So our furniture has arrived! It came yesterday afternoon, a little delayed - and this because the van bringing it from Russia had broken down 50km from Tallinn, and then again at the Custom's office here in the city - so two vans arrived at our flat - a blue one with our stuff that we last saw on 29th February, and a yellow van that was towing the blue one!
Most of the boxes will stay like that - we're trying to unpack as little as possible to make the move to our permanent flat a lot easier come the summer!
Today I've managed to tidy this room up a little so that we have the desk, from which I type this update, and a spare bed set up, where my mum will sleep tonight, thereby having her own room - a welcome break no doubt, as you'll hear about next.
Adjustment has been a word going through my head these last few days, and I think we're starting to see some of the adverse effects coming out, especially in the girls. Emotions are running high, tears can come on suddenly, and sleep patterns are certainly hard! For Anya, she's sleeping for the first time away from us, having had no option in Russia but to have her in our room. So Anya has been waking up a lot in the night and calling out and taking a while to settle - a problem now as she's sharing with Mia, and for the last few days, my mum as well. At least my mum should not be disturbed tonight. For Mia the adjustment is more emotional - missing friends, missing her teachers. Missing a life that she'd got used to with people she'd got used to and liked very much. She's also now sharing a room - in Russia she was in a tiny room that was joined to the lounge, but was windowless. Here, as well as being with Anya (which she loves, most of the time), there's windows and street noise. We've blacked things out as best we can, but it's still different for her. Hopefully, with the furniture now here and more familiar items around (for example Anya was in her cot again last night, though still woke up a bit) they'll soon settle. But there is no way of knowing fully how they are adjusting to the move - for Anya, Russia is all she's known - for Mia, it's a third country in her 6 years. Please pray that we all adjust well and quickly.
Custom's clearance yesterday was done well and quickly, and praise God, was a little less than we had been told it might be - that being said, the total moving cost getting us from St Petersburg to Tallinn (only 220 miles, but crucially across the EU border) came in at 2,825 euros, and we praise God that Hope Church, our sending church in St Petersburg, gave us 1,700 euros from a special offering towards this, thereby contributing 60% of the cost themselves! Thank you guys - without your generosity things would have been that much harder.
Now for some news updates - Yesterday, as mentioned in my previous blog, Rachel went to see the school, meeting with the current Director and the new Director, who starts in the summer. The meeting was really positive and went as well as could have been hoped, so thanks for your prayers. Please do pray that there is a good intake of new students this year at the school as that opens better options - some good contacts were made and we'll mention more on those as things open up.
Finally yet another 'random' bumping into someone - building on the last one which was the waitress we'd met who lives where we are moving to in the summer, well today at the out of town shopping centre* that the girls have gone to, all that way there and who should they see? Leo and Shani - this led to my mum being given a free makeover and yet more contact with this couple. It seems God is bringing them to our attention more and more so we'll keep building with them, and all those we keep seemingly randomly meeting here in Tallinn. *On the way to the shopping centre Rachel asked a lady on the bus for some details - and this same lady, who recognised Rachel as well, was the very one working in the children's play area at the same shopping centre that the girls went to. Maybe it's just a smaller city thing? Maybe it's something more?
Next time round I'll share some of the wider things that are happening - we are part of a global family of churches, that is our main reason for being here. These will see us getting involved in things outside of Tallinn so more on that soon...
Missed something? You can read the last 5 blogs simply by clicking on the entry on the right hand side in the Hearing My Heart section - each opens into a new window (for those reading this directly on the blog!).
Our UK house also is now for sale on the web - here is a link - please, if you know of anyone remotely interested, do let them know;