Posted date: 24 Nov 2014
MEN 3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE
We had been tasked with the job of casting CVM’s vision of winning men for Jesus in Latvia. As we sat on the plane, on October 24th
Life expectancy of men: 69 years
Life expectancy of women: 79 years
After months of planning and hours of Skype calls logged, we found ourselves sitting on an Air Baltic flight from Gatwick to Riga. Myself and Suneel, who is the international coordinator for CVM, had been tasked with the job of casting CVM’s vision of winning men for Jesus in Latvia. As we sat on the plane, on October 24th, flicking through our notes ready for Saturday we both had a sense of peace for the weekend having soaked it in prayer during the weeks running up. We landed at Riga International airport early afternoon and were driven to our host’s house, briefly stopping to look at the location for Saturday’s seminars.
That evening we had a chance to get to know the city a bit better. We were driven into the city centre and our hosts Vitali and Andrejs showed us some of the sights. After eyeing up the city centre’s historic buildings, along with the 21st century modern counterparts every big city has, we wandered into a local restaurant for some food.
In the 30-40’s age group, men’s mortality is 3x higher than women’s
Having researched Latvia we knew that there is definitely the need for reaching out to men. “Latvian macho culture encourages risky behaviour, such as fast driving, smoking and especially heavy drinking.” These sound like common issues facing men worldwide but when you put it next to the statistics that say women out live men on average by 10 years and that 80% of all suicides in Latvia are men then it drives home the need for Latvian men to come to know Jesus.
Saturday was a full day of casting CVM’s vision of strategically winning men for Christ. 21 men attended with a video link to another location. The day was full of envisioning, discussion, case studies, table football and of course fun videos. It was a great day and brilliant to have people from all types of church denominations there: Baptist; Lutheran; Catholic; Evangelical were amongst those there. We pray that they may be united by the task of reaching men in Latvia.
Over 80% of suicides are men
On Sunday, Suneel preached at our host’s church. His message was “Jesus was a friend of sinners”. Suneel raised the point that for whatever reason, lots of Christians lose all their non-Christian friends after a few months of becoming a Christian, highlighting the need for us to strategically aim our evangelism at our non believing friends.
In the afternoon we had a chance to visit an ex-German concentration camp from the Second World War. The site was sobering especially as we approach Remembrance Day. That evening we attended a church service that was aimed at late teens, 20’s and early 30’s. It was a great way to end what was a busy and exciting weekend. Also giving us a chance to try out singing in Latvian, which I am sure provided much entertainment for those stood around us.
80% of people who came to Christ during Billy Graham missions, came with a friend.
Actions: Pray! Pray that we see churches all over Latvia engaging with men’s specific ministry. Pray that this weekend will have been a catalyst to spark a movement of men in Latvia committed to being evangelistic.
Thanks for reading,
Sam Lomas, CVM Intern