I’m blessed to have Mattias Haamer working together with me as my assistant. His enthusiasm and willingness to share his faith has been meaningful for the 70 plus young people who attend the activities offered for them at Home of Hope. I feel that I’m already way too old for them and they are eager to have someone like themselves as a role model for their spiritual quests. You are welcome to watch Mattias’ testimony below. Also, some Bringing Hope to Estonia Campaign updates…So far we have raised $224,465 USD and we are still of course keeping our end of June goal of $750,000 dollars. We are very, very thankful for every donation. Below you can also find a video and some other materials about the campaign. Everything is also available on our website tatest.org/campaign. God bless you all, Pastor Siimon Haamer President of Tartu Academy of Theoleogy
I’m sharing with you some updates about Bringing Hope to Estonia Campaign that was launched three months ago. During three months we have raised 220 000 dollars. This is amazing result and we are so thankful to all of you, our donors. It is an extraordinary experience to feel that so many people care about our work here in the suburb of the world. We also truly feel the power of your prayers. Although our activities were very limited during past months because of really hard COVID19 situation in Estonia we have not lost any of our projects, on the contrary, we are even launching a new project to offer pastoral care to the people in the rural area. This project is financed by the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs. We are filled with gratitude and hope. Bringing Hope to Estonia Campaign goal is to raise 750 000 dollars by the end of June this year. Please, don’t think that we are running a hopeless campaign, because we have only month and a half left and we are still missing 530 000 dollars. Our history proves that God is almighty and unbelievable things will happen. Home of Hope is one amazing example of it. In order to receive Lord’s blessing we need to pray and therefore we are organising 24-hour prayer chain at Home of Hope throughout May 20th and 21st. We are calling you to join in prayer with us for one hour in the beginning of this prayer […]
First year of the Home of Hope Bible School will be finished in the beginning of June. Pastor Marek Roots (alumni of Tartu Academy) has been very dedicated in coordinating all the Bible School work during this first year. This has been his voluntary contribution and we are very thankful for his faithfulness. Pastor Marek is sharing with you his testimony and is giving quick Bible School updates. Watch the interview, please. WE ARE CALLING YOU TO SHARE ABOUT BRINGING HOPE TO ESTONIA CAMPAIGN.
We recorded an interview with two long time friends of Estonia and key persons of the Bringing Hope to Estonia Campaign. Thus we are happy to share with you a video where pastor Bob Nordvall (Spiritual Orphans Network, Bismarck, ND) and pastor Paul Knudson (Faith Lutheran Church, Hutchinson, MN) are explaining why they are so dedicated co-workers of ours and why our mission work is meaningful for them. Watch the interview, please.
We are blessed to have many dedicated people working along with us at Home of Hope. We are introducing Gareth. He is a missionary intern from the UK sent by the Norwegian Mission Society. He is working with Tartu congregations and also helping out at Home of Hope. Watch his testimony.
Christ is risen! His is risen, indeed! Mattias Haamer, assistant to the president of TAT, is bringing to you Easter greetings. Watch this video, please.
I’m sharing good news. During first month of the Bringing HOPE TO ESTONIA campaign we have raised $170,000 USD. In order to reach our goal, we need to raise $580,000 USD more by the end of June this year.
Bad news is that COVID-19 infection rate in Estonia is the highest in the world. This has also affected our work and income. Few things we dared to plan for this period have been put on hold. Bible School classes are luckily transferred to the internet and are continuing.
We are truly thankful to all our donors and your continuing partnership!
Please go to tatest.org/campaign to learn more about the ongoing campaign.
One of our friends from US, Alice Klement, asked me to share her story about her recent giving for the campaign. You’ll find her letter below.
Help us to reach the goal, please.
My name is Eva-Maria, I’m 15 years old and I come from a Christian family. My home church is St. Peter’s in Tartu. I used to go to church every Sunday and attended a Sunday school when I was younger. Nowadays I can’t make it to church that often but try to go there as much as possible.
