Heating System explodes at Likumi Children’s Home

This home for needy orphan children is situated in eastern Latvia towards the Russian border and needs a lot of help. This is one of orphanages we support in Latvia. In the desperately cold winter of 2003 they called out for help. They had no food, medicines or warm blankets, the children were very sick and a few of them close to death. In three days we’d raised the funds for 2 blankets for each child and medicines that saved the children’s lives. They are alive and healthy today.

In July 2006 their heating system blew up and they were without heating and hot water. The damage was extensive. The furnaces burn pine wood which over 30 years deposited ash in the chimney, together with the sap from the wood. This became completely blocked and eventually the sap and ash ignited. The back draft shot back from the chimney and exploded in the furnaces incinerating everything in the room, destroying everything – the electrical system, the wiring, the lagging, the switchgear boxes and blowing the huge wooden doors off the building. I’m so glad that nobody, especially the old janitor, was in the building or nearby. They would have been killed in the explosion and incinerated in the fire.

It cost $10,000 US to repair and replace the damaged fixtures and electrics. It got it all repaired and in operation before the next cold weather arrived in October. Thank you for standing with us to get this vitally necessary project completed before the snows started falling that October.

On our visit that July we had a very sweet day with the children who were thrilled to receive the toys, clothes, provisions, books and medicines we bring, with genuine joy. This little girl named Andra, has only one kidney. Many of the children have low immune systems and struggle with illnesses in the winter months, but you never hear them complaining.

Just recently we heard that the local government cancelled even the little bit of money they were giving for the maintenance of their buildings. We’ve told the orphanage director we’ll stand with them to help with some of their urgent summer needs.


If you would like to help us with the support of these needy children you may make a donation on this site, see link in menu, or you may send a check to to Smethurst Ministries Inc at PO Box 566 Cape Canaveral FL 32920. Thank you for your compassion and kindness.

David Smethurst