed natural for our we had a church full
youth to host a concert. The young of concert-goers.
people did much of the planning This is the first time
and taking care of the details in- in my five years of
volved. attending events at
The band from St. Matejs (St. Mat- Cesis Baptist
thew’s) in Riga were the featured Church that the
guests and they did a great job. We church was full. We
also had a local singer, Oca that is an had a great night of
excellent guitar player and vocalist. listening to some
very good contem-
While we were only expecting about
porary music that
35 or 40 people to attend, we were
was geared towards
hopeful our youth would not be dis-
young people. Most
appointed. It had been snowing for a
churches here do not offer
couple of hours and we were afraid
very much music that espe-
that might hurt the crowd. St. Matejs’ Band
cially appeals to the youth.
We shouldn’t have worried as we
Plans are already being de-
had over 100 young people and
veloped to host a second concert
adults to show up. From Cesis we
soon. Even our younger church
had our youth group as well as stu- This concert was the highlight of the
members have decided to begin a small
dents from the community. Valmiera youth program for the fall and we be-
band of their own and we hope they can
and Madona both brought their lieve it will turn into a regular event.
become a regular part of our worship ser-
youth groups. With parents, adults Once again we have been shown to
and some people that came to just dream big and trust God.

Youth Concert audience . . . Kaspars and his group . . .

Page 2 Mission: CESIS


My friend Peteris … kick boxer Guarding the wood heater

at church


Current News:
Current Pictures:
Enjoying a Latvian meal at
Inese’s home

Laura’s Ladies Bible Study group Pastor Olegs, Patricks and

at Women’s Conference wife Iveta

Volume 1, No. 7 Page 3