My personal faith has grown a lot in the past 6 months. Christianity has always been my own inner topic and I don’t talk about it with everyone. That being said, I can open up if I feel that people around me are sensible and supportive.
In my everyday life I have moments, where I see God more, and other times when I see Him less. There have been many times when I feel that it’s hard to go on alone, and in those times, God seems to be so far away. Deep down I always know that He is there for me….
ALSO EVA-MARIA’S VIDEO IS AVAILABLE.
Dear Friends of Estonia,
You have been part of the great story of the establishment of Home of Hope that is actually part of a much longer story of generations of continuity. I believe many people have thought that Home of Hope is a project exceeding our capabilities. Without hope and faith in the Lord that certainly would be the case. Our history and life experiences throughout four generations have given us affirmation that “with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29).
We are calling you to share in our hope and trust that is the assurance of our achievements. We are joyful we have many good friends who share this and want to be part of great things that are happening in Estonia. They have set up the Home of Hope Challenge Fund and have already made sacrificial gifts of $113,500. The goal is to raise $750,000 in order to erase half of the Home of Hope mortgage loan. Below and from tatest.org/campaign you will find more information about the Bringing HOPE TO ESTONIA Campaign.
ALSO VIDEO EXPLAINING THE CAMPAIGN IS AVAILABLE.
2021 didn’t begin in a very good mode for us. COVID19 is quite serious in Estonia and we have not been able to organize any events at Home of Hope since the beginning of December and we don’t know when we will be able to return into normal life. All are studying using distance learning capabilities. Only the Bible School classes are onsite at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church sanctuary which is located across the street. In choosing the location for Home of Hope we had in mind that being close to St. Paul’s Church would give great opportunities for cooperation. We couldn’t have foreseen the COVID19 pandemic but today we understand how right our decisions have been under God’s guidance.
This pandemic is seriously affecting our income as we are not able to host any seminars or conferences at Home of Hope. We are surely hopeful that the future will be better. We had a shortfall of $28,567 USD at the end of 2020 and now we have to make serious changes in our plans for this year. We are very thankful if you will be helping us to meet our needs also during 2021.
We are sharing testimony of Robert Bunder, a 22-year-old member of the Bible School organizing team.
ALSO ROBERT’S VIDEO IS AVAILABLE.
Click “read more” to watch Siimon Haamer’s Christmas greeting.
I’m giving a testimony about God’s distinguished and continuing blessing that we are chosen to experience.
Three generations of Lutheran pastors were grown up from our family despite of persecution and very challenging history while after WW II Estonia was 50 years under aggressive atheistic Soviet occupation. When Estonia regained independence my father Eenok established Christian college Tartu Academy of Theology in 1992. 28 years later we have trained hundreds of Christian leaders for Estonia and a year ago we established Christian outreach center Home of Hope.
I was working 15 years side by side with my father until 7 years ago he turned leadership over to me. Today I’m sharing that this amazing family story is continuing. Fourth generation has grown up. Mattias Haamer, son of my older brother Markus, has joined with our team and is working side by side with me as my assistant. I’m very thankful for the energy and new ideas that he is bringing in. Mattias is very devoted Christian and Christian youth work is especially in his heart.
Please watch this video to get to know more.
I’m sharing with you a family story of three generations of pastors. The third generation.
I have two older brothers, Naatan and Markus and a younger sister Maarja. We all are grown up under pressure of Soviet occupation. And this may seem really strange that all of us three brothers made the same choice: after high school graduation we started to study theology. At the time there wasn’t any great perspective on this field. Pastor family was basically excluded from the society. Becoming a pastor didn’t give any opportunity for a great career or well-paid job. It was serving with knowing that your award is waiting for you in heaven but most probably it takes much time until you will get there.
We were lucky. Estonia regained its independence in 1991. Being independent again also meant oppression towards Christians was finished. Since that time, we can speak and work freely without any fear. But the big problem is that during 50 years of aggressive atheistic propaganda our Christian identity was badly damaged. Now we need to work hard in order to heal our country, and it takes a lot of effort to do so.
