Latvia Mission

When Pastor Tim came to Grace, he already had a passion for church planter training in Latvia, and had traveled there several times. Shortly after he began serving at Grace, he was asked by the overseeing mission to become the Director of Baltic Church Planting. After prayerful consideration, the Elder Board agreed, and Pastor Tim has been the Director of this church planter training program since 2002. God has blessed and prospered this ministry. Pastor Tim has now made over 30 trips to Latvia, and many others from our congregation have traveled there as well. Baltic Church Planting partners with existing churches in Latvia, who have a passion to plant churches in the many other cities and towns in Latvia that have no evangelical witness.  Those churches then send out these planters and teams to start new churches. Baltic Church Planter provides training, oversight, encouragement, and in some cases financial support for the purpose of spreading the Gospel among both the Latvian speaking and Russian speaking residents of Latvia, both of whom are still considered “unreached” people groups. This means that less than 2% of these two large people groups have embraced the Gospel of Christ. Baltic Church Planting has a National Administrator, whom we support, who oversees the in-country operation of the church planter ministry. Below he is pictured with his family, along with several of the key church planters with whom we are in relationship, most of whom receive ongoing financial support from us: ​

Ruslan & Tanya Bordans National Administrator Vangazi, Latvia Ruslan is the National Director of Baltic Church Planting. He is our full-time staff member promoting our goals in Latvia, and the man with whom Pastor Tim works most closely in our Baltic church planting ministry. He is a graduate of our training, and is an ordained pastor in his church.
Ugis & Agnes Pallo Church Planter Gauja, Latvia Ugis is an experienced pastor and planter, with whom we have been in partnership for well over a decade. He is planting in a village with no church, while working full time as the head custodian in a public school, and Anges works full time as a nurse, in Riga, some distance from Gauja, where they are planting.
Andis & Leana Riepsha Church Planter Liepaja, Latvia Andis & Leana are one of our more recent success stories. Andis went through our training, and decided God was calling him to plant and pastor new churches. He has successfully planted one church, pastors another church, and is actively working to plant additional churches.
Ungars & Gundega Gulbis Church Planter Riga, Latvia Ungars was in our first training group in 1997-1999, and he and Pastor Tim became immediate friends, as he spoke excellent English, and they are quite like-minded. He pastors a Reformed church in the heart of Riga.
Slava & Irena Istrata Church Planter Daugavpils, Latvia Slava is pastor of the “White Church” in Daugavpils, and is one of the most visionary church planters in Latvia. Four churches have been planted out of his church, and three more church plants are in progress.
Alexander & Riesa Kazmerchuk Church Planter Dzerniki, Latvia As most of you know, the Kazmerchuks are our dear friends who visited us a few years ago, and with whom our church has partnered, in sending several teams to minister in their church. They are also the parents of Nelly, who lived here for several years.
Sergei & Olga Garkusha Church Planter Liepaja, Latvia Sergei has faithfully served as pastor in a church located in one of the poorest regions of Latvia. He and his wife have made great sacrifices as they have raised five boys in a small home under difficult circumstances. Yet they are joyful, and now planting another church out of their church.
Andis & Mara Aptsis Church Planter Valmiera, Latvia Andis is the associate pastor of the “Revelation” church in Valmiera. He is the director of the Christian school in the church, involved in helping with their church plants (nine!) and a camping ministry, preaches each month, and has other administrative responsibilities as well. This church sets the bar high, and often reaches it!