A New Day for Lithuania

Rachel Chimits

Children are finding God in the wake of war and occupation.

Did you know that Lithuania has two independence days? This oddity hints at their tumultuous history clamped between the Baltic Sea and Russia. 

Nearly fifty years after being annexed by the USSR, this small ex-soviet country is still finding its feet in the wake of an oppressive occupation. Issues with unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence are common in Luthuania’s badly depressed economy. 

Countless children from families in the low socioeconomic strata end up running around the streets unwatched for hours every day because their parents or guardians are at work or absent. 

Where Can the Children Go?

World Challenge supports The Light of Hope, a day care facility for children and rehabilitation center for women from high-risk families. In one particular case this spring, two boys showed up at the day care because their mother, Lijana, wanted to protect them from an alcoholic relative. 

Light of Hope workers conduct regular Bible lessons with all the children, but they also show their young charges how to shower, wash their own clothes and cook a meal. 

Since local schools charge students for field trips and extracurricular activities, Lijana’s boys continued coming to the day care throughout the summer. 

The Light of Hope offers summer camps to the children which often gives them much-needed relief from negative home situations. Many have never left their town before and are awed by the lush forests and rolling fields beyond the city limits. 

During this summer away, Lijana’s sons both asked God to come into their lives.

Working from the Ground Up

Lijana has begun attending the center’s Bible studies, often coming with her sons. 

In addition to examining scripture, The Light of Hope offers psychological and career counseling along with parenting classes. These help people like Lijana see how God’s work in her and her boys’ hearts practically moves into every part of their lives. 

William Bennett, a former US secretary of education, stated, “The family is the nucleus of civilization and the basic social unit of society.” Where God heals a family, one step is taken toward healing a neighborhood, a city and a country.  

World Challenge is committed to supporting The Light of Hope ministry that is opening doors for God to step in and heal the Lithuanian people. Please consider joining in this work by making a secure online donation to our missions fund.