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.
My grandfather Pastor Harri Haamer wrote down his experiences in a Soviet slave labor camp in Siberia. Harri was a lutheran pastor and didn’t follow orders of Soviet authorities when they prohibited to organize any kind of Christian youth work. He spent in prison almost eight years after he was arrested 1948.
His book We Shall Live in Heaven is a strong testimony of faith and also encouragement for Christians as we find ourselves also today in a world that is often hostile to the Gospel.
I have a good message to share–English version of We Shall Live in Heaven is now available on Amazon. You can buy either paperback or Kindle version.
The summer is ended and we haven’t shared some great summer memories with you yet. In June we organized at Home of Hope a joyful youth Bible camp together with our friends from Spiritual Orphans Network. The topic was Truth. We had about 20 participants and two Ukraine refugees joined the camp as well.
As you probably know my grandfather Pastor Harri Haamer wrote a book We Shall Live in Heaven. In this book he is telling a story about his journey to a Soviet slave labor camp in Siberia which lasted almost eight years.
Printed versions are not any more available in English and Estonian. As people keep asking we need to make new printing. I’m planning US trip in the end of September this year and would be really good to have new edition in English printed by this time.
Unfortunately we don’t have funds for this purpose at the moment and we need financial help in order to print new books. To make minimum print-run on both languages costs at least $5,000.
I’m sharing with you a short update about Home of Hope fundraising process.
We have raised so far $1,132,005. It’s a bit more than 50% of all our needs. Please, watch this video for more information.
I’m sharing with you information about Ukraine refugees whom we have helped with your donations.
We are very thankful to all people and congregations who have donated Ukraine refugees through Tartu Academy of Theology. Until now we have received $51,328 to the Ukraine fund. We are cooperating with the Estonian Lutheran Church congregations and because of this, your donations reach different locations in Estonia where refugees are hosted. Pastors and church members are not only offering them housing, they are helping them also to settle in this new country, to ovecome the bureaucratic obstacles and to solve the economic problems.
Although the battles in Ukraine take place approximately 1,000 miles from Estonia we are facing new challenges here. Since the end of February, Estonia has faced an unprecedented influx of refugees, mostly women and children. Estonia has hosted around 45,000 refugees over a couple of months. The shortage of housing is enormous and hundreds of refugees are still forced to live on empty cruise ships or other temporary places.
Our US trip with Mattias is over. We had very tight schedule with many meetings. It was really enjoyable to see old friends and make new acquaintances. We are very thankful for your warm welcome and for all the opportunities we had. Here is short video to wrap up our trip.
We are very thankful to Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior as they recorded our presentation there. If you would like to listen or share our story then you just need to share with them this YouTube link https://youtu.be/q_S4j1t0PKQ.
Our US trip with Mattias is in full mode. Although we won’t be able to visit all places we’ll give you an opportunity to be part of one of our presentations where we will be sharing recent updates about Tartu Academy and Home of Hope and also about challenges we face due to war in Ukraine.
If you won’t be able to attend physically then you are welcome to watch Friends of Estonia Summit online live streaming from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I26gz_mYKnI.
Friends of Estonia Summit takes place on Monday April 25th at 2:00 pm in Mount Calvary Lutheran Church (301 County Road 19, Excelsior, MN).
After 2,5 years of pause I’m visiting US again. This time with my assistant Mattias. We are starting on April 19 from Bismarck ND and finishing on May 3 in Denver. On the way down we visit many places also in Minnesota and Iowa.
Hereby I’m sharing with you our itinerary. You are welcome to meet us in these places. We will be sharing recent updates about Tartu Academy and Home of Hope and also about challenges we face due to war in Ukraine.
Christ is risen! Please watch Easter greeting from Pastor Eenok Haamer.
We are very thankful to all of you for your generous donations and willingness to help Ukraine refugees. In one month, we have received $41,000 in designated donations.
First of all I want to point out that this crisis might last quite a long time and our goal is to use those funds wisely, looking ahead at least for a one year period. We are thankful for your continuing help because need for help is huge and I will be implementing ways how to share this donation directly to the people who are in need.
Since March 16 we have hosted seven people at Home of Hope’s small 430 sq ft apartment. Before receiving them we replaced some furniture and bought a TV, washing machine, bedding etc. Our guests are mother (Jana) and father (Oleksandr) with two children (Adeline 3 months and Arina 6 years) and three sisters (Tatjana, Ljuba and Natalja) of Oleksandr’s. All are in the picture below. They escaped in the very beginning of the war as they live in Sarny which is close to the Belorussian border and military base is located at their town.
It’s hard to find words about Russian aggression in Ukraine. It’s hard to describe sadness that we feel towards Ukraine people. Although Estonia is currently not under attack and we are members of NATO we have to be alert as well.
At the moment is our duty to help Ukrainians. Refugees from Ukraine are already arriving to Estonia. I offered Home of Hope guest apartment for their accommodation. Probably soon our apartment will temporary home for war refugees. I promised that Tartu Academy will cover all their costs and guarantee their daily needs. For their more convenient stay we need to change some furniture in the apartment. At the moment it’s furnished for shorter accommodations.
Mattias has seen a need for a young adults conference that deals with topics which make young people to struggle. Now, the time has come and preparations are made and young adults conference ’The Juggler’ will take place at Home of Hope on March 18-19, 2022.
‘The Juggler’ targets people who are active in their daily life and want to be active in church work as well. They give their input everywhere and they don’t want to say no to God. The conference’s aim is to provide tools and to really open up what really means to be young adult and have an open space to talk about it.
Three generations of Haamer family wish you a merry Christmas!
In this challenging time we feel the importance to remind you that Jesus has said: “Do not be afraid!”.
Click “read more” and watch video.
WE ARE VERY THANKFUL TO OUR DONORS! During last weeks we have received meaningful donations. Although, we haven’t been able to pay full amount of our next mortgage payment, we are missing much less. Current shortfall is $38,686. Our creditor agreed to postpone payment due date for one month until December 31, 2021. Another great challenge is to meet TAT/Home of Hope annual operating budget needs. Home of Hope is for us a good resource of income. We have earned $40,000 during one year despite of COVID-19 restrictions. Still, 2021 deficit is currently $49,108. We are encouraged, but I have to confess we still need your help. Giving options are available by clicking here. God bless you, Pastor Siimon Haamer President of Tartu Academy of Theology