HANDS-ON VISIT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE

In addition to learning about our mission work through pictures, stories and videos, it is also possible to have hands-on experience. We offer TWO great options for you.

DATES:  June 7-15, 2024

ORGANIZER:  Tartu Academy of Theology in co-operation with Spiritual Orphans Network sonetwork.org

GROUP SIZE:  14 people

REGISTRATION:  Deadline February 29, 2024. Online registration form: forms.gle/xSQqYFhZoViz5QtQ9.

  • Please note that the group is filled on a first come first served basis. The earlier we receive your completed application and required documentation, the more likely you will receive a spot on the Persecution Pilgrimage.
  • Your spot is not reserved until ALL items listed below have been turned in (with the exception of those waiting on a passport).
    • Completed Persecution Pilgrimage registration form
    • $400 non-refundable registration deposit (payment information is in the Cost section)
    • High quality (300 dpi or better) COLOR copy of your passport (If you do not have your passport, you will need to apply before submitting this application. Once received, you will need to send the required copy by email to pilgrimage@teoloogia.ee)
COORDINATOR AND TOUR GUIDE:  Pastor Siimon Haamer, President of TAT siimon.haamer@teoloogia.ee
CONTACT PERSON in U.S.:  Angela Breidenbach, Director of Operations and Youth Education of SON angela@sonetwork.org  +1 (505) 274-4156

The PDF file with all the information about the Persecution Pilgrimage is downloadable here.

ABOUT THE PERSECUTION PILGRIMAGE

The Persecution Pilgrimage in Estonia provides an opportunity to become a part of the story of spiritual resistance, complete trust in God, and the suffering of one nation. To better understand all this history and trials, we will take you on a journey through the story of one Christian family and a nation. You will have a chance to hear about past sufferings and gain an understanding of what it means to be persecuted as a Christian. Through this experience, youwill learn how to keep your faith alive and what it means that hopelessness has no place in our lives.

Estonia was occupied for 50 years after WW2 by the aggressive, atheistic Soviet Union. This regime tried to break our deep Christian roots. Unfortunately, they were quite successful. During the first 10 years of Soviet occupation, 2/3s of Lutheran pastors were killed, imprisoned, or escaped from the country. Estonia lost every fifth of its slightly over one million inhabitants as a result of the terror of the occupying power. Before WW2 98% of Estonians were Christians; today  only around 12% are members of different Christian churches.

Pilgrimage takes you to the paths where Pastor Eenok Haamer lived through the most difficult and pivotal times of his life. Eenok's father, Pastor Harri Haamer, was arrested and taken to a slave labor camp in Siberia in 1948. After that, his whole family was in danger, and they had to flee deportation to avoid being taken to Siberia as well. Therefore, as a teenager, Eenok had to hide in the forest with his mother and brother for six years, living in an underground bunker for nearly four years.

Eenok is 88 years old today, and the participants of the Persecution Pilgrimage have an extraordinary opportunity to go with Eenok to the places where he hid himself and hear about these experiences from him himself.

In addition, we present the story of the suffering of Estonians under communism in a broader way, which also gives an opportunity to understand the context of the war taking place in Ukraine today.

SCHEDULE OF THE PILGRIMAGE

June 7, Friday ·       Departure from USA
June 8, Saturday ·       Arrival at Tallinn airport tallinn-airport.ee/en

·       Transportation to Tartu (2,5 hour drive) visittartu.com

·       Accommodation in Tartu (Hektor hostel hektorstay.com/en)

June 9, Sunday ·       Service in Mustvee Lutheran Church where Pastor Eenok Haamer is serving

·       Meeting with Pastor Eenok and Eha Haamer at their home

·       Some sightseeing in Eastern Estonia

·       Accommodation in Tartu (Hektor hostel hektorstay.com/en)

·       Devotion

June 10, Monday ·       Prayer service

·       The KGB Cells Museum in Tartu muuseum.tartu.ee/en/kgb-cells-museum

·       St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Tartu tartupauluse.ee/en (Pastor Harri Haamer served in St. Paul's before his imprisonment)

·       Christian outreach center Home of Hope and Tartu Academy of Theology – getting to know their mission work, sharing the stories and testimonies tatest.org

·       Movie night–The Singing Revolution

·       Accommodation in Tartu (Hektor hostel hektorstay.com/en)

·       Devotion

June 11, Tuesday ·       Prayer service

·       Drive to Southern Estonia to see places were Pastor Eenok Haamer hid himself during 1949-1955. Eenok is coming along and tells the story.

