Juris and Kristine Bekeri-Brivkalni, or the BeBe's as we have come to call them, are VMC missionaries serving with YWAM in Latvia. Fifteen years ago, VMC was already sending teams to Latvia and partnering with YWAM. Our missionaries, Maris and Judite Dzelzs, and Cheryl Harrison recommended that we support Juris and Kristine as well. At the time they were using their artistic gifts to reach kids for Christ.
Kristine herself accepted Christ while attending an art class as a teenager. She says the teacher of the class was consistently bringing God into his art instruction. She was impacted, accepted Jesus and became involved in Christian youth activities.
When Juris came into Kristine's life, he was not a believer and living a worldly lifestyle. She knew that it wouldn't be good to date him, but she was interested in him, so she decided she would pray for him and that he would become her "project." As they celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary this month, and now have four kids, Juris is still noticeably amused by the fact that he was Kristine's project in those early months. He thought he was dating her all along! When Juris made the decision to accept Christ himself, Kristine said he was so passionate about his new faith, it helped her to grow even more.
For many years after VMC began supporting Juris and Kristine, their ministry continued with children and youth. Then during one night of prayer, God impressed upon them to obtain a property that would be used to bring restoration to families. Latvia doesn't have such family camps or couples' ministries, so this was a big dream. They would be trailblazing. Juris located a large property that was for sale, but the price seemed out of reach. Nonetheless, where God guides He provides, and after a number of months, God miraculously provided.
The need for relational healing in Latvia is tremendous. Couples work 16-hour days, so family time is at a minimum. Couples who are looking for answers to their brokenness take note of families who live out Christian principles, seeing the difference it makes to live God's way. Juris and Kristine offer opportunities for Christian and non-Christian families to learn and connect at a haven away from the busyness of life on the property God provided. But, there is still more work needed to make this space fully functional so that they can implement all God is calling them to do to strengthen families. Their vision for what they're calling a "Recreational Family Center" is to create a space in Latvia where families with some difficulties in relationships or other challenges can come and receive real help, encouragement, training and healing. They believe that transformed families will lead to transformed nations. The plan includes providing couples nights, training programs and retreats for couples, kids, youth and family camps, couples counseling, men's and women's weekends, art and creative projects and nature activities, Integrated throughout these events and activities will be biblical principles and testimonies of families who are examples of living the way God intended.
To help Juris and Kristine continue to renovate the site for the complete program, VMC is sending a team July 6-14, 2018. There is still time to join the team. There will be a team meeting on May 27th at 12:15pm in Room 325.
To give to the ministry of Juris and Kristine, choose the Missions & Outreach giving type option on your online gift or note Missions & Outreach on your check or bill pay through your bank..