Wow, so, it’s been a little while since we’ve updated our blog. The past couple months have been so busy with new things starting and some old things resuming. Here’s a little bit about what’s been going on with us:
We had taken a break from Game Night for the past couple months. We had been doing it every week for 2 years or so, and we felt like we needed a break and needed to make some changes to make it better. So at the beginning of March, we started back again, and it has been great. We really missed having more time to spend with the youth, so it has been good to start back. For those who don’t know what Game Night is, we open our home to the youth in Valga, to hang out, play games, and have some snacks. It’s a chance for us to practice our Estonian, and for them to practice their English, but most of all, it’s just a cool time to get to know each other better and build relationships.
We’ve been very encouraged to see 10 to 12 youth consistently coming to youth nights on Fridays. Chris teaches, and we have two amazing translators, Kerli and Vaike, who alternate weeks translating. We pray that these youth really take the message of the gospel into their hearts, that they believe it and that God will transform their lives through it. We have faith that He is working in each of their hearts to bring them to salvation. Please join us in praying for them!
Kid’s Bible Study
Kerli has started a new Bible study with some of the older kids from Children’s Church. These are kids who don’t just attend Children’s Church, but have started coming early to be helpers with us in Children’s Church. The idea of the study is to really pour into them, get to know them, pray with them, answer their questions, and grow and learn together. These kids are not from Christian homes. They have little knowledge of what we would call the “basics” of the Bible. So each week, we are meeting with them to teach and to learn. Laura has been helping Kerli (as much as possible with her limited Estonian skills!). Pray for us as we lead them, and pray that their hearts would continue to be open and soft toward God.
Alpha course is an introduction to Christianity for non-churchgoers, answering some basic questions like, “Who is Jesus?”, “Why did Jesus have to die?” and “Why should I pray?” The church here in Valga has begun its 3rd Alpha course – starting last night! Those attending will share a nice meal together, listen to a short talk, and then have time to discuss the talk with those at their table. We are helping on one of the teams to cook food for the course. Please pray for good discussions, and for those attending, that their hearts would be open to hear about God!
The past two and a half years, we have been incredibly blessed by our home church, Salem Chapel. They have supported us with cards, packages, prayers, and finances. As our financial support from Salem Chapel comes to an end this fall, we’ve been praying that God would show us what direction to take. Does He want us to leave Estonia? We really feel the answer is no, He still wants us here. After a lot of prayer and exploring some different ideas, God has led us to a missions organization called Josiah Venture. We are moving toward joining their team here in Estonia, and raising support through them. Please pray for us, as many decisions still need to be made and we also have a few obstacles to overcome.
We have really been trying to learn and practice more Estonian, but it is still difficult for us. We understand some and can speak some, but we still have a long way to go! Kerli has been doing Estonian lessons with us each week to keep us accountable to studying, and it has really helped. She encourages us to practice as much as we can. And the kids and youth help us too! They have learned to correct us when we say something wrong so we can improve.
And life here goes on. The snow is continuing to melt (it’s almost all gone!), the sun has been coming out more, and the days are getting longer. We’re both looking forward to warmer weather!
So that’s what’s happening with us. Please continue to pray for us and the ministry here. Thanks for all your support and prayers!