·       Includes walk in forest

·       Accommodation in Forest Brethren Farm metsavennatalu.ee/en  (a chance to see an underground bunker and go to a smoke sauna savvusann.ee/et/smoke-sauna/smoke-sauna-and-customs)

·       Devotion

June 12, Wednesday ·       Prayer service

·       Pastor Harri Haamer's church in Tarvastu (he served there for 32 years after returning from 8 years of imprisonment in a Siberian slave labor camp)

·       Drive to Northeastern Estonia

·       Visiting places where pastors were killed

·       Accommodation in Narva-Jõesuu (Liivarand hotel liivarandhotel.ee/?lang=en)

·       Devotion

June 13, Thursday ·       Prayer service

·       Visiting several places where traces of communism can be seen

·       Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Tallinn vabamu.ee/en/visit-us

·       Accommodation in Tallinn (Metropol hotel metropol.ee/hotel)

·       Devotion

June 14, Friday ·       Prayer service

·       Memorial of Estonia's Victims of Communism 1940-1991 memoriaal.ee/en

·       Singing Stadium lauluvaljak.ee/en

·       Free time and sightseeing in Tallinn visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor

·       Accommodation in Tallinn (Metropol hotel metropol.ee/hotel)

·       Devotion

June 15, Saturday ·       Return flight home from Tallinn airport

·       Arriving to USA on the same day

PREPARATION FOR THE PILGRIMAGE

  • In order to prepare for the upcoming trip and share important information, there will be at least one group meeting via the use of Zoom or other similar technology.
  • For background information and preparation for the pilgrimage, we recommend reading Pastor Harri Haamer's book "We Shall Live in Heaven", which is his testimony of faith, recounting his experiences in a Soviet slave labor camp. Paperback of the book is available in Amazon amazon.com/dp/994999313X. You can download for free the PDF and Kindle version as well as the Book Study Guide from tatest.org/haamer-family/book/.
    • The foreword, introduction and epilogue provide an overview of what happened to Harri Haamer's family during his imprisonment and what suffering Estonians had to experience due to the Soviet occupation.

ARRANGEMENTS

  • Spiritual Orphans Network is arranging flight tickets and is helping in preparatory work.
  • The Estonian organizers have prepared the program and will carry it out and take care of accommodation, catering and transportaion in Estonia.

COST

  • The cost of the whole pilgrimage with double room accommodation: $2,550 per person plus airfare.
  • The cost of the whole pilgrimage with single room accommodation:$2,800 per person plus airfare.

! We are not able to guarantee single room accommodation in the Forest Brethren Farm.

The cost includes

  • a $400 non-refundable registration deposit which needs to be paid in order to confirm your registration;
  • accommodation, meals, transportation in Estonia and museum tickets.

Important Notes

  • The entire pilgrimage fee will be paid to Spiritual Orphans Network (SON) after the organizers have confirmed your registration.
  • All payments are Tax deductible.
  • Payments can be made by check to SON or processed online:

CHECKS

Mail to: Spiritual Orphans Network

Attn:     Director of Youth Education

            8210 Louisiana Blvd NE, Suite B

            Albuquerque, NM 87113

ONLINE

- Click here
- Fill in all mandatory fields.
- Write to the designation field the name of the person whose participation fee is being paid.

NOTICE!

This is not an ordinary tourist trip. During the journey, it is also possible to get to know Estonia and its beautiful nature, but the focus is on your personal relationship with God and your own faithlife. Please keep this in mind if you decide to join the Persecution Pilgrimage.

REGISTER ONLINE FOR THE PERSECUTION PILGRIMAGE HERE

DATES:  August 14-26, 2024

TOPIC:  Jesus–teaching, deeds, crucifixion and resurrection

ORGANIZER:  Tartu Academy of Theology

LOCATION:  Christian outreach center Home of Hope in Tartu, Estonia tatest.org/home-of-hope

U.S. TEAM SIZE:  10 people (we are expecting max. 2 team members from one congregation)

REGISTRATION:  Deadline February 29, 2024. Online registration form: forms.gle/DsZ5VzedVQju357u9

  • Please note that the group is filled on a first come first served basis. The earlier we receive your completed application and required documentation, the more likely you will receive a spot on the mission trip.
  • Your spot is not reserved until ALL items listed below have been turned in:
    • Completed Short Term Mission Trip registration form
    • $250 non-refundable registration deposit (payment information is in the Cost section)
    • A letter of recommendation from your pastor (needs to be sent by pastor to Siimon Haamer's email: siimon.haamer@teoloogia.ee)

COORDINATOR:  Pastor Siimon Haamer, President of TAT siimon.haamer@teoloogia.ee

TEAM LEADER:  Pastor Bob Nordvall rnordvall29@gmail.com  +1 (701) 391-0182

The PDF file with all the information about the Short Term Mission Trip is downloadable here.

ABOUT THE CAMP

Tartu Academy of Theology is arranging an Adult Bible Camp in Tartu, Estonia. Coordinators and local organizers are Estonians. American Christians are called to join with the team as teachers. Also as leaders of discussion groups. There will be couple of pastors from U.S. in the team and they will take care of the main teaching work. Topic is Jesus and during the week we will cover the following sub-topics related to Jesus: teaching, deeds, crucifixion and resurrection.

