Baltic Chrysalis Empowers a New Generation in Eastern Europe


Baltic Chrysalis #6 concluded Sunday evening, March 15, at Birzai United Methodist Church in Birzai, Lithuania.  Seventeen young men from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania spent three days together with a Baltic Chrysalis team of 27, learning more about God’s abundant love and God's call on their lives. Once again the North Alabama Conference was represented on the team. Rev. David Lee, senior pastor at Lester Memorial UMC in Oneonta, accompanied Lester Memorial member Bob Bentley, who has worked on Baltic Chrysalis teams in years past, to serve on the team. This was Rev. Lee’s first experience as a Chrysalis team member as well as his first trip to Latvia and Lithuania.

Baltic Chrysalis is the sister community of Alabama Young Adult Chrysalis. AYAC has supported the ministry since 2003, helping it move from the dream of a few young people to reality. For the first few years, several Americans were members of each Baltic Chrysalis team. Every year the support required from the Alabama group has decreased. And while the Baltic Chrysalis Community is now almost self-sufficient, the Alabamians who have been involved still enjoy the relationship.

“I'm just glad I got to go and be a part of it again,” said Bentley. “Their music leaders are ready to lead, and that is exciting. Now I'll just have to find other excuses to go and visit the friends I have made through Baltic Chrysalis.”

“The trip was inspirational to me,” said Rev. Lee. “It was exciting to meet and work with young adults hungry for revival of the church in the Baltics. I also was blessed to meet and talk with some wonderful pastors from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and Dan and Courtney Randall, a missionary couple from the North Carolina Conference. I learned a lot about the challenges they face and how we might help them. I was particularly interested in learning more about Camp Wesley.”

Camp Wesley is a United Methodist camp which was funded by North Alabama and other conferences of the UMC. Several teams from North Alabama churches have traveled to Latvia to spend a week or more working on the many projects needed to make Camp Wesley functional.

Bentley has his first excuse for another visit when he and other musician friends lead the first Praise Band Festival in June, hosted by Camp Wesley. For more information on the festival, E-mail Bob Bentley or visit the Camp Wesley web site.

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