During the past year, Lutheran Hour Ministries sponsored eight separate Regional Outreach Conferences around the United States and Canada. Their purpose was to encourage and equip local Christian congregations to speak the gospel to those around them.
On Saturday, April 14, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Latvia, sponsored a “National Outreach Conference,” to encourage and equip congregations and member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia for evangelism and mission. Over 130 people attended this special event, including Archbishop Vanags and Bishop P. Bruvers of the Liepejas.
The event began with an introduction by Artis Purins, Director for our ministry center in Riga, Dr. Douglas Rutt, Director for international ministries, and Bishop Bruvers, who has been tasked with the promotion of mission in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.
Several presentations were given which outline some of the mission activities already being carried out in the church, followed by two “theoretical” presentations by Dr. Didzis Stilve and Dr. Sandra Gintera, former Ph.D. students of Dr. Rutt. Some of the presentation included a description of the “Dare to Love” program, in which youth of the church become involved caring for the elderly, and the “Spiritual Survival” program, led by Rev. Rolands Rimanis, sponsored by Lutheran Hour—Latvia. Another pastor, Rev. Eglitis, spoke of how he uses concerts in order to reach the secularized population of Latvia with the gospel.
The lunch was exactly the lunch that is given in one of the soup kitchens sponsored by a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.
Toward the end of the day, the participants were split into smaller groups to review several discussion questions over what they had seen and heard during the day. Finally, there was a closing panel discussion and some final comments by Archbishop Vanags, who reminded all that Christ has given us the privilege of going in His name, to tell other about Jesus.
This event was the final of three days of celebration of twenty years of Lutheran Hour Ministries in Latvia, and was cosponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, St. Gregory Christian Mission Center, and the Luther Academy of Riga.