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Florida church’s mission trip sees 56 Latvians accept Christ

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Children Jesus loves
Eager children at Tukums Baptist Church were among the several who accepted Christ when folks from First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., traveled to Latvia for a mission trip in July. Leaders taught Vacation Bible School, led evangelistic meetings and hosted banquets for women in an effort to share the Gospel. Photo by Norm Miller
TUKUMS, Latvia (BP)--Down the street from the Cultural Center building in Matkule, a monument stands stone silent, memorializing the hundreds of local Latvians exiled to Siberia by Russian edict. Undeterred by history or local prejudice, Anna and her grandmother, both of Russian descent, walked more than a mile to the center in the rural Latvian village that is barely sustained by fishing and agriculture.
      The blonde 9-year-old spoke only Russian and didn’t understand Latvian. But tears traced her tender face as Galina Nikolayev -- a member of the volunteer missions team and of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla. -- spoke about Christ during one of the team-sponsored banquets for women. After the banquet Nikolayev, who is Siberian-born and speaks fluent Russian, knelt to meet Anna and tell her about Jesus.