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.
It was a blessing to organise a youth conference for the second year in a row. It was a two day event where we had around 70 people gathering information or giving advice how to ‘survive’ in such a busy and restless life. This year we were focusing on resting. Our speakers were pastors, psychologist, entrepreneurs, musicians and also for the second year in a row, our archbishop. They were speaking about their own life experiences, biblical way of looking at resting, time management and psychology behind work stress and what should be the right work pace in order to be the most effective and healthy. One thing that caught my attention was a point that was made in a panel discussion between archbishop, musician and entrepreneur. As it is everywhere, it’s also really common in Estonia amongst churches to use people in variety of tasks, but there are never enough volunteers to do the tasks so those who are willing to do something end up doing way more, than they are capable. So the question was that why is it so, that when a volunteer is willing to give a finger, the church takes the entire hand… and even more. The answer turned out to be not at all what our planning team imagined it to be. This entrepreneur said all of a sudden, that this is the best way to go. He said that all that he has now, all that he can do now […]
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.