About Prayer

During our time in Mustamäe we have been asked to live a prayer life, praying three times a day.
Making a connection with people and connecting people through sharing our prayers with them has felt to be our main call.
That has not always been easy, as it is a big and total new responsibility.
Waking up earlier in the morning after a short night of sleep as well as coming home late from a long day and still find the energy and inner peace to organise the prayer together or simply trying to fit midday prayer in a full schedule.

And then it was so enriching every time we could organise a prayer for the ones we met or invite them to join us.

Also, the services in Kuusalu, Põlva, the womens prison, Püha Vaimu Church, the Catholic church in Tallinn and of course in the Maria Magdalena church gave us a great possibility to be in communion with the people we met and who welcomes us.

Often we have been just a small circle of people but that also made the value of every person participating even bigger and gave us the possibility to meet all of them on a personal basis.

To have a big church full of people is very beautiful though, but isn’t one person, deeply touched in their heart by prayer and communion, just as much of an appreciation?

 

Paul writes: A servant of the Lord must not engage in quarrels but should be welcoming to all and patient in adversity. ( 2 Timothy 2:22-26)

Laulupidu

The Estonian Song Festival (Laulupidu) is an event which takes place every five years in their capital Tallinn.Also every five years there is the national youth and dance festival which we attended at the end of our stay.
The Estonians claim to hold world’s biggest choir during this event. At the Youth festival it has been around 13000 singers performing together at the stage and for the main Laulupidu it is more than 25 000.

In the morning all choirs start gathering for a big parade in Freedom Square in the city centre. Together they make their way through the old town and down a wide road towards the festival grounds, about 5 kilometres away.
Then in the afternoon the concert takes place.
Many different choirs from all over Estonia and very few foreign choirs which have been invited to take part performed solely estonaian songs on stage.

It was a joyful and colourful view into the crowd as most singers were wearing traditional costumes from every part of the country. and the blue, black and white Estonian flag was waving everywhere around us.

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Singing itself has always been a major unifying force for Estonians while they endured fifty years of Soviet rule. Singing Festivals are since ever a the most important Cultural event in this country. The Songs which have been carried on from generation to generation talk about national identity tradition and self-determination.
“Mu isamaa on minu arm” (“Land of My Fathers, Land That I Love”) a song that was sung repeatedly in the face of authorities during occupation times. This step-by-step process that led to the reestablishment of Estonian independence in 1991 is today called The Singing Revolution.
Who can silence hundred thousand of voices standing together for their country?

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It has been a very touching experience for us to take part in an event that means so much to the people here and to feel their strength in community and their proud for their country and culture.

A weekend in Põlva

It is Midsummer time and we spend a weekend in the South-East of Estonia.
Thomas, the priest of the Lutheran church in Põlva and his family welcomed us to stay in the parish house and celebrate the Midsummer eve with them.

 


In the Afternoon of our arrival we attended the national Victory Day to celebrate the Estonian victory over the Baltic German Landeswehr in the Battle of Paju in 1919 .

Afterwards we had a nice barbeque at the family’s home with the traditional bonfire to celebrate the longest day of the year.

During this night the sun is almost not setting…

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We had our midday prayers in the church of Põlva open to everyone and have been welcomed to attend the Saturday and Sunday service.

It has been pretty much of holiday for us with nice weather, a beautiful day in the nature and a movie evening with the children.
A good opportunity to fill up energy for the next weeks children camp with the boys.

 

the idea of a life circle of things

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Part of our experiences here has been working in the Magda Misjonipood. It is a Second Hand/ Charity shop in Tallinn Mustamäe which provides affordable things needed in an average household.

The shops main purpose is to support families with children and people from around, to create employment opportunities and to gather money for the Mustamäe church as well as giving out the word of God.
Many people here life in bad financial conditions as Estonia has a big economic problem. Despite the prices here are quite expensive, people do not get paid well for their work. The system is even suffering more and more due to people deciding to work in the countries around especially Finland but living and having their families in Estonia.

The shop is led by Jaana Maria Unga, Reelika Raudsepp and a team of cashiers and volunteers who work in shifts to have it open from Monday to Saturday.
Their main work is all about sorting and arranging the things they receive mostly as a donation from Norway, Finland and Estonia.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Their Idea of the recycling clothes and goods and to propagate sustaining consumption is also shown by them turning unusable textiles in some cool ideas of upcycling. For example, carpets from all kind of clothes and beautiful skirts from men’s shirts.


We have been happy to spend some of our time here helping and exploring this beautifully and with love arranged place. What a paradise of all kind of things in every corner.

Here is the Link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/magdapood

And an honest and warm advice to go to visit them if you should pass by Tallinn one day.

 

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

the girls camp

The congregation of the Mustamäe Church organizes every year several different camps for children from the district. They welcome every child between the age from 7 – 12, Christians and Non-Christians from every background.

This week it was a camp only for girls, in one week there will be a camp for only for boys as well.

It`s a camp were the kids come every morning and leave again in the evening. A normal day in the camp started always with singing songs together and playing games, followed by a short Bible introduction for the children.

Every afternoon we had lunch together and after that we went for some activities. Trips to a swimming pool, a climbing park, a visit in the ship museum or a walk at the sea… Everything what children like the most!

The topic for the Bible introductions, what would lead through the week was: IME, which means miracles.
We followed the question, what a miracle actually is. And discovered together that it is something, that seems to be impossible, something astonishing, amazing, something supernatural, a happening.

One day the topic was the multiplication of the bread and fish, another – Jesus walking on the water. On the last day the children could get to know and understand a bit more the biggest miracle – death and resurrection. Even though we don’t understand or speak Estonian (yet), we tried to participate as much as possible. Watching the kids’ reactions is such an inspiring thing!

One story which is not from the Bible, but remained in our heads: A story about frogs. This group of frogs wanted to climb a very high tower and everyone said that it would be impossible. Many of the frogs tried it, but they all gave up before they reached the top. Only one little frog wanted to try it nonetheless. He started to climb, went on, and finally reached the top. He managed what all the others before him couldn’t  do. This little frog was deaf. He could not hear everyone saying that it would be impossible.

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God said to me: My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12,9) 

a weekend with wonderful people

On Saturday we celebrated the birthday of our host Ülle in the Kadriorg Park. Another member of the congregation showed us around there and we had a prayer and a small picnic in the grass.

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In the evening we went to Kuusalu, a village 45 min from Tallinn. We had a small, but wonderful Taizé prayer there, which was supported by a flute and a guitar. After that we had the possibility to talk to local people and on Sunday we participated in the Sunday service. Even if  that service was accompanied by an organ and wonderful flute solos, not a lot of people where in the church. Unfortunately this the reality in a lot of churches in Estonia.

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After a great barbecue in the countryside we made our way back to Tallinn.

Thank you!

God created human beings in his image; he has placed his light in their hearts. (Sirach 17:1-14)