Situated on the Baltic Sea coast, Tallinn Estonia is a beautiful and very historic city; a regular destination for cruise ships and holiday-makers from all over the world. A visit to the Old City gives the traveller the opportunity to experience narrow cobbled streets, ancient historic churches, and to sample some northern European cuisine – perhaps a wild boar or bear steak, or an elk sausage served with sauerkraut. However, this is not a tourist article, but an opportunity to share about a visit I made to the Baltic Methodist Seminary to teach a group of keen students on the topic of Biblical Foundations for Mission.
Arriving in Tallinn at the end of February, the first thing to strike you is the temperature – well below freezing in the Winter months. After meeting my contact at the airport, we drove through the modern part of the city to the very impressive Methodist Church, which is also home to the Bible seminary. Three days of intensive teaching, followed with a class of 18 students, 2 translators (simultaneous translation into Russian & Estonian) and plenty of coffee, we got through our task emerging rather tired at the conclusion of the course. Estonia has one of the lowest rates of evangelical Christian church attendance in Europe, is very much a secular country with major spiritual needs, and these young people are working to spread the gospel. Please pray for these students who are training for ministry involvement, some travelling to very remote parts of the ‘frozen north’ with the gospel.
On the Sunday, it was a privilege to travel to the towns of Rakvere and Sakussara in Eastern Estonia to preach at two Methodist churches; what a great opportunity to share ministry with two groups of believers struggling in harsh conditions to reach out with the gospel. Please pray for Pastor Hans as he leads these two congregations; that he will know God’s blessing and direction in his ministry and service.
Thank you for your continued prayerful and financial support as I endeavour to serve in the area of Theological Education – please keep praying as I prepare for an Autumn visit to Asia for another teaching trip, where I will present two full courses on the curriculum at an OMS related college; the first on the Pastoral Epistles and the second on 20th Century Theological Developments. If you would like to hear more about my teaching trips please contact me to arrange a meeting.
Chris Palmer; S. Wales & West