Yesterday the team said goodbye and left for Tallinn. Even as team members leave, we carry our Estonian friends in our hearts and work hard stateside to continue to encourage and support them. Bob & Patti stayed behind to facilitate a pastors seminar in Tartu on Monday and a Stephen Ministers seminar in Tallinn on Tuesday.
This morning Kathy preached at Reedemer Lutheran Church outside of Tallinn and Bob at Kambja Church.
We have seen so many things here that God is doing and have also come to better understand the difficulties of spreading the Gospel message in Estonia. We are ever grateful for your prayers. We will continue to blog throughout the year to keep you updated, to share more pictures and with the hope that some of you will be touched by God to travel with us to Estonia next year.
Please keep scrolling down and take a look at prayer requests and pictures.
Some Closing Pictures...
Such wonderful days we have been having. Camp attendance is near a record high. Our worship time is amazing. This year, thanks to Barbara and Eva-Liisa we have the words in English and Estonian. What a difference that makes! We know you are praying for us and what a difference that makes. Every day there are opportunities to pray with people. God opens doors into their lives and it is with great joy we can enter in with prayer.
Our Verse For Today: Wait for the Lord, Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Following is a picture of us on the first day with the students. More people keep coming every day. Click on each photo and look at the class pictures. These are the people you are praying for.
Prayer Requests for Estonia (new requests in purple):
Praise God for answered prayer of healing! And, continue to pray for many more to be healed.
Praise God for pulling our team together in unity and prayer!
Pray for Arno, the organ tuner, that his hands are healed and that he can pursue his career in theology & music.
Pray for Revival.
For the youth: One of our teen students reported two suicides in his school last year. In the adult classes they also reported suicide attempts. Pray against a spirit of suicide and against anything else that might be causing students and young adults to be so overwhelmed by the troubles of life.
For the team: Thank God for good health and energy! Pray for wisdom in teaching.
For the camp: Thank God for a most wonderful turnout of students, young & old.
For the students: Many of the adults have great concerns for their children. Pray that their children will come to know Jesus. There are many health problems here. Please pray for good health for our students.
For the country: Pray for peace and that the borders of the country will be respected. The years of occupation are remembered too well here.
Monday was a day of many steps as we discovered where the locations our classrooms. St. Paul's is a restored church with a magnificent sanctuary and rooms scattered all around. The morning was spent getting ready for the students we were expecting in the afternoon.
Getting Together Saturday and Worship on Sunday
Saturday the team from Kuressaare met up with the rest of the team from the States who had been busy touring southern Estonia. Eenok Haamer, the founder of Tartu Academy (TAT) and Siimon Haamer, his son and Dean of the school, showed team members the underground bunker Eenok and his mother and brother had lived in during Soviet occupation. On their return we had a wonderful meal together in the town square.
Sunday, Pastor Kathy traveled to Mustvee with part of the team. She was able to preach in both Mustvee and Lohusu. Pastor Bob preached at Pastor Aivo's church. Mot, Pam and Linda worshiped at St. Paul's in Tartu.
Only 5 days to become acquainted with our students on the beautiful Island of Saaremaa, but 5 days becomes a lifetime of friendship with brothers and sisters in Christ in Estonia. We encouraged one another as we studied the story of Joseph and God's faithfulness to him. Our camp verse: Hebrews 11:1 Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
We have moved on to Tartu and are excited to host the 12th Bible-based English language camp in this university city in Estonia. Please continue to follow us through the week. We are sure your prayers for us and the Estonian people are heard by God! Thank you so much.
Some Final Pictures from the Island of Saaremaa
We have come to the end of camp in Kuressaare. The week was filled with sharing Jesus, our stories, and the story of Joseph. Challenges were faced with a few who are not quite sure they believe in God, but they were open to talking about it, and we were very encouraged. One teen came as an atheist but by the end of the week was willing to think about it.
It is hard here for people to trust one another because of the years under Soviet occupation and some of our greatest joy comes from listening to people's stories and encouraging them in their walk with God to reach out to one another. To hear a classroom erupt in discussion is music to the ears!
We love to pray for people and saw so many tears that just touched our hearts. Thanks be to God. Thursday we gave gifts to the students, bars of homemade soap brought from Iowa by Chris and made by a member of his church and beautiful hand-knitted wash cloths from Washington made by Pam and members of her church. Our students were so grateful. Thank you!
Al is traveling home to Colorado and Tartu team members are on the ground in Estonia. Camp at St. Paul's Church begins Monday. We are so excited to see what God will do there.
Please join us in these prayers for:
CELEBRATING OUR LAST DAY OF CAMP IN KURESSAARE
It is Wednesday evening in Kuressaare and we have had a full and exciting day. Hopefully, tomorrow we will post pictures. Tonight we ask that you pray for the Estonians.
Please pray for:
Estonian pastors, many of whom do several hundred funerals each year. This is a small nation, where people are dying much more quickly than they are being born.
Pray for the soldiers conducting exercises here and for the people who live in fear.
Pray for the youth of this nation, many of whom do not believe in God.
Pray for full healing for Ester from cancer.
Pray for healing for many others, also. So many have told us of their struggles.
Pray for Rein, a young friend who is drawn to come here every year. He suffers with much confusion and has very special needs. Pray for us to hear God's voice and to pray accordingly.
Today we took class pictures. These are many of the people we are asking you to pray for. Click on the individual pictures to see what level of English they are learning and teachers and translator names.
Opening worship with robust singing, David's testimony and class organizations got things rolling. We have students at every level of English.
As of Friday evening all of the team members were safely in Kuressaare at the hostel. We shared a meal together at the Windmill Restaurant. Pastor Bob & Patti completed the seminar for church workers on the Father's great love for all of us with a very meaningful time of prayer. Saturday we had a free day of rest and today we had a great day of worship at St. Lawrence Church. Pastor Bob was able to bring a greeting. Our friendships grow stronger here and we are meeting new people every day, encouraging them to come for English classes and telling them about Jesus. God opens doors and we are excited to again minister to the people, this year about Joseph.
Please pray for those who will come tomorrow, for a good understanding of the teachings and for hearts open to receive from our Lord. Our hearts go out to the people in Lodge Grass, Montana. Mot and Pam's congregation for many years has sent youth mission teams to the Crow Indian Reservation. Please pray.
Enjoy the pictures we have attached! Please check out the other camps by clicking on the tabs. We are so privileged and blessed to have our Director of EEMN , David Breidenbach, and his wife and partner in missions, Angela, with us in Estonia!
A wonderful turnout of 15 church workers (a very significant increase from last year!) came to hear and share about the Father's love for all of us. The seminar continues tomorrow. It is interesting to consider how we think about God and how He desires us to come to Him as His children. We shared together reflections of how we think about God and how our relationships with our own fathers has affected our view of God.
It was a good beginning to ministry here in Estonia on the Island of Saaremaa. Please pray for us that God may speak to us and that we may be the light of Christ to the people here. Pray for renewal, refreshment, and recommitment to Christ and a welcoming of the Heavenly Father's love for all of us. You can pray this using the verses we shared today, Ephesians 3:14-19.
Please pray for our team members to arrive here safely. Some were delayed after complications in Amsterdam and are detained a whole day. Pray for safe arrival tomorrow evening at 7:30. (Also, that we can all be good witnesses even when things don't go so well.) Pray for us as a team as we prepare for the language camp beginning Monday. We are very excited to come together and to meet our Estonian friends, and make new friends in this 12th year of short-term team ministry. God is good!