The mission of the Tartu Academy of Theology is to proclaim the Word of God in Estonia, the country which suffered for 50 years under atheistic Soviet occupation and is considered to be one of the most secular countries in the world. There are no easy solutions to caring out our mission. We must take bold steps trusting God. Humanly, these steps may seem crazy and incomprehensible.
We are following signs from God and have made a great leap of faith in order to continue this mission work that my father began based on his father’s legacy. God gave us a miraculous opportunity to establish a unique Christian outreach center Home of Hope in Estonia. And we didn’t just continue this work but boldly expanded our activities and also the ability to reach Estonian people.
You may ask whether Home of Hope is God’s project or just a human effort?
We witness that prayer has a great power and through prayer we are receiving encouragement to do our mission work in Estonia.
We are also witnessing that prayer fellowhsip among Christians is important and essential part of faithlife of all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Because of that we are calling you to join with a 48 hour prayer bridge between Estonia and America on November 3rd and 4th, 2023.
September 18th we launched a fourth Bible School year with over 50 students. We started in autumn of 2020 with 110 students, second year we had around 50 and last year around 40 students. We were expecting to have this year only 30 participants. We were mistaken.
I’m currently in the U.S. on a trip. You’ll find our trip schedule below and you are welcome to join any of the meetings.
During August 14-18 we organized together with nine short term missionaries from USA an adult Bible Camp at Home of Hope. We had 30 participants and missionaries from Charity Lutheran Church (Bismarck, ND), Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church (Parker, CO), St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (Garfield, MN) and Pastor Bob Nordvall as leader of the group. We are very thankful to all team members as they answered to God’s call and were His ambassadors for us.
Theme of the camp was ‘God’s Call’ and every day we dealt with a different Bible character: Joshua, Saul, Isaiah, Peter and Paul. We learned how they answered to God’s call and how they fulfilled their mission.
Last fall St. Maria’s Lutheran Church in Tartu launched a daycare for Ukraine refugees. Most refugees are escaping women with small children. It’s a great challenge for them to find a job if they don’t have a safe place for their children. Daycare gives parents some free time and provides an opportunity for children to meet with other Ukraine children.
Laryssa (in the picture), a refugee from Ukraine who is living in Home of Hope’s guest apartment, used to be a kindergarten principal and now she is the principal of the daycare.
I shared with you on May 26th about a Bible School student who gave her testimony that in the Bible School she found a real God.
A wonderful milestone of her journey was on June 5th, when Pastor Eenok Haamer, Founder of TAT, baptized her during Bible School graduation. Now she is continuing her journey through the confirmation class of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church which is just across the street from Home of Hope.
We will have a challenging 1.5 years ahead of us. November 15th, 2024 is the due date for the Home of Hope mortgage. We are currently needing about $1 million and feel we need to ask God for wisdom as to what we need to do to finish funding the Home of Hope outreach center.
We would like to have also a prayer fellowship with you in Zoom. Therefore, we invite you to join us in prayer for one hour via Zoom on June 13th, 2023 at 10:00 am US Central Time.
We started making a 1-Minute-Bible-Class series in cooperation with Kristjan Luhamets, Lead Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Tartu. The aim for these videos is to establish some kind of connection with youth on social media platforms and to give them Christian content while they browse.
We have experienced so far that God has a plan and we just need to open our eyes and hearts in order to understand where Holy Spirit is leading us. Sometimes this road demands much courage and trust towards God. We know no better source of encouragement then prayer. Throughout June 3rd we will have 24-hour prayer chain with our students, alumni, professors, staff etc.
Additionally we would like to have a prayer fellowship with you in Zoom. Therefore, we invite you to join us in prayer for one hour via Zoom on June 13th, 2023 at 10:00 am US Central Time.
I’m sharing with you a great testimony of one our Bible School student who has been learning to know Bible throughout this school year. She admits: “The most valuable aspect that I got from the Bible School is that I finally found the true and real God in the midst of all these self-help books and different spiritualities. Now I finally found the right path.” For more please watch the video.
I’m very thankful to all friends who donated Home of Hope in honor of my 50th birthday. I don’t know the final amount yet, but week ago gifts were made for $ 8,850.
I’m starting this weekend U.S. Midwest trip with my 15 years old daughter Kärt. I’m sharing in different churches about our mission work and challenges that we are facing because of this cruel war in Ukraine.
You’ll find our trip schedule below and you are welcome to join any of the meetings.
22nd of April, I’m celebrating my 50th birthday with thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tartu. For my friends across the ocean and long distances I have prepared one special opportunity to participate my birthday celebrations.
