LATVIA Team in Transition

June 16, 2024

Moving to Sabile

On Saturday, the team transitioned in a couple of ways. (However, no boats were actually used for transport. :-)) Pastor Mark & Julia had to depart and begin their journey back to the States and their ministry in the St.Louis area, while the rest of the team moved from Saldus on to the picturesque, northwestern Latvia town of Sabile. Sabile is a much smaller than Saldus and in some ways economically more stressed. There is a large Roma population there and our hosts, Pastor Maris & Ilsa Gross and the congregation they serve does an amazing job of serving the Roma community. 

The team accommodations are located in a strikingly beautiful setting, where deer and other wildlife can be seen walking, flying, or running by the windows our our rustic guest house. The town of Sabile is just a short, 5 kilometer drive, where we participated in worship, on Sunday, in a church building that is about 75 years older than the Reformation! It was originally Catholic but, as is the history of this part of the world, church buildings often exchanged denominational identity, depending on the religious identity of the ruling party at the time. Today, it is and has been for a couple of hundred years, part of the Latvian Lutheran Church.

Before heading to worship, team member, Veranika awoke early and prepared Blichnike (or, Blini – traditional East European crepes) for the entire team! They were very yummy!

Following worship, the team drove a short distance to the Sabile School (grades 1-9) in order to set up for the new English Bible Camp week that will begin first thing Monday morning.

One of our more curious adventures was a short stop to see a park full of life-size dolls depicting different walks of life in Latvia. FUN, if not a little bit creepy? 🙂

We are eager to begin the next week of camp, for the very first time in Sabile! 31 students, aged 8-15 have pre-registered to participate and we know God will move in, around, and through all of us, as we practice English and explore the exciting biblical story of Moses and how he trusted God in leading the Israelites out of slavery into the promise land. To God be the glory!


Team member, Jennifer Bennett was supposed to merge in with the team on Saturday afternoon, but weather delays have pushed her airline arrival to very late Sunday night. Please pray for her resilience and health, as she is scheduled to begin teaching the youngest class on Monday morning! Lord, have mercy.

Sabile Public School

Oh, But The Pictures!

This pictures tell the story. But, as always, there are more! Please reach out to the team members that you supported for this trip and ask to see the rest. In fact, given enough notice, SON can have someone come out to your church or group and present even more about what we do. There is far more to SON than even these amazing camps.

Call to Action

Here’s how you can stay involved and what you can do!

Pray Continuously: Set aside time each day to pray for the mission trip. Pray for the team’s stamina and health. Pray for the people we will serve, and for the work God will do in and through us in Sabile. Pray especially for the Roma children and their families. We hope many will join us and be impacted by the camp. Pray for people to grow in curiosity toward Jesus and His Good News.

Stay Updated: Follow along on our ministry blog for more updates and inspiring stories from the camp. Your comments and encouragements are greatly appreciated and help us feel connected to our church family back home.

Get Involved: to learn more about the Spiritual Orphans Network, navigate to: and fill out the form to request more information.