Reconciliation in the Baltic States
“My servants will haul the logs from Lebanon to the Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify” (1 Kings 5:9)
We need financial support to repair the roof of the Salvation Temple.
For those of you who feel it in your hearts to pray – consider joining us in Riga to evangelize in the neighborhood, or to organize a construction team to help renovate. For those who cannot come and do, please consider supporting this work financially and in prayer.
The ministry of reconciliation in the Baltics did not end with a shipment to Latvia, but rather marked only the beginning of an amazing work that God is doing and will do!
Please pray for us. May God bless you.
Where do the Funds go?
The building’s roof needs complete repair.
We are raising $50,000 to cover:
- Roof Repair (the entire roof needs to be removed and then replaced);
- The Interior of the Temple ceiling has holes and wear/tear from the water damage;
- The Stage can then be installed once the roof is protected and the ceiling no longer dripping;
It is a lot of money. Yes. But we know that the Lord brought us this far and so this financial option to contribute and donate, will remain open for those who feel in their hearts to be part of this great and future work!
Upcoming Trips & Ways to Support Us
In August, Dr Daniel Sheard (a professor from SUMMIT) and his wife Sue Sheard, including a SUMMIT senior Jacob Kuchmiy (a Ukrainian-American) and his two siblings will be traveling to Latvia to preach, teach, and share Christ’s love. Pray for us!
Shipping the Times Square Church’s stage to Latvia
Pastor David Wilkerson speaking in Estonia in 2004 received a powerful prophecy concerning the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). The Lord spoke through David Wilkerson, saying: “There comes a time that God determines that He is going to bring joy and happiness to those who mourn. God has directed it is this time – a time that God has declared – and that this is an acceptable time, my time to take vengeance upon all the damage done by history. The Communists and all the nations that came before; every man in every country that came to plunder, to ruin, to destroy. Every tear shed by every Christian all through those years. Every tear that fell to the ground – He bottled those tears. God declared years ago. This is what He had to say, “My time. In my acceptable time, I will comfort my church.”
How can you help?
It all began during my second year at SUMMIT in 2021 when after over 10 years of living in China and Asia, I began to become spiritually aware in private prayer and listening for God’s voice, that He wants me to go back to Riga, Latvia and bear witness of what He has done in my life and what He will do in the Baltics.
What happened to the Times Square Church’s choir loft and stage?
In the midsummer of 2021, Tressy Carrol and I were filming a documentary about the late Pastor William S. Carrol, and we needed some interior footage of the Times Square Church (TSC) main sanctuary. I noticed that the entire stage was removed and I asked Tressy what became of the choir loft and stage items?
While asking this, I had a vision in my mind that if the stage was being permanently removed, then the Salvation Temple in Riga is the place for it! The Salvation Temple was built in 1927 in the midst of a real and very powerful spiritual revival in Eastern Europe. After the USSR dismantled, Latvia regained her independence in 1991, leaving the Salvation Temple in then the poorest and most crime-ridden part of town. This reminded me of where Times Square Church itself was founded in its time. Similarly, the Salvation Temple is also in a part of the city where there is still great need and much work to be done among the addicted, afflicted, and abandoned. In many ways it feels as a continuous ministry, and a very symbolic one, of the same Spirit of the anointed Pastors who preached alongside Pastor Wilkerson at Times Square Church and of those who preached and ministered in Latvia decades ago. Latvia knows Pastor Wilkerson’s preaching very well and the Baltic people would be incredibly encouraged to see the symbolic power behind this move.
Tressy made some phone calls and discovered that the choir chairs were in storage. After enquiry to the whereabouts of the beautiful wood panels that made the loft, we discovered that another member of Times Square Church had personally salvaged them and stored them in Pennsylvania. This is when I felt the excitement stirring up inside, I asked the question, “Is it possible that we can ship the entire loft to Latvia and install it in the Salvation Temple in Riga because that was the one part that was not finished?” The answer came: “yes.”
