February 11-13, Riga, LATVIA. The Constituency meeting was held in Riga to elect the new Baltic Union Conference officers and department leaders for the next 5 years. The Lithuanian Mission Field officers were also elected as stipulated in the BAUC Constitution and By-laws. 54 delegates came from the whole Baltic Union Conference. Constituency meeting was opened with the challenging key-note address of the Trans-European Division (TED) President Dr. B. Wiklander.
The Constituency meeting was led by Dr. B. Wiklander and assisted by Dr. R. Bruinsma, the Secretary of the Trans-European Division of General Conference. It was relatively short Constituency meeting that lasted only one and a half days. It started on Thursday at 11:00 and went to 20:00, on Friday it started at 9:00 and the whole session was closed by 16:00, just before the Sabbath began.
The BAUC Officers and most of the Department Directors presented their reports on screen using video projector.
216 Evangelistic Campaigns were held, resulting in the baptism of 3009 new church members.
BAUC workers participated in 21 campaigns, resulting in baptism of 283 new souls for Christ.
142 evangelistic campaigns were held with Global Mission support.
25 campaigns with evangelists from the GC.
Thanks to sponsors, 49 campaigns were held in BAUC.
14 new churches and 25 church-groups were established in the BAUC.
By help of the 13th Sabbath-School offering we bought church building in Kaunas.
14 volunteers were prepared in Pioneer program in Riga. They were sent out to 10 places in the Baltic countries. They visited 1020 families and their work brought 22 baptisms. Six of those volunteers became pastors.
Ministry for the deaf:
A Deaf Bible school is opened in Latvian Conference.
With help from TED “Voice of Hope” radio studio was opened in Riga in 1995. Now it produces radio programs for Christian Radio in Latvia, helps to translate video materials for Lithuania, and many music cassettes for youth. It has 2 recording engineers and 8 teams for program recording. People write letters to program teams with questions about faith and religion.
We have established Internet presence, news are delivered on regular basis. Almost all departments have e-mail.
Great support in the field of education we received from TED, Grigg’s University and Newbold College. In 1998 in Riga was opened academic extension school for BA program for pastors from the Baltic states, Albania, Greece and Poland.
Books printed (Titles):
- Estonia – 8
- Latvia – 21
- Lithuania – 32
- Estonia – 45.000
- Latvia – 105.000
- Lithuania – 147.000
- Total – 297.000
- Estonia – 55.000
- Latvia – 138.000
- Lithuania – 93.000
- Total – 286.278
Missionary work of colporteurs:
In 5 years colporteurs have worked almost 80.000 hours. Here is the result of their work:
- Baptised – 105
- Free Literature given away – 19.435
- Prayers Offered – 6368
- Bible courses – 5502
- Bible course enrolled – 4793
After department directors’ report, Nominating committee was elected to choose candidate for the next Baltic Union president. Committee chose the same person – Valdis Zilgalvis. Constituency meeting delegates elected him as BAUC president for the next five years third time. The officers of Lithuanian Mission Field also were re-elected.
On Friday TED President Dr. B. Wiklander advised the nominating committee to have all BAUC officers in Riga, so that all could expect better work. Aarne Kriisk was nominated and elected as a Vice-President of the Baltic Union. The new Vice-President was then the Secretary of the BAUC. He will also be responsible for the Stewardship department. Then Nominating committee nominated candidates for the different departments. Constituency meeting delegates approved them. Most of the previous department directors stayed and additional departments were added — ADRA coordinator and Health Ministries department. Responsibilities for ADRA coordination, communications and health issues will have Guntis Bukalders. Meeting was closed with common picture of all Constituency meeting delegates.
On the Sabbath Dr. R. Bruinsma held Sabbath School and Dr. B. Wiklander preached in Russian and Latvian congregations. In Latvian congregation he had sermon “Until the Lost be found”, where he emphasizing need of personal experience of the mercy of God to became powerful witnesses about Christ.
On Sunday the first meeting of the newly elected BAUC Executive Committee was held. Department directors received their job descriptions and itinerary for the year 1999.
Newly elected Baltic Union Conference officers:
President: Valdis Zilgalvis
Vice-President: Aarne Kriisk
Secretary: Andrejs Arinsh
Treasurer: Zigurds Laudurgs
BAUC Department directors:
ADRA: Guntis Bukalders
Children’s ministries: John Dela Paz III
Communication: Guntis Bukalders
Education: Viesturs Rekis
Evangelism: Andrejs Arinsh
Health ministries: Guntis Bukalders
Ministerial association: Andrejs Arinsh
Personal ministries: Viesturs Rekis
Public affairs and Religious liberty: Valdis Zilgalvis
Publishing: Zigurds Laudurgs
Sabbath school: Viesturs Rekis
Stewardship: Aarne Kriisk
Youth ministry: John De la Paz III
BAUC Executive Committee:
Valdis Zilgalvis: Chairman
John Dela Paz III
Officers of the Lithuanian Mission Field:
President: Danielius Ozhelis
Secretary: Bertold Hibner
Treasurer: Vilma Vanagiene
Report of the Committee for Credential and Licenses (R. Bruinsma):
Valdis Zilgalvis, Aarne Kriisk, Andrejs Arinsh, Viesturs Rekis, John Dela Paz III
Zigurds Laudurgs, Guntis Bukalders
Urve Mach, Girts Rozners, Dace Vanaga-Morica, Alnis Morics, Velta Zilgalve, Ruta Zilgalve, Vita Bukaldere
Constituency Meeting Delegates from the Baltic Union Conference:
Constituency Meeting Delegates from Estonian Conference:
Constituency Meeting Delegates from Latvian Conference:
Constituency Meeting Delegates from Lithuanian Mission Field:
Baltic Union Conference Communication Director