The Baltic Bread Project was born out of a time of prayer within a Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School. One of the students could see in his mind’s eye, bread – a symbol of Jesus love – being given to people. And so, from there the idea began to take form.
The bread would need to be fresh, it would be given freely, just as Jesus love is freely given. It would not only be given to the poor, but offered to anyone. The bread would be given with the idea that people could keep and enjoy it, or they could take it and pass it on to someone who may have need of it.
It’s purpose is to simply share Jesus love through this simple yet profound act of kindness and generosity, and to change people’s thinking about giving. It’s not meant to be a hook, in order to get people to listen to us speak about Jesus. However, it has opened doors of conversations about God and life, as well as given opportunity to pray with people and listen to their stories.
People from all over the world have participated and to date have been a part of giving over 4000 loaves of bread.
“The idea is simple. In groups of two you go on the streets. You give the bread to people and say, ‘this bread is free, a symbol of Jesus love’. Just as he gave His son, this bread is free for people. If a person is interested, you can continue with talking more about God and the Gospel. The most interesting part is that you see their reaction toward God’s grace in a few seconds. It is also surprising that people are more open for gifts from God than from you.”
“We joined with the YWAM Riga staff to do the Baltic Bread Project. Basically we had 80 loaves of fresh bread bought from this amazing bakery, and then we would just walk around and give them to people, rich and poor alike. With it we’d share that this was a symbol of Jesus love to enjoy and share. I went with a couple who were visiting from Montana, so none of us spoke Latvian (or Russian). It was interesting to see the different responses to our attempt to give bread. Some refused, others were so grateful, some didn’t quite understand it... but it was such a simple way of reaching out and I know many were very touched by the gesture. The two that stand out to me was an older man who smelt of alcohol and he could well have been homeless, or at least having a rough life. He was so grateful for the bread and for about 10 minutes wanted desperately to share something, which I have no clue what was. My complete lack of knowledge of the Latvian and Russian languages made it impossible for me to understand and even trying very hard I just couldn’t. In the end we shook hands and I just blessed him and prayed for Him to encounter Jesus and find fullness of life! Then we saw three old ladies sitting on a bench and went over to them. At first they didn’t want the bread because they didn’t understand, but then I, in some kind of Latvian, read the paper with the message of why we were giving out bread (we had it written down) and they lit up and received it. Oh it made my heart so happy. It reminded me of visiting the grandmothers in Brazil and I so wished I could have sat down and had a good old natter with them. They were so sweet!”