The announcement was made during the 109th annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Nov. 9-10. Oklahoma Baptists are teaming with Latvian Baptist Union in a three-year mission partnership, as Latvia is “a door wide open for ministry,” proclaimed Anthony L. Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer, during the meeting.
Jordan participated in a signing ceremony at the annual meeting with Peteris Sprogis, bishop of the Latvian Baptist Union and founder of the Baltic Pastoral Institute for Church Planting. The ceremony officially forged the partnership, which includes the option to renew for additional three years at the conclusion of the original agreement.
“We are grateful for your kind hospitality and the privilege to be a part of your 109th meeting of the (BGCO),” said Sprogis in a recent letter to Oklahoma Baptists (see below). “We were delighted to sign the agreement of the new missions’ partnership between Oklahoma and Latvia. When the good news of this new partnership was brought back home, our churches were really excited and are prayerfully looking forward to these new relationships.”
Sporgis said churches and church plants in Latvia are working in practical partnership projects to “reach Latvia with the Good News.” The projects involved the Baltic Pastoral Institute, as well as initiatives that will train and equip worship leaders, children’s leaders and church planters. There are also initiatives to train and develop character for young men, equip and mentor local churches and provide quality literature in the Latvian language.
The letter also features encouraging words that Sporgis shared from British Missiologist Martin Robinson who said, “The best things in Europe happen in the places where intelligent nationals work together with sensitive foreigners.” Sporgis elaborated that he and his fellow Latvians will “do our best to be intelligent nationals, and we are looking forward to partner with sensitive churches from Oklahoma.”
Singing ChurchWomen go to Latvia
One of the first experiences involving Oklahoma Baptists to Latvia will be the Singing ChurchWomen (SCW) who have a mission trip planned for May 30-June 9 this year.
“We will sing in wonderful churches—both modern and ancient, have a special day of ministry with the women of Latvia and be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters who are leading churches and planting churches across the country,” said Randy Lind, BGCO worship and music specialist.
SCW have four concerts planned, performing in concert halls and churches across the country. In addition plans are being made to help an orphanage and have a worship service at the Latvian Baptist Student Camp. SCW will provide a sound system for the camp to use throughout the year.
The ladies also will host a one-day women’s conference in partnership with the Latvian Baptist Women’s Ministry.
Mission opportunity with Latvian youth
A nationwide celebration that happens in Latvia is the country’s Midsummer celebration festival, June 23-25. The Baptist Union of Latvia is planning an event during Midsummer, inviting Christian youth. The union desires to provide an environment that can be appealing to young people and would be an alternative to other Midsummer functions where the potential of excessive drinking of alcohol and other destructive behavior may occur.
Latvian Baptists are looking for Oklahoma Baptists to serve during the event and help with leading sporting events and being referees, leading activities and crafts for children, helping and leading workshops as well as other event assistance.
Those interested in being involved with this summer experience in Latvia or other mission opportunities may visit www.bgco.org/latvia or call 405/942-3800, ext. 4337.