Annual Asia and Europe Regional Workshop in Latvia (A)

Workshop in Latvia06On April 17, 2014 the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director traveled to Riga, Latvia to attend the Asia and Europe Regional Workshop.

Seven country directors from Asia, 3 from Europe, plus the country directors from Jamaica and Germany are attending the workshop.  Asia Regional Director, Mrs. Gunya Na Thalang, and Europe Regional Director, Rev. Peter Kirby, are also involved.

The LHM Thailand director enjoyed the Good Friday worship at St. Gertrude Old Church and had some time to rest from the trip.

Workshop in Latvia41Workshop in Latvia39The workshop began Saturday morning with devotions and a session about the overall strategy of Lutheran Hour Ministries presented by Dr. Douglas Rutt. The afternoon session was led by Mrs. Deborah Rutt and focused on different fundraising strategies.  This session was especially important, because fundraising is a big challenge for every country director.

All of the directors had a special experience Saturday night.  From 11:00 pm until 2:00 am Sunday they attended the Easter night worship service at St. Gertrude Old Church.  For most of the Asia directors, participating in a traditional Western worship in a large church building was a unique opportunity.

Because the directors went to sleep so late Saturday night, nothing was scheduled for Sunday morning.  Sunday afternoon everyone enjoyed a trip to the Open Air Museum.  The day ended with an Easter praise service at the church.

The sessions on Monday mainly focused on fundraising and the use of media.

Tuesday’s schedule was very different from the other days.  In the morning everyone visited the Lutheran Hour Ministries Latvia ministry center to learn about their work in detail.

Workshop in Latvia35In the afternoon Mr. Kurt Buchholz, Executive Director of Lutheran Hour Ministries, arrived from the Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis.  As the new Executive Director, this was Mr. Kurt’s first visit to Latvia and the first time that he was able to meet some of the country directors.

In the evening a Vacation Bible School program was planned for about 50 children.  Six stations were prepared with 2 country directors serving each station.  The first station provided an opportunity for the children to make some simple crafts from Korea and Germany.  The second station was a puppet show from Myanmar and Thailand.  At the third station the children played some traditional games from Vietnam and Cambodia.  Traditional songs from India and Sri Lanka were the focus of the fourth station.  At the fifth station the children learned some simple traditional dances from Indonesia and Jamaica.  The country directors from Russia and Kazakhstan served snacks from all of the countries at the sixth station.

Wednesday morning we started the day with devotions, that were led by Mr. Kurt.  The topic of the 4 sessions on Wednesday was “He crucified, me crucified.”

Although the weather is quite cold in Latvia, with overnight temperatures dropping to near freezing some nights, all of the country directors are happy to have time together to renew their relationships, to participate in the sessions with some of the staff from the St. Louis headquarters and to experience and learn about the culture and daily life in Latvia.

We thank God that everyone had safe travel to Latvia and that we can share and learn from each other during this workshop.

 

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