Friday, April 28, 2017


Good morning from Latvija (their spelling).  It is -2C this morning (28 F). Nice and crisp with freshness in the air.

View from PW's room on this crisp morning
The trees are budding, the tiny flowers in the grass are popping out, birds are singing, and students look sleepy  :-)  They have been incredibly attentive all week - several students who looked glum and detached on Monday, have been attentive and smiling at the end of the week.  These students have had lots of fundamental teaching over the past 11 months, and as several have confided in me, this class (counseling) brought a lot of the teaching together.
You can see light bulbs going off when counseling topics are taught, probably because it touched their life.

One young lady confided about her family life in her country.  Terrible situation with father, but Christian mother, and lots of personal emotional pain.  She is determined to overcome the family obstacles and work in ministry  :-)

Today we are teaching on the importance of homework.  Jesus gave homework (for instance, the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22). Today is the day they take the test (this morning), and before we began class, the students were quizzing each other on information that was taught this week :-)

Yesterday the students had the afternoon off (after 2:30 pm). They had a bar-b-que (Latvian style) with grilled chicken legs and beef, and boiled potatoes, sliced cucumbers and white bread (treat!).  They surprised Wayne and Paul with a plate of food.  It was an honor and treat !!!!  Then .... they brought us ice cream ... made with real cream !!!  What this told us was they appreciated the teaching.  For the most part, they have moved from glum students to smiling students.

The translators: we have had several translators during the week. Ilva is on staff, was a student several years ago, and translates most of the day.  She also uses her notes from her student days to follow the points as she translates into Latvian. Alex (student 2 yrs ago), on staff, translates from English to Russian. In the afternoons the students translate. This is impressive!!!  When Ilva gets stuck on a translation, some of the students quickly offer translation solutions. The real interesting thing about this ... when you have to translate a concept from one language to a totally different language (English to Russian or Latvian) you are pondering the concept twice.  That improves memory of the concept. 
Ilva was a prized student of ours
Her note book has very detailed notes and often she will ask if we are going to cover a certain point which she found helpful in  her time at BSM or she will point out we forgot to add something.  She keeps us on our toes. 
Alex is the guy with the ear contraption
This is Jesus....he moves around the classroom daily, one never knows where he will land
Test time
This evening PW and  PH are meeting with two former students of ours. Rihard and Eva were our students last year and are now newly married. Their story is amazing and if given permission I will post it soon.  It is always a special privilege for us to continue relationships with those we ministered to and this couple is no exception.  They contact us regularly asking for advice etc. 

Other information: please pray for this school and the ministry.  The building was built in the Soviet era. The walls are thick (1 foot thick concrete) and sound. The students room are adequate, and the kitchen is sufficient. Please appreciate that the facilities are spartan; however, adequate for the purpose.   The biggest concern is the heating system and the facilities for the visiting teachers.  A church team from Florida is coming this summer to work on the apartment for visiting teachers (pray for their safety and that all the materials are ready when they get here). The school director (Pastor Danny Pedraza) informed us that the heater system is the next critical issue. It is old (Soviet) and in the winter, they have to turn off the building heater to have hot water for showers (too inefficient for both hot water and heat).  Please pray that (1) the school will get a reasonable price for the replacement and (2) that churches would feel impressed from the Lord to help with the support for a new heater.
Danny and Damaris Pedraza

Please pray for safe travels for Wayne and Paul to the US, starting Friday night in the US. They leave the school at 4 am Latvian time on Saturday, catch a 6 am flight to Frankfurt, then arrive in Toronto at noon on Saturday. They drive to Chardon from Toronto arriving Saturday early evening.

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