Camp will be held 4-5 hours every day in the afternoon. Around 30 participants are expected. Main focus is on small group discussions but every day in the beginning and end whole group will be together (singing, sharing, praying). We are expecting U.S. friends to share their testimonies.

The video above is about the Bible Camp that was organized together with short term missionaries from U.S in August of 2023.

The structure of the agenda is as follows every day:

3:00 pm            Introduction

3:45 pm            1st session in small groups

4:45 pm            Break

5:15 pm            Testimony

5:40 pm            2nd session in small groups

6:30 pm            Summary of the day

7:00 pm            End of the day

BIBLE CAMP TRIP SCHEDULE

August 14, Wednesday ·       Departure from USA
August 15, Thursday ·       Arrival to Tallinn airport

·       Bus to Tartu (2,5 hour drive) from the airport

·       Accommodation in Hektor hostel until Aug. 24 hektorstay.com/en

August 16, Friday ·       Free day without any program in order to adjust jet lag
August 17, Saturday ·       A trip to South Estonia to see places were Pastor Eenok Haamerwas hiding during 6 years after WWII. Eenok himself will come along.
August 18, Sunday ·       Most of the team goes to Mustvee church were Pastor Eenok Haamer is serving and also is an opportunity to visit different churches in and around Tartu.
August 19, Monday ·       Bible Camp preparations

·       3:00-7:00 pm–Adult Bible Camp

August 20, Tuesday ·       Free time for sightseeing in Tartu

·       Preparations for the camp

·       3:00-7:00 pm–Adult Bible Camp

August 21, Wednesday ·       The KGB Cell Museum

·       Preparations for the camp

·       3:00-7:00 pm–Adult Bible Camp

August 22, Thursday ·       Free time for sightseeing and meetings with camp participants

·       Preparations for the camp

·       3:00-7:00 pm–Adult Bible Camp

August 23, Friday ·       Free time for sightseeing and meetings with camp participants

·       Preparations for the camp

·       2:00-6:00 pm–Adult Bible Camp

·       6:00-9:00 pm Bible Camp afterparty with participants

August 24, Saturday ·       10 am–Bus to Tallinn

·       Free time and sightseeing in Tallinn visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor

·       Accommodation in Metropol hotel until Aug. 26 metropol.ee/hotel

August 25, Sunday ·       Attending church service in Tallinn
August 26, Monday ·       Return flight home from Tallinn airport

·       Arriving to USA on the same day

PREPARATORY WORK

  • Pastor Bob Nordvall from Bismarck, ND is the leader of the U.S. team. Bob is coordinating preparatory work during spring and summer. Regular Zoom meetings will be arranged in order to get aquainted with each other and to go through the teaching program and share tasks.
  • For background information and preparation, we recommend reading Pastor Harri Haamer's book "We Shall Live in Heaven", which is his testimony of faith, recounting his experiences in a Soviet slave labor camp. Paperback of the book is available in Amazon com/dp/994999313X. You can download for free the PDF and Kindle version as well as the Book Study Guide from tatest.org/haamer-family/book.
    • Reading this book you learn how to keep your faith alive and what it means that hopelessness has no place in our program. The foreword, introduction and epilogue provide an overview of what happened to Harri Haamer's family during his imprisonment and what suffering Estonians had to experience due to the Soviet occupation.
    • We recommend that you also consider organizing book study groups in your church, so that the congregation can acquire a broader picture of the importance of this mission trip.

ARRANGEMENTS

  • It is responsibility of every mission trip participant to purchase own flight tickets departing from the USA on August 14 and returning from Tallinn on August 26.
  • The Estonian organizers will take care of accommodation, catering and transportation in Estonia.

COST

  • The cost of the whole trip with double room accommodation: $1,500 per person plus airfare.
  • The cost of the whole trip with single room accommodation: $1,850 per person plus airfare.
  • The cost includes
    • a $250 non-refundable registration deposit which needs to be paid in order to confirm your registration;
    • accommodation, meals and transportation in Estonia.

Important Notes

  • The trip fee will be paid to Charity Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND.
  • All payments are Tax deductible.
  • Payments can be made by check to Charity Lutheran or processed online:

CHECKS

Designation: Estonia Bible Camp

Mail to:   Charity Lutheran Church

               120 Aspen Ave.

               Bismarck, ND 58503

ONLINE

- Go to charitylutheran.org/givenow

- Choose the Fund Tartu Academy of Theology

- Select a Sub-Fund Bible school

- Write to the Note field the name of the person whose participation fee is being paid

 

REGISTER ONLINE FOR THE BIBLE CAMP SHORT TERM MISSION TRIP HERE

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN ESTONIA!