The chairs arrive at Tressy’s place
A crew arrived in early Spring and packed Tressy’s garage with 120 chairs. It was a day of much thanksgiving and gratitude. Every single chair was precious from where ministers and worshippers once brought the Church into blessed prayer and song to the Lord. They ministered unto God and unto His people, bringing the entire congregation into praise. I learned much later from former Times Square Church’s Music Director, Greg Thomas, that the music on Sunday’s was seldom programmed, but rather given to the spontaneous and awesome moving and guiding of the Spirit. As the founder of the Salvation Temple, Pastor William Fetler once said, “the chairs in the church are the birthplaces of souls.”
The mahogany wood panels and stage items found in Lebanon
When we were driving up the hills to look at the wood for the first time, I saw a sign “Lebanon”. The words “My servants will haul the logs from Lebanon to the Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify” (1 Kings 5:9) came immediately to mind – why? To build the Lord’s house! Seeing the wood still intact, though it had survived winters in the fields, was remarkable. I felt then that the Lord’s hand was definitely on us and that this work was not only work, but more importantly His work.
Since then, many have helped with the heavy work of moving the wood into shelter along with the 120 choir chairs, to wait for shipment to Latvia.
More about the Salvation Temple
My history with the Salvation Temple goes back to when my father, Pastor Janis A. Smits recovered the building from the new government in 1991 for the purposes of God. The Salvation Temple was my father’s childhood church, although at that time already, the Soviets had pushed the congregation into the basement, and eventually outed them completely. My parents had been exiled from Latvia with their 10 children because my father did not compromise his faith and obedience to God. Many times the KGB interrogated, threatened, and even offered him high paying salaries if he would only stop preaching, but because he would not falter or give in to them, they finally told him, “you will go to prison,” to which my father replied, “prisons needs pastors too.”
Because of much pressure from friends in the West, my father and his family were exiled. That’s when I came in. Born in 1984 in Canada, I became their 16th and last child, and when the cold war was over, I traveled with them on their return to Latvia to serve in rebuilding and restoring the Salvation Temple and its congregations. The building itself was in terrible condition and everything needed to be renovated. For 10 years between 1996-2006 my father worked to rebuild it, and completed most of the major work, except for the stage and choir loft. This is something He had said, “needed vision.”
The Salvation Temple today
After graduating SUMMIT in May 2022, I returned to Latvia on faith. I had no job waiting for me, but I know what I heard from God. So here I am, barely 2 months later, writing from an apartment in the heart of the Salvation Temple’s neighborhood, at His complete disposal and in His service. This is only the beginning of many wonderful things to see and witness as there are many more ministries now that are developing. The Russian-speaking congregation that meets in the mornings is led by a Ukrainian Pastor Zvirid who I knew as the church’s youth pastor when I was young. When I met him and the church again, it was like a reunion and I felt the love of all the old familiar faces and many new ones. The Latvian-speaking congregation has decreased in numbers and does not have yet a full-time pastor, yet what inspires me is to see is that the congregation is attended by those living in this community and their eagerness to participate in evangelism and outreach. As a Latvian myself, knowing my language and my people, I know that I am called to walk and work among the poor, the addicted, the distraught and hopeless peoples in this vicinity, and to share the light of Christ with them and also to help them and their families to stand up and walk again. This is not work that can be done alone, and so I have been praying for fellow laborers, and many have also made their acquaintance with me. Now is the time of waiting for God to put it all together.
What does The Carrol Foundation do?
- Facilitating all collection and accounting of donations;
- Organizing the packing of the container with the brokers and the shipping company;
- Personal support and encouragement to Ephraim Smits, including:
- Arranging speaking engagements
- Raising awareness by calling churches and introducing the ministry;
- Communications whether by phone, email, or by other introduction.
- Receiving all correspondence related to this ministry and responding to them.
- TCF acts as the financial intermediary for Ephraim without taking any commission or fees. Any overflow of fund collected on behalf of the Salvation Temple will go directly to Ephraim and to support other ministries at the Salvation Temple.
If you would like to support and help us in a different way, please email Tressy Carrol at: firstname.lastname@example.org. God Bless you.
William Fetler Museum https://www.bible.lv/en/about-lbc/new-vision-future/viljams-fetlers.html
David Wilkerson’s Baltic Prophecy in 2004 (video) youtube link (here)
Ephraim Smits’ testimony at the TSC Worldwide Prayer Meeting (April 2022) youtube link (here)