How to sum up 2 weeks full of people, look seeing God work, sickness answered prayer…? There are so many stories and we are just catching a glimpse of all God is doing. First we want to thank you for your prayers. What power we have in prayer and we saw God move and answer prayer over and over. Thank you for interceding for us!
Our first week in Tartu, we spent time with friends and former partners in ministry. God has raised up a fantastic group of leaders who are training and challenging the next generation of leaders and disciple makers. The original church we were a part of in Tartu (Salem) has sent out 2 groups of young people in the last 8 years. While each group has started a unique church the original church is still healthy and growing and has their own group of young people. We saw some that were not believers when we left 5 years ago, now they are walking with God and bringing others along! The church we were a part of planting has bought their first building (they have rented until now) and we were able to see this new building. It takes eyes of faith to see what this building will be- there is a lot of work to be done, but they are preparing to make this into a space where the church (Risttee or Cross roads in English) can worship and build community in.
The second week we joined with a team from Chicago and a youth ministry in Rakvere (Estonia) to do an English Camp. We had 38 students and with all the leaders we had a total of 53 people. There were at least 10 first time students that came who had never thought about God. It was exciting to see God open their eyes and many of them took several steps in considering God and opening their hearts towards belief! We had 3 students accept Christ and many others that are very close, but need some time to think and learn more. How exciting to see people experience God for the first time. There were also students that had accepted Christ before, but there are very few believers in their town and they had walked away for God. In their time at camp they were reminded of God’s love and renewed their relationship with God. There is a new church plant in Kunda (where 6 of the students were from) and it is exciting to know there is someone to follow up with the students in this town and help them grow.
What brings so much joy is to see the Rakvere church producing young people that are disciple makers. Evelyn (Efka) is excellent at challenging the young people to take steps of faith and constantly helping them think of reproducing new groups and leaders! We have prayed for years for disciple making ministries and it is wonderful to see it in action! Praise God! One of her girls groups was hanging out the Friday before camp and they had a girl accept Christ. Renata (a believer) had never prayed with someone before to accept Christ, so she invited a more mature leader (Kadi) to come pray with her and her friend. Renata said I’ll watch this time and then maybe sometime in the future I can pray with someone. Little did she know that she would pray with 2 students at camp!!
Efka is on the right with Renata in the middle. Enele is on the left and was in Jen’s small group.
There are hundreds of stories to tell, this is just a taste! But do you hear the theme of growth, disciple making, and reproduction??? These are things we prayed for when we lived in Estonia and it is so fun to meet people we did not know then, but people who God raised up to take steps of faith.
Here are some typical camp pics- camp dance and eating potatoes!