I’m sharing with you a family story of three generations of pastors. The second generation.
My father Eenok Haamer was born 1935 in a pastor family. World War II broke his childhood. Christians experienced serious persecution in Estonia after we were occupied by Soviet Union in 1940. When my grandfather was arrested and sent to Siberia the rest of his family needed to escape from their home because Russian authorities wanted to deport them to Siberia as well. A result of that was that my father hid 6 years in the forest and 4 years of that time lived in an underground bunker. He was 13 years old when his dangerous journey started with his mother and brother.
God gifted him life and it’s clear that this gift was given on purpose. Hardships in the bunker were preparations for the future. In 1964 Eenok became an ordained Lutheran pastor.
I’m sharing with you a family story of three generations of pastors. The first generation.
My grandfather Harri Haamer was born in 1906. Right after graduating high school he started to study theology. Harri was ordained in 1929 and four years later he became a pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Tartu. Just across the street where Home of Hope outreach center is located today. At that time there was about 90% of Estonian population involved with Lutheran Church. But this began to change rapidly after the start of World War II and occupation by Soviet Union since 1940. This cruel atheistic regime killed, captured and deported pastors and Christians. My grandfather Harri wasn’t exception. He was arrested in 1948 and spent almost eight years in slave labor camp in Siberia. He was accused of organizing youth work at the church. God was merciful and he returned home and was pastoring 32 more years in a small rural parish until he died in 1987. He got to see how his son Eenok became a Lutheran pastor and he was also blessed to serve in altar with his grandsons: my brothers Naatan and Markus.
Opening of Home of Hope last December brought along significant changes to the work and life of Tartu Academy of Theology. We have shared recently about the Bible School that is fully sold out and about different youth activities but one great news is still coming. Soon we are able to share an exciting moment that has connection with our history and also future. But first we would like to explain background and a special meaning of this uplifting news.
Here below you’ll find a video that is a first introduction to the original news. We’ll share some more information throughout coming week and a half. Please share this information with your friends and congregation and follow us on our Facebook page Simon VS Goliath.
In September we started regular youth events. Every month in the evening of last Sunday we are having a youth evening with prayer, singing, playing and discussion. That is meant for secondary and high school students. Since October every third Wednesday is a Worship evening which target group are college students. And every second Sunday in month we are having game and film evening.
We are so grateful for God that the launch of Home of Hope’s Bible school has gotten such warm welcome!
There are 80 people signed up and this is 4 times more than we were expecting. We are more than happy to announce that this year’s Bible school is fully sold out.
Demand and hunger for Bible school course in Tartu is over our head and there are people on the waiting list. This makes us to be devoted to work out more ways to reach out to Estonians and share the knowledge of the Bible!
School at the end of September, 2020. The originator of the idea and coordinator of the Bible School is Pastor Marek Roots. He is one of our alumni and has been pastoring in the Lutheran Church for 17 years. You can read his testimony.
In 2006 Bob had his first experience in Estonia when he (along with Karen, his first wife) came to teach at Tartu Academy. While it may be said that those weeks teaching were life-changing, it was of much greater significance that we could be introduced to Eenok Haamer and his wife, Eha! And, of course, it began a fifteen- year friendship with Siimon and his family! Over the years it has been such a joy and inspiration to see how TAT has grown, and now in its own place, Home of Hope.
When we read the news letters we are encouraged and challenged in our own faith. In June newsletter, Pastor Marek shares his testimony and a vision he has also had for several years related to TAT. Now we see new fruit born from that cooperative work between Marek and Siimon, and a new Bible school being established for people wanting to grow in God’s Word. What an open door this is for the expansion of Christian education at the family level!
Our hearts are bursting with joy right not! Recently we received word that one of our former Estonia Mission Team members feels led to bring forth a gift of $10,000 for TAT, and was wondering if it could be established as a Match Fund helping balance TAT’s annual budget.