Merry Christmas From The Sparrow’s Nest!

Merry Christmas! This has been another year of God’s faithfulness as the Sparrow’s Nest serves orphaned and abandoned children and families in crisis in Latvia.

More and more I realize that the Sparrow’s Nest is here for one child. By this I mean that the work of restoration in a child’s life is accomplished when we take them one by one as our own. Individual care and attention are the required elements to restore to children their sense of value and to bring them comfort in the face of the tremendous loss of their birth family. This holds true whether the loss is by the death of parents or by abandonment, neglect, or abuse.

Nils is one such child. At the end of November, I was holding what I call a “Director’s Meeting” with the children. This is a time when the children and I sit together and share what is on our hearts. I wanted to remind them that God is always answering prayers, and that we need to be ready to trust Him to give the right answer, whether it is yes, no, or wait.

We agreed to pray for each other, and I asked the children to write down their prayer requests so that I could have them with me. The older children began to write, but the preschool children needed help to write their prayer requests. Nils, a six-year-old who has been with us since he was seven months old, climbed onto my lap for help with writing his prayer needs.

As I gathered him in with a hug, I had a flashback to the first weeks Nils was with us. The youngest of four brothers, he was small for his size, but his blue eyes were as big as saucers! He spoke volumes through those eyes, communicating over the years his longing to belong.

Nils snuggled into my lap, and I asked him to tell me his prayer requests. He answered immediately and earnestly with his first need, “Peace, Aunt Alissa. I need peace.” I wasn’t sure I heard him, so I asked him again, and once again he answered, “Peace, Aunt Alissa, a lot of peace.”

I was taken back for a moment, but Nils pointed to the small square of paper and asked me to write it down. I asked him if there was anything else I could pray for, and he answered, “Joy, Aunt Alissa. I need more joy.” My eyes began to fill with tears as I dutifully wrote down his second request.

“Is there anything else?” I asked, and again he answered without hesitation, “Love, Aunt Alissa. I need big love.” He saw my face and responded to my tears with a big hug.

Nils’ requests reminded me of how powerfully God is working in our children’s hearts and lives and that their hunger for true riches grows as they sense God’s touch. We have so much to be thankful for, especially for those children who will be home with families this Christmas. Look with me for a moment at the answers that came for our children in 2014 . . .

  • Five children were adopted internationally into strong, loving families
  • Additionally, a sibling group of four children has been identified for international adoption and will finalize in early 2015
  • Four children were placed in foster/adoptive families in Latvia
  • Twelve children were able to return to their birth families or a relative
  • Twenty-six children and their families were supported in crisis, resulting in stronger families who stayed together.

We currently have 19 children living at the Sparrow’s Nest who are free for adoption. Twelve of these children are members of sibling groups of four children each. This is our miracle number because it is a rare family that is ready to adopt four children at a time. Please continue to pray with us and with the children who are waiting and learning to trust God to bring their answers to pass.

We are so grateful to report that every special need on our list from last month has been met. We thank God for friends and supporters who helped provide for these special needs, and we thank God for those who give faithfully to provide food, clothing, housing, medicine, and care for the daily needs of the children.

Nils seemed to understand his true needs this Christmas, and his prayer request is our Christmas wish for you. May you be blessed with “a lot of Peace,” “more Joy,” and “big Love” this Christmas and throughout the coming New Year!

Merry Christmas,

Alissa Stemple

For the Sparrow’s Nest Family


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