Saturday morning at 9 o'clock saw us on our way to the local radio station. Alur and some of the leaders who visited us in March had spoken about us on the radio a couple of weeks previously so our visit to the station was eagerly anticipated. Why had these English people come to Kuressare? We were able to speak at length about our church and what we do, about the budding relationship with Alur and Marvi and the church in Kuressaare that they lead. How lives had been changed through the many outreaches we run in the community and the change brought about by God's love for all people no matter their history or background.
Sue spoke about her particular reason for coming and the mums and toddlers work she has been involved with for many years.
After an hour and a half at the radio station it was time to walk to the church building for a leaders meeting. Below is a photo of the church building. It is surrounded by land on both sides and behind it that also belongs to the church.
And opposite the church building is this building, a former Russian barracks. It is big, and lies empty and the local people don't know what to do with it!
From 11 o'clock we then had a leaders meeting when they plied us with questions about getting people involved in serving in the church, what would be the next step for them as a church, gathering teams and so on. There was a great sense of expectation, vision and passion for the future allied to reality. I believe there is a great group of leaders here and it was thoroughly enjoyable to be with them and talk with them. No awkwardness, just a great sense of ease and people who are on a mission.
After lunch, it was time for a break. Sue went off to explore Kuressaare castle and we had a swim in a pool! After a meal Ann and I then went to meet the young people of the church at their 7 o'clock meeting. (Sue carried on talking mums and toddlers with Angela).
One of the noticeable things here is that many people are really tall, both girls and guys. And so I found it at the youth meeting. I was surrounded by young men all taller than me, and that doesnt happen very often. I have seen several people literally head and shoulders taller than me! No wonder volleyball is their national game.
Sunday morning brought us to the church meeting at 11am. I spoke on serving in the church from Mt 20 v20-28. Many churches that have experienced communism when everything was centrally organised and initiative was stifled, struggle to involve people as everyone looks to the pastor to do it all. I spoke into this talking of Jesus who had a team of 12 to impact the world around him, and how we can all serve in the church and how the church needs this if we are to impact the society around us. Then it was time for lunch together, and then catch our bus back to Tallinn, a 4 hour journey. Farewells are never easy, and ours certainly wern't as we left many behind who we have grown to love and appreciate. But I am sure we will see them again. Four if not five of the ladies want to come to our womems REAL conference in June
We enjoyed trying to get to grips with the Estonian language. Some words are pretty straightforward and others seem next to impossible. The bus station, bussijaam, is one of the easy ones. From Tallinn bus station we got a taxi to the airport, saw Sue checked in for her return flight, absolutely delighted that she had been with us and been used so well to share all that she knows about mums and toddlers. That she has impacted people here is no doubt and I believe lives will be changed eternally because of her visit here.
We stay on a a couple more days to meet other leaders and then also head home. What a wonderful time and way to use our lives.
Love from Ann and Ken