By clicking this YouTube link https://youtube.com/live/DKcPYxn-tiA?feature=share you’ll find livestream of the thanksgiving service with simultaneous translation into English. Service starts on April 22nd at 8:00 am U.S. Central Time.
22nd of April I’m celebrating my 50th birthday with thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tartu where my grandfather Harri was pastoring during WW II. To my friends from America and other parts of the world, who cannot be present in Tartu in person, I offer one special opportunity to take part of my birthday celebrations. Just in case I’m sending again my announcement from a week ago about this possibility. Please watch the video below.
Christ has risen!
The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon! (Luke 24:34)
My name is also Simon and this passage from Luke has been very meaningful to me. I was born 22nd of April 50 years ago on Easter morning. And therefore my parents named me Siimon. For me is very special to know that since my birth I have connection with Jesus Christ.
22nd of April I’m celebrating my 50th birthday with thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tartu where my grandfather Harri was pastoring during WW II.
I have prepared one special opportunity for you.
During March 3-13 I made an early spring trip to Carolinas and Georgia and visited several churches in the area. It was great to travel to south. I truly enjoyed warm and sunny weather which was like summer for me. At the same time in Estonia was ground covered with decent amount of snow and temperature below zero.
I had privilege to visit churches in Salisbury and Gastonia (North Carolina), in Cataula and Sharpsburg (Georgia), in Springfield and around Columbia (South Carolina). I’m truly thankful to all my hosts and people who gathered to listen my story about our mission work in Estonia. Your commitment was very encouraging and hopefully these connections will continue.
On March 3-4 we will organize at Home of Hope a conference ‘The Juggler’ that is meant for young adults. This is already the second time. Last time, in March of 2022, we had our first conference, and it was really well received. Therefore we were encouraged to continue. Also we don’t have many events for this age group in Estonia.
We expect our young people to do so much. Of course, they do it and are committed full heartedly, but they also have so many more obligations and tasks to give their input to. Quite often this kind of behavior, to grab so many tasks, could lead to burnout or any other mental illness or tiredness and because of that they might leave the voluntary work at church behind.
Today, 30 years ago, first lessons started at Tartu Academy of Theology with 30 students. A year and a half earlier, Estonia had regained its independence after being 50 years under atheistic Soviet occupation. Pastor Eenok Haamer, founder of Tartu Academy, had witnessed the suffering of the Estonian people who lived decades surrounded by atheistic propaganda. He had a vision for the future. God showed him that once their fervently prayed-for freedom would return, there would be a great need to educate Estonian men and women so that they would be able to carry on God’s work and clearly communicate the principles of the Bible. 30 years ago this vision was realized.
We are very thankful for initial financial support of $10,000 that was raised by a group of American pastors who had visited Estonia in spring of 1992. They opened a door for this great history and remarkable achievements.
I’m sharing with you a Christmas message of founder of Tartu Academy of Theology and my father Pastor Eenok Haamer.
In the end of September we launched a new Bible School course. We started with 30 students but now we have already 37 participants. The total number of Bible School participants during these three years is now about 200. Thankfully there aren’t any COVID restrictions and we are able to meet with people in person. We even made this year’s on-site participation cheaper compared to distance learning in order to motivate people to come and meet each other. Therefore, the majority of students are present at Home of Hope and we enjoy great fellowship.
I’m sharing with you a testimony of Eerik Eensaar. He is 17 years old and currently the youngest participant of our Bible school.
I haven’t shared quite long time information about Ukraine refugees whom we are helping thanks to these donations that we have received to the Ukraine Fund. I will correct my mistake now.
In the middle of August, the Ukraine family who had lived in Home of Hope’s guest apartment since the middle of March, moved to Germany. We decided to welcome one another family in need of help. Since beginning of September is living with us Larysa and her 88-year-old mother Tamara. They are from Severodonetsk, a town occupied by Russia. A residential house where they had a condo was bombed shortly after the war began. They escaped and found shelter in different places in Ukraine and finally in the middle of July came to Estonia and Tartu. At first, they were able to stay in a hotel. The Estonian government funded their living costs until the end of August. After that, they needed to find a place to live.
I’m sharing with you a video with Raili Hollo, Coordinator of our Pastoral Care Center. She is sharing about the good and meaningful work we organize at the Pastoral Care Center which is located at Home of Hope.
Excellent news is that since August this year Tartu city government is funding all together 100 meetings for Tartu citizens with pastoral care giver every month. Tartu is the second biggest city in Estonia and we hope this will be a good role model to other Estonian cities as well.