19 May Capturing grace in Liepāja, Latvia
Photographing for Orphan Outreach in Latvia – Capturing Grace on a 21 day journey through Sweden, Latvia, Ukraine, Moldova, Prague and France.
Consider this a visual introduction to Latvia, in particular, the navel port city of Liepāja that sits on the coast of teh Baltic Sea. These photos are from my first morning stroll.
The following is from the Orphan Outreach website and provides the background for where I am photographing and gleaning stories from today and tomorrow.
In 2010, Orphan Outreach completed a vision trip to Latvia and began working with the Day Center program in Liepaja, the Naval Port. The Day Center is working to provide social and spiritual support and a secure environment to more than 60 children from families at risk. The Naval Port was constructed from 1890-1906 as a naval base for Russia. When Latvia gained its independence from the Soviet Union and the Russian army left Latvia in 1994, the Naval Port became largely uninhabited and most structures fell to ruin.
The Day Center for children was opened by a local pastor in 2007 and has been operating as a haven for the children in this area ever since. The majority of the children attending the Center come from abusive, needy homes where parents are unemployed, heartbroken and addicted to drugs and alcohol. A great number of the children in this area are without any adult supervision or guidance and they typically end up taking the same paths as their parents. There is no one to help them and they have no support system.
The first goal of the Center is to meet the physical needs of the children — offering a safe, clean and warm environment, where the children can come and rest after a long day at school or find refuge and comfort when their parents have left them alone to wander the streets. The Center also offers a warm meal and each day the children are involved in various activities — arts, singing, Bible study, sports and English. During the school year, the staff also helps the children with their homework. The second goal of the staff is to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the children by offering comfort, advice and emotional support; but the ultimate goal is covering them with prayer and the love and support of Christ.
Orphan Outreach is partnering with the Day Center to provide financial resources and sponsorships of the children. Short-term mission teams have provided humanitarian aid and evangelical outreach programs for the children.
I invite you to learn more about Orphan Outreach and there work in Latvia at https://www.orphanoutreach.co/countries-we-serve/latvia/
[Editors note – Last month, I set off on a 21 day, 6 country European journey, Capturing Grace Capturing Grace in Sweden, Latvia, Ukraine, Moldova, Prague and France. I am now back at home in Texas, posting daily about these amazing twenty one days.]
Proposal at the Latvia farmers market –
Things got out of hand at the farmers market, this kind lady told me I was beautiful, that she is available and could I stay in Liepāja . She added that her fruits and vegetables are the best in town and proceeded to slice off a generous portion of a radish for my pleasure. 😳
The upside, she loves having her photo taken…