During the Soviet era, the Latvian settlement of Gardene housed a military base, but when the USSR dissolved, the base was abandoned. Jobs disappeared, and the military barracks went into serious disrepair. Today, many people who remain in Gardene do so simply because they can't afford to leave. Pentecostal Church of Gardene, the only church in the community, reaches out to those in need. Many parents struggle to provide proper nutritious meals for their children, and the feeding program at the church ensures that the they receive at least one warm meal every weekday. Through this relationship many of the community's children and teens have begun attending the church's Sunday school and youth group.

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