Latvia

Latvia

CLICK HERE for Country Information and History

Area: (slightly larger than West Virginia) total: 64,589 sq km (24,938 sq miles), land: 62,249 sq km (24,034 sq miles), water: 2,340 sq km (903 sq miles)

Population: 1,965,686 (July 2016 est.)

Population growth rate: -1.07% (2016 est.)

Capital City: Riga

Independence Day: 4 May 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)

Ethnic Groups: Latvian 61.1%, Russian 26.2%, Belarusian 3.5%, Ukrainian 2.3%, Polish 2.2%, Lithuanian 1.3%, other 3.4% (2013 est.)

Languages: Latvian (official) 56.3%, Russian 33.8%, other 0.6% (includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), unspecified 9.4%

Life Expectancy at birth: total population: 74.5 years / male: 69.9 years / female: 79.3 years (2016 est.)

Religious Groups:

  • Lutheran 19.6%
  • Orthodox 15.3%
  • other Christian 1%
  • other 0.4%
  • unspecified 63.7%

The name “Latvia” originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 – an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the euro zone in 2014.

(SOURCE: The CIA Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.)

Striki School Director Interview

EEMN Serving in Latvia
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Pr. David Michael Carrillo (DMC) and his three “adopted” children!

Pastor David Michael Carrillo (aka: DMC), has been serving the people of Latvia as a full time EEMN residential missionary, since 2010. DMC works alongside the Latvian Lutheran Church and St. Gregor’s Christian Mission Center in Saldus. He has also made and indelible impression on the staff and students at Striki School, where he volunteers by leading morning devotions and serving as a strong Christian presence and mentor to children and adults, alike!
Pr. David currently lives at St. Gregors Christian Mission Center in Saldus where he assists with hosting other missionaries from around the world, as they participate in conferences, outreach ministries, and weekend trainings for pastors and lay leaders.

Pr. Raimonds Mezins with Pr. David

St. Gregors Christian Missions Center is under the direction of EEMN ministry partner, Pastor Raimonds Mezins. Pr. Mezins has a vision for expanding the outreach of St. Gregors to host more missions outreach events and to become an education center for training ministry leaders. St. Gregors was the site for our fist-ever EEMN Disciple-Making Conference in which 28-pastors and ministry workers – from seven different countries – participated!
Latvia Team and Hosts

2015 EEMN Latvia Team and helped celebrate at the new playground dedication


Striki School DIrector, Daina Zandberga

Striki School – In addition to hosting a Latvia English Bible Camp, for 12 summers running, EEMN is assisting Striki School Principal, Daina Zandberga, in adopting new teaching methods and strengthening the Christian focus of the school. Striki School is now in its third year since implementing the Montessori teaching model. The new Montessori method began with the Kindergarteners, and is now following them through every year, as they advance to the next grade level. Eventually every classroom at Striki School will be teaching the Montessori way!
IMG_2854EEMN was also able to help arrange for Striki School to build a brand new playground for students of all ages to enjoy for many years to come!

 

 

The support from EEMN is enabling Striki School to continue to grow at a time when virtually all other rural schools in Latvia have closed, due to lack of students and funding. There is the opportunity for you to partner with Striki School! EEMN is actively engaged in providing the teacher salary for Vieneta in order to help Striki School meet their operations budget. Would you consider helping with this $600 per month expense? Visit the EEMN Support page, today!