Our Mission with God in Lithuania began when a small group of friends felt led to do mission work abroad with the Volunteers in Mission through the United Methodist Church. Lithuania was chosen through prayer and a night Emily Hiatt and Libby Myers decided to look through a packet of mission opportunities through the UMVIM. On that night this particular paper on the reconstruction of a church in Birzai, Lithuania dropped out of the packet 3 times. After the third time they decided to check it out on the computer. The first thing they saw were children from Lithuania singing. Tears flowing from Emily and Libby's eyes they both turned to each other and said "I know where I'm going." And so that summer of 2004 they and four friends joined the UMVIM and 11 other team members to work on a building in Birzai, Lithuania. The building was a former Soviet Recruitment Center and today it is a Beautiful United Methodist Church right in the heart of the city. This was not only the reconstruction of a building, but of the people in Lithuania as well. They were beginning to rebuild their lives after becoming free from Communist rule and we were beginning to build relationships with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Birzai through the church and through the local help center, Pagalbos Centras.

In 2005, we continued the reconstruction work in Birzai, but Jesus Christ opened a door into a whole new ministry for us with Pagalbos Centras, called the Village Ministry. The director Regina Zidoniene and two other ladies took Emily and Libby out into the outlying villages to meet the families they served. Needless to say they were devastated and heartbroken by what they witnessed and saw that day. However, it opened their eyes to why they had been led to this part of the world; these people were living in extreme poverty. Libby states that, "we thought by our standards the folks we had met in the city were living in poverty, but it wasn't even close to what we witnessed out in the villages. After that day not only were their lives changed, but they knew why God had lead them to Lithuania. The mission turned in a new direction.

Through the experience in the villages, the Gifts of Grace Ministries was born. That year of 2005 the Gifts of Grace Ministries formed a Christmas Gift Box Ministry and their own Building team, sending teams out two times per year. During the Christmas Mission of 2007, Emily, Libby and Regina met with social workers in the village of Paceriaukste. They had been feeling this tug on their hearts that there was more work to be done for the people and wanted to know what their dreams were and how Gifts of Grace could be of help. Their dream was to have a Help Center like Pagalbos Centras. Well, instant lightbulbs went off in Emily and Libby's heads. This is what God was tugging at their hearts about. Four months later, Regina and the social workers had found a house with a barn on the property for sale. Within two weeks God had provided the funds through generous donors to purchase and renovate this house into the Gifts of Grace Family Help Center in Paceriaukste. That summer the GOG building team of 18 people renovated the house and within a little over two weeks the Gifts of Grace Help Center opened. Then, in 2010 what was once a barn was brought to life as a Bakery on this same property. This all happened through the Gifts of Grace building team, along with folks from surrounding villages, friends from Sweden and elsewhere in Lithuania. In 2011 another Help Center was opened in Papilys, Lithuania.

Since 2005 Gifts of Grace has created by God's Grace wonderful relationships with the orphanage in Medeikiai, nursing homes in Nemunelio Radviliskis and in Legailiai and also a very special place for those with special needs located in Birzai. What a Blessing all these folks are to this ministry. Gifts of Grace has also reached out beyond Birzai to Andrus and Jelena Kask, who are Pastors of the United Methodist Church in Vilnius. Here we have had the opportunity to share Christmas gift boxes with the children for the past three years. We also share in evangelism with Andrus and Jelena. The newest outreach is the Support Program, which began in 2015 for the children in Birzai and the surrounding villages. At this point there are 60+ children being supported. So, this is the history for the last 13 years and by God's Gift of Grace we will continue to do His work in Lithuania.