I have three great passions in my life – nature, children and being a Christ Follower. I have always loved to be in nature and explore God’s amazing Creation. I’ve always loved working with kids and helping them to discover the world around them. But all these years I had a feeling I was not doing enough. God was calling me somewhere else where I could use my potential more. In the meantime, I volunteered in "Scripture Union" in Latvia.
Last summer, I got to taste a little bit of the Leadership Lab International (LLI) from Croatia. There I met Steve, Michael, Brenda and some students that chose to join the LLI 2018 team, which helped me in making the final decision to participate in the program. I started to see how I can combine my three biggest passions and follow God’s will. Those were very special and important 5 days.
After this LLI Training in Estonia, I felt that it was the right time to make some changes in my life and go full time in Ministry work. I left my job, but I knew that I needed to grow as a leader, discover my strengths and weakness, get more practice in Camp Ministry. So Leadership Lab International was the perfect option for me. I went there having no idea how important this summer would be.
It is not just a program. This summer I discovered new things about God and myself every day, I improved my language skills and expanded my English vocabulary. I learned about my culture’s impact on how I was raised and how I think. I challenged myself to try new things like rock climbing and rappelling, archery, canoeing, orienteering, doing crafts with leather and wood burning.
But most importantly I made lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. I met so many amazing campers and volunteers this year that helped me to clearly see God’s love and care for His people.
My LLI team and staff became my family this summer. We built a team and learned together, we prayed and worshiped our Heavenly Father together. We cooked and traveled. We spent countless hours laughing until bedtime. We helped each other grow and become true God’s disciples. We served together spiritually - working in different Ministries, and practically - cleaning the camp place and doing yard work.
And above all I had an amazing support team who took care of me: I had special debrief times with Steve and our mentor Megan, coffee talks with Jenny and Brenda, and a supportive prayer group back at home.
When I came to Croatia at the beginning of this summer, I had lost my joy in life and had many insecurities. But God had already started His work in me.
One of my prayers during this summer was that God would take me as a useful tool in His hands. There were some special moments in camps when just a simple conversation or one of my actions inspired some campers to make changes in their lives. One special girl, who had been struggling with faith for many years, had many important questions about life. I had the amazing opportunity to be her counselor. She decided to stop being afraid and make some changes in her spiritual life. These moments were my answered prayers. I had to be there this summer because God used me in His work.
And that is so amazing! I grew week by week, I becoming more confident in myself, I discovered new leadership skills, learned that I am a peacemaker, encourager and team player and, most importantly, I renewed my relationship with God and regained joy.
Croatia will always have a special place in my heart because of the people and relationships which I built there. We have continued to communicate, praying together and for each other.
I can surely say that I came home much more equipped and prepared for my new role in Scripture Union Latvia. And also in this new journey, I continue to be mentored by the team during successes and happy moments and also during struggles in life and Ministry work.
Zane Jansone, LLI 2018 Participant
“Looking back at this summer I still cannot grasp everything God has done in and through me during LLI. There was so much and there is still so much more to come! I am still in a process of unpacking, but I can share one significant thing that I learnt and that has influenced the way I look at my relationship with God.
That is learning to be a better disciple by making abiding in Him the foundation of my journey. There have been hardships and there has been JOY in doing this. However, now I am so different from how I was at the beginning of LLI! Now I am rejoicing in His love knowing that seeing the fruit of my works is the part I do not always need to understand.
I stand in awe and wonder having no words but praise and worship to my Alpha and Omega! And this poem is my praise to Him!”
In the depths of the sea of my innermost being
I believed in the lies and I followed that pride.
You spoke and took away part of my vision
With love you pruned for the greater Provision.
First, You created man like yourself
But his reckless pride sent him right to hell.
Nothing but love and love alone
Could redeem and restore that heart of stone.
Second, You died dressed all in flesh
After washing their feet in that garden you wept.
My God, my Lord, my Restoration
Your cup of death has brought Salvation!
In the depths of the sea of my innermost being
In the tunnels of mind where the warriors fight
You moved mountains and here I am seeing
Most glorious might – Lord you dress me in white!
Nobody can rob me again
Of the robe and the ring and the slaughtered Lamb.
I belong in your throne made out of thorns
You suffered for me inclining heavenly horns.
In the depths of your Mercy and on mountain of Grace
To the altar of Moses, I bring offering of Praise.
I choose to lay down all of my heart
Your Will be done
Your Kingdom come
Oh Church arise,
We are His Bride!
Today, as I reflect on the transformation that took place in Roberta's life, I am so thankful for all of you who partner with us in prayer and support to make LLI possible.
It is when we see the difference God has made in the lives of these young leaders and the campers that come through the DPB House doors that we are reminded about why we are seeking to raise funds so more beds become available. We are continuing to ask God to raise up the funds for the LLI Cabin project so we can gain back beds that were lost under new regulations as we had to remodel the DPB House to meet new codes.
Honestly, this journey has not been easy, but your prayers and generous donations have enabled us to get this far and each donation has been such an encouragement. Every matching grant, donation, every prayer in and around the building site has brought us together with a focus to God alone be the glory in and through Jesus’ ministry at the DPB House Camp and Training Center.
Together, we press on in this vision to see a facility completed so others may meet with their God away from the noises of life in a place where they may rest and grow.
Would you consider joining us in providing funding to finish the LLI Cabin so even more young men and women will have the opportunity to grow in Christian character, commitment to God’s call on their lives and competency to be servant leaders in a world in need?
Thank you for considering joining us in expanding ministry so more young leaders may be trained throughout the year.
Grace and Peace,