Welcome! It's wonderful to see you here!

I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.

I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.

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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)

For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.

Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BNG - 16

This is the view from our flat up Tartu Mnt (Tartu Street) yesterday on what was another sunny day - which ended snowing and today was not so nice! Still the snow has nearly all gone from the ground, so winter is nearly over.
This entry is the last of three posts I will do in this series - with the next two being on Thursday and then Saturday, 31st March, which ends our first month here in Tallinn, the beginnings of our life here and the encounters which we hope, though have no way of knowing which ones, lead to the start of the church plant.
On the 1st April I will put together a summary of this whole series, as well as our back story, in one reference related entry that hopefully puts everything in one place. I'll also include some of the final statistics on what has been the most visited and read month for this blog - literally in your hundreds, and from all over the world! Thank you for walking this with us.
Yesterday was a good start to the week. Mia was back into home schooling - she is making progress. Today, she read me a book which was quite complicated and later I heard her reading it to her (toy) rabbit without any mistakes! So she is doing great - that must be down to her teacher (!) and your prayers!
I went with Anya to the play ground - our original gold mine of contacts, but I didn't meet anyone yesterday, which is the first time that I haven't! After that there was some organising to do - booking tickets for the coach to Riga in May, and other things - we were to be shown a lot more later by our visitor.
That's because for dinner, we'd invited our new local Estonian friend to come for dinner - we've mentioned her in the past having met with her for coffee in our flat in about the second week. We're understanding more of the church scene from her and the idea of doing treasure hunting in Tallinn came up - I think she'd get some folks together if I'd be happy to lead (at least) the first session....so we'll let you know when this is happening!
It was a really nice time and Mia especially seemed to take to her, kissing her good night after giving her complements, like how good she smelt!
She also showed us some useful things on the computer - so helpful to have a locals input - like how to buy the travel tickets, now that we have our ID cards, which if using the buses regularly, is much cheaper than keep buying the books of tickets.
Yesterday I also confirmed a few meet ups for this week - a coffee with Brett from Serve The City (who we met on Sunday), a drink with Leo on Wednesday night and firming up the plans with Arnoud for Friday.
Today, after a shorter home schooling session, we made our way to a kitchen shop, as we had an appointment booked there. For months already we've been in contact with this lady, as for our new flat it comes finished, minus the kitchen! It does mean we can make it what we really want, so months ago we started contact, thinking then that we'd need to do it all from Russia. Little did we know that we'd be living here so soon and able to go together in person and talk through all the options. I include this here because it's all part of the mix of things you have to deal with when moving somewhere new, and though today was in English, it is complicated arranging such things when you are doing it through another language. We were there for about 2 and a bit hours - the girls did so well entertaining themselves and we think we are nearly there with everything - this kitchen, which we expect to help us host so many people down the years once in our new flat.
Tonight Rachel and I start our home-school Estonian lessons. We were given a coursebook for Christmas and thought before we have proper lessons with a professional Estonian teacher, as we will need in time, we'd start the basics, very slowly no doubt, working through this book in the evenings, at least twice a week - so tonight we start! Please pray for our Estonian learning - we do need this local language as well, so it'll be good to grow our knowledge of the language past the few words we already know!
And tomorrow Mia starts ballet classes - after looking for classes in the last two years in St Petersburg, we've finally found something that works for the family, so pray that Mia would make lots of friends and really enjoy her ballet, which will be twice a week.
And I'll finish by starting to answer this question, which I'll continue through the next entries - What are the distinctives and essentials that will make up church-life here in Tallinn?
1) - After our conversation last night, the first is certainly a clear sense and demonstration of the Presence of God. Estonians, we are told, are private people. The statistics we've talked about here already clearly show that very few believe in the God of the Bible. And people are very happy to state religion has no part in their daily life. More and more over these last few weeks we've come to realise that without God breaking through in the supernatural, it'll be very hard for us to reach out to the Estonians living here. And even within the Russians, those that have grown up here all their lives have this same element, to some degree, of being private about faith and belief. The people need to see God working in their lives. We need to be taking God with us onto the streets and, we pray, seeing healings, miracles and more in order to fully demonstrate what life with God is all about.
So please pray for this important element - this essential part of who we need to be. Pray for the outbreak of God in the streets of this city, and for the boldness of the team (in time when we have them, as well as on us now at the moment) to step out in faith!
Thanks for reading - until Thursday, keep running on your adventure with God and we'll speak to you soon! Be